The Mick: Pilot – A Better Version of “Uncle Buck” (Review)


Perhaps the only grumble about the “early” season premiere of The Mick could be that most of the gags had been telegraphed quite clearly with all those hysterical teasers. Looking at the pilot objectionably, however,  it was still very, very funny. This  female “Uncle Buck” version is much better than the awkward ABC iteration where Mike Epps played the title character.

The opening segment, where the aunty goes through the supermarket using products directly from the shelf, up to and including shaving cream and a razor for her “pits,” ends with a liberal helping of Johnson’s Baby Powder on the old nethers. As she leaves the store, a homeless chap with a trolley is handed five beers from a six pack.

The self satisfied smirk on her face says it all as Kaitlin Olson walks out of the camera’s view.  Olson proves that she is not afraid to suffer for her art. In all reality those leaps over the vegetation at her sister’s mansion  was done by a stuntwoman. However, indulging in slapstick comedy, which includes those painful pratfalls, ain’t, as they say, easy.

Just ask Chevy Chase.

The Mick  manages to do something that the ABC Uncle Buck remix could not. It removes the parents completely and allows full interaction between the aunt and those snotty rich kids.  The pilot tells us that we were always right about those overly privileged “spoon in the mouth” children.

Entitled and with loads of attitude, two of the three youngsters are annoying and full of themselves.  Sabrina (Sofia Black-D’Elia) is the Kendall Jenner “lookalike” who takes on her aunty and loses the first two rounds. 

Thomas Barbusca is Chip, the middle kid with an exaggerated sense of self, who wants to sue everyone. Jack Stanton plays Ben, the youngest of the three and, thus far, the nicest of the bunch.

Sabrina has her cigarettes stolen by her aunt and later is slipped a mickey to keep her from going to a party.  The gal who can handle her liquor caves in after being given “five different sleeping medications.”  The scene ends with her being carried to her room.

Chip is given the world’s worst advice on how to handle his nemesis at school. This scene is one that anyone watching the teasers will remember. It is still funny, regardless of the spoilers, and this says something for the quality of the script and the actors.

The housekeeper, Alba (Played by Carla Jimenez.) gets her fair share of comic moments and the interaction between the housekeeper and Olson’s character is spot on.

The Mick promises to be one heck of a funny show.  Olson is brilliant and clearly not afraid of making herself look less than attractive. Those wine-stained and swollen lips, with eyes to match, are incredibly funny. Especially when combined with the whole straighter than straight delivery.

A lot more of the story was revealed in the pilot. We get a better idea of who Olson’s character is and this does look to be a splendid take on the Uncle Buck formula, sans John Candy.

FOX have given us a show that is not afraid to have the “grownup” drug her teenage charge to keep her at home. (The implication was that the “absinthe” was in fact NyQuill.) The same woman gives the younger brother incredibly bad advice on how to handle his bully.

Telling the youngster to pull the other boy’s pants down and point out his tiny “pecker” is wildly inappropriate. It is, however, damned funny. The punch line is that the bully is not “tiny” and not the least intimidated by Chip’s attempt at humiliation.

The rich kid’s lament that he is lucky not to have been beaten by the bully’s member is also funny to the extreme. The young actor’s delivery is spot on.

The Mick is full of that brand of irreverent humor that is so funny when applied properly.  Olson and her co-stars look set to deliver a show that will keep the audience in stitches.

The show premieres on Sunday, 1 January in the new year. Stop by and check this one out. You will be glad you did as Olson and the rest of the cast rock.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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