Melissa McCarthy Deserves Better

a promotional image for the television show 'Mike and Molly'; Mike is handing Molly a bouquet of flowers

Because I love Melissa McCarthy, I have tried watching Mike & Molly, despite knowing it would be dismal. And it is. It's ostensibly a show about fat acceptance, which hates its fat characters. And yes, subjecting them to all manner of ridicule and abuse, to make the point that fat hatred exists, which its targets and purveyors already know, is hatred of its fat characters.

Spudsy and I were talking about this trainwreck this morning, and, observing that the other female characters (particularly Molly's mother and sister) are horrible, conniving, nasty people, classic sit-com bitches, Spudsy noted that it's like the show's writers don't imagine that a fat female character could be likeable unless she's surrounded by sinister harpies.

There are a lot of problems with the show, and yet its worst offense, IMO, is that which I noted after seeing the previews: This show acts as though Roseanne never existed. It so self-evidently pats itself on the back for being some kind of transgressive, progressive contribution to the television canon, but there existed a show 20 years ago with two fat leads who loved and fucked and lived their lives—and they didn't have to suffer the indignity of the constant juvenile moralizing that lies within every implicit reminder that "fat people are human, too!"

It's a step backwards. Melissa McCarthy deserves better. And so do we.

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