What's it rated? NR
Where? Fox and streaming on Hulu and Amazon
- PHOTO COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION
- FRIENDS IN NEED Mackenzie (Kaitlin Olson, left) becomes fast friends with her sister’s housekeeper Alba (Carla Jimenez), when they suffer through one misadventure after another as they look after Mackenzie’s spoiled nieces and nephews.
I was at a dive bar when someone, I can't remember who, suggested I watch The Mick, a new Fox series about Mackenzie "Mickey" Murphy (Kaitlin Olson), a hard-living, foul-mouthed ne'er-do-well who suddenly finds herself the caregiver of her rich sister's three spoiled kids after her sister and brother-in-law are forced to "flee the country" to avoid a federal indictment for tax evasion.
Mickey moves from her shitty apartment to her sister's Greenwich, Conn., mansion, where she allies herself with Alba (Carla Jimenez), the family's put upon housekeeper, to try to corral Mickey's niece, the incorrigible 17-year-old Sabrina (Sofia Black-D'Elia), and her two nephews, Chip (Thomas Barbusca) and Ben (Jack Stanton). Dark, irreverent comedy ensues.
I zipped through nine of the first 17 episodes in one sitting and found the show to be a riot of physical comedy, ribald humor, and groan-inducing fish-out-of-water situations. Mickey is a hot mess, surpassed in her hot messiness only by her loser pseudo-boyfriend Jimmy (Scott MacArthur).
The eldest child Sabrina takes an immediate dislike to Mickey, setting up a battle of wills. Meanwhile, middle kid Chip, a pompous preppie who wants to get the girls, foolishly takes his aunt's terrible advice and compounds his poor standing at school, and the youngest, Ben, basically goes through one mishap after another since Mickey is wholly unsuited to her new responsibilities.
I especially like the chemistry between Mickey and Alba. Unpretentious Mickey thinks the way Alba is treated as a second-class member of the family has been terrible and wants her to have equality ... as long as she keeps doing all the work. Jimenez as Alba is hilarious, with amazing comic timing and a lot of the show's best deadpan lines.
Olson, who's also the show's co-executive producer, is terrific as Mickey, striking just the right note between selfish and caring—she fluctuates between doing what she wants and doing what she thinks is right for the kids.
With 13 writers over 17 episodes, you can imagine the series is at times uneven, but it's still a lot of fun, and the characters are well defined. It's gotten mixed reviews from the critics, so it clearly won't appeal to all viewers, but I've laughed out loud in every episode I've seen so far.
If you have sensitive sensibilities or are easily offended, this isn't the series for you, but if you're a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, or The Office, this ought to be right up your naughty little alley. (17, 30-minute episodes). Δ