Remember back to the years 2010 to 2016, when CBS had a sitcom called Mike and Molly? You probably remember it, because it starred Melissa McCarthy and actually happened during Melissa McCarthy’s post-Bridesmaid heyday. Also, Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy for her role in the show. So that’s your quick Mike and Molly refresher, because This Is Us just made a Mike and Molly joke, and it might have you wondering if you should activate a CBS All Access account so you can binge Mike and Molly yourself.
Or you might be shaking your head because the Mike and Molly joke on This Is Us is a little…well, odd.
As you know, Kate Pearson (played by Chrissy Metz) has been struggling with her weight since the very first episode of This Is Us. Many early episodes of the show focused on Kate desperately trying to lose weight and create a better lifestyle for herself. In the midst of that, her (now) fiancé, Toby (played by Chris Sullivan) came into the picture — and Toby is also struggling with his own weight issues. Many, many storylines on the show have revolved around their journey to reshape their bodies and also accept themselves for who they are.
So just how exactly does Mike and Molly come into this? Well, during the latest episode of This Is Us, Kate’s new BFF, Madison, makes an offhand comment that Kate and Toby are so “Mike and Molly.” Madison could have easily said that Kate and Toby are so “Ross and Rachel” or “Jim and Pam.” Instead, she went for “Mike and Molly,” two sitcom characters who were not size twos, but rather full-figured.
(And TBH, I have never seen an episode of Mike and Molly in my life, so I don’t know if the two characters ever struggled with body issues. I’m going to say yes, because everyone on the planet has struggled with body issues in one way or another. Okay I just Googled it, and I learned that Mike and Molly actually met at Overeaters Anonymous, so the answer is yes.)
The joke on This Is Us is meant to be a joke, and many took it as a joke. But others were quick to point out that while it was meant in a lighthearted way, it might come across as saying that full-figured couples can only be compared to other full-figured couples.
Those who laughed:
Those who did not:
Funny, not funny, one thing is clear — Madison might not be the best person to binge-watch a TV show with.