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For my money, MIKE & MOLLY is definitely one of the cuter and sweeter sitcoms currently airing on television. Going against the grain of television programs that feature overly attractive people in leading roles, MIKE & MOLLY offers viewers a love story about ordinary looking folks, of the plus sized variety, that is both genuinely funny and completely winning. Sure, there is the occasional over-reliance on easy fat jokes, but all of the characters prove quite capable of taking the humor in various other directions.

MIKE & MOLLY follows the romance and relationship of Chicago police officer Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) and fourth-grade teacher Molly Flynn (Melissa McCarthy), who meet at a session of Overeaters Anonymous. There is a definite chemistry between the two, but the road to romance proves to be a bit rocky, as the two have to deal with their oddball assortment of family and friends, not to mention Mike’s total cluelessness in regards to romance and the male/female interpersonal dynamic. The cast of MIKE & MOLLY also features Swoosie Kurtz as Molly's overly open and far too honest mother Joyce; Katy Mixon as Molly's dimwitted, stoner sister Victoria; Reno Wilson as Mike’s partner Officer Carl McMillan, who lives with his grandmother Rosetta (Cleo King); Rondi Reed as Mike's cranky, controlling mother Peggy, who still resents Mike’s father for leaving her and running away with a prostitute; and Nyambi Nyambi as Samuel, the sarcastic waiter from the restaurant where Mike and Carl eat. The entire cast of MIKE & MOLLY are fun, but Swoosie Kurtz is an utter joy, her performance is hysterical and she really produces some of the show biggest laughs.

MIKE & MOLLY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($60) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a two-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year one: Pilot, First Date, First Kiss, Mike's Not Ready, Carl Is Jealous, Mike's Apartment, After The Lovin', Mike Snores, Mike's New Boots, Molly Gets A Hat, Carl Gets A Girl, First Christmas, Mike Goes To The Opera, Molly Makes Soup, Jim Won't Eat, First Valentine's Day, Joyce & Vince And Peaches & Herb, Mike's Feet, Peggy Shaves Her Legs, Opening Day, Samuel Gets Fired, Cigar Talk, Victoria's Birthday and Peggy's New Beau.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-three episodes from MIKE & MOLLY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentations of the episodes are a visual improvement over their broadcast counterparts, as they lack the over-compression and artifacts that riddle HD broadcast and cable signals. Image sharpness and clarity is generally very good to excellent. Fine details and textures are also readily apparent in the image. MIKE & MOLLY features fairly conventional sitcom lighting, so the picture remains fairly dimensional. Colors look bright and offer a very nice level of saturation, in addition to remaining completely stable. Flesh tones are always correct and rather attractive. Blacks are pure and whites are completely stable. Contrast and shadow detail are everything one should expect from a production that employs fairly conventional sitcom lighting. The source materials don’t demonstrate any appreciable flaws. Grain/noise levels are quite modest.

All of the episodes that constitute MIKE & MOLLY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. The episodes themselves feature very conventional sitcom sound designs, with much of the sound locked front and center. As MIKE & MOLLY is a dialogue driven show, one shouldn’t expect much sonic information beyond the center channel anyway. Other than the sounds of laughter and other audience reactions, as well as an occasional sound effect, the soundstage remains fairly under-utilized. Of course, the musical component does see a bit of a spread into the outlying channels, and is the only sonic element to take any kind of real advantage of the lossless encoding. Dialogue is clean sounding and always easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Falling In Love With Mike & Molly (interviews with cast), Mike & Molly Play Acts (car scenes shot in front of a live audience) and An Interview With Jim (the dog). A Gag Reel closes out the extras.

MIKE & MOLLY is cute, sweet and very funny. The cast is great, especially Swoosie Kurtz. The Blu-ray presentations look great and sound just fine. Recommended.


Mike & Molly: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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