DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Wednesday -

LOOKS like things have pro­gressed some­what since the last time I watched Mike & Molly. He’d taken her bowl­ing that episode, he was in full peacock mode and she’d wiped the floor with him. Clearly his, um, man­hood has been fully re­stored, be­cause they’ve just had their first overnighter. She needs to leave, book re­ports to mark (Moby Dick, hi­lar­i­ous), but Mike’s deliri­ous with hap­pi­ness. Not just about the sex, but about all the things they did. ‘‘ Strolling hand in hand through Lin­coln Park, and buy­ing ket­tle corn at the farm­ers mar­ket . . .’’

Molly: ‘‘ Good luck get­ting that out of the sheets.’’

Mike: ‘‘ Meh, a lot of it was al­ready there.’’

Ob­vi­ously this is ma­jor. But it’s also tricky, be­cause as prob­lem eaters, the temp­ta­tion is to go in hard with this love af­fair, too. Eat all the cake and lick the ic­ing off the beater.

More so with Molly than Mike, maybe, be­cause Mike just goes ahead and buys her a present im­me­di­ately any­way, or a cheap-ass car­ni­val prize, as Carl de­scribes it, as if she hasn’t slept with him in a mean­ing­ful way so much as knocked down milk bot­tles with a base­ball.

Molly, mean­while, has to en­dure the ques­tions at home. Her ghoul­ish mother and sis­ter want de­tails.

‘‘ And skip the fore­play,’’ her mother tells her, ‘‘ I don’t want to know how the sausage was made, I just want to know how it was served.’’

Joyce. She’s ter­rific. Of course she is, she’s played by Swoosie Kurtz. Katy Nixon, Molly’s empty-headed sis­ter Vic­to­ria, is per­fect as Joyce’s gothic book­end. You can see this pair in an­other quar­ter cen­tury, liv­ing in Grey Gar­dens squalor. They bring a lot to this show. And so do Mike’s part­ner/best friend, Carl, and his lippy Bi­ble thumpin’ grandma.

Carl should be the one with the girl prob­lems, ie, he has too many. As Sa­muel, the guy at the cafe, re­marks, they’re the pretty ones. Mike& Molly Chan­nel 9, 8pm

Ter­rific: Swoosie Kurtz

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