Maura Kelly finds fat people disgusting. She has since apologized and tried to explain this away, since (not all that surprisingly) people reacted…negatively. Her argument was formulated around the new television show Mike & Molly.
Mike & Molly is a show about two overweight people who meet at Over-eaters Anonymous and become smitten with each other. The titular Mike is played by Billy Gardell and Molly by Melissa McCarthy. Both are sweet and likable leads, often making the relationship both charming and fun.
The jokes run a gamut of humorous self deprecation to pushing the boundaries of kindness (or, borderline cruel). Listen, overweight people will crack wise about their weight. So, that feels true. Mike being sensitive about Molly seeing his body also rings true. These are maybe not the jolly fat people that the fat acceptance movement wants.
But the characters are un-apologetically human. And that is why I think, in spite of some flaws, the show works overall. It is nice to see overweight characters who have lives on TV and are not part of the typical sit-com convention. It’s not terribly uncommon for there to be chunky guys on TV-with model thin wives (on the rare occasion, we see an overweight woman with a thin man). But two heavy people together, who are the focus of the show? Not usual fare.
See, usually, the fat character on the show is the side kick comic relief. They are not all that developed, because we are not supposed to be invested in them all that much. Her, the wacky comic relief are Mike and Molly’s family and friends. Molly’s “sexually adventurous” mother (Swoozie Kurtz) and “dumb as a rock” sister (Katy Mixon) are failures at being real support for Molly, which is where their humor is derived.
Mike’s close friend and partner on the police force Carl (Reno Wilson), an aspiring ladies man living with his grandmother (Cleo King, who adores Mike and gives him motherly advice-as opposed to his mother who tries to manipulate Mike). There is also the waiter Samuel (Nyambi Nyambi) who makes it his purpose to take shots at Mike’s weight-but then, Mike is more than willing to zing back.
In spite of it’s problems, the one thing I have no issue with is scenes of them kissing (or walking). It is not somehow repulsive to see these two heavier than normal for Hollywood actors locking lips. It is encouraging. It is charming. The relationship that has been unfolding has been a sweet one and it would be a shame to hide it in the dark.