The Mick: The Fire – Smoking Irreverence (Review)


Is is wrong to find The Mick funny when its humor is so irreverent that it makes a joke out of a terminally ill man taking the fall for the fire that burned down the neighbor’s guest house? (At least one viewer was offended at Sunday’s “special” episode, where the theme of a  “druggy” clown was bandied about – although Sully turned out to be a diabetic.)

This begs the question of just what is “too far.” Thus far Mickey has doped up her niece, with a concoction of sleep inducing cold medication and promoted the same kid’s sexual activity as “a minor.” This was pointed out in last night’s episode. Sabrina is, apparently, underage – and smoking like a chimney…

Sunday’s episode also had Mickey burying two fingers into Ben’s throat in an effort make him throw up the mystery balloon, which is clearly full of something, but we never learn what.

The previous episode, “The Grandparents” allowed Granny Pemberton to slap Sabrina not once, but twice and turned the “hero” veteran Grandpa Pemberton into a slack jawed paraplegic stroke victim. While not on par with the tastelessness of the new TV version of “roasting,” The Mick is not highbrow comedy.

“The Fire” has Chip “teaching” Ben how to ride a bike; allowing the kid to crash and then covering his open wounds with nicotine patches. Wrong? Oh yes, all kinds of wrong, but it is funny.

It is the very “incorrectness” of Mickey, Chip, Sabrina, Alba and Jimmy that makes the show so incredibly funny. Similar to the poorly received “Uncle Buck” over on ABC last year, this sitcom has characters who are outside the pale.

In other words, these people, despite the trappings of money, the class system (of which Mickey, Alba and Jimmy fall into a different structure than the sister’s kids) and education, are all pretty outlandish. They are impolite, believe the rest of the world is beneath them and do not think rules apply to their family.

Sort of like Donald Trump and his family…

All the characters are unpleasant, but funny with it. Sabrina is headstrong, chain-smokes, is having “underage” sex and drinks alcohol.  Chip is self absorbed, self aggrandizing and narcissistic. (That Trump comparison seems pretty apt now, does it not?) Ben is just lost in the shuffle here.

It seems odd that anyone would get upset at the comic misunderstanding that Sully the clown was a heroine addict and not diabetic.

“The Fire” was full of comic moments. Alba telling the almost fully bonded Sabrina and Mickey that she was given cigarettes as a child, “like candy,” and then later smoking in the bathroom with the two Pemberton females.

The entire family believing that the guttural talking Ben was going round the twist with his “imaginary” friend. The two Pemberton women covering up and hiding in the bathroom to smoke and getting busted by Alba was funny, but even funnier was Sabrina’s assertion that smoking with nicotine patches was a “game changer.”

Burning down the next door neighbor’s guesthouse by not extinguishing their butts was also funny, and (here we enter completely and thoroughly into un-PC territory) allowing the man with lung cancer to take the rap for it.

This is, admittedly, one step below “banana peel” humour.  In this show, the gag is not slipping on the item. It is setting up a “crippled” victim by placing the peel in front of them. In fact, The Mick would go so far as to put the banana peel in the path of a blind person with severe arthritis.

They would do so, however, with a straight face and then, as they did in “The Fire” towards the end, look shocked when their victim hit the ground. The Mick is the modern-day equivalent, intellectually at least, of The Three Stooges.

The boinking of eyes and other physically violent comedy has been updated to include victims who would normally be left alone.

The Mick airs Tuesdays on FOX. Tune in if you are not afraid of that “horrified laughter” associated with the old “Hamster in a micro-wave” gag (“Pop goes the weasel” and extra points to any who can remember this one) and prepare to fall in love with the incorrectness of it all.


Guest starring Rodney J. Hobbs as Lt. Brody, Susan Park as Liz

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

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