Kaitlin Olson Shines in New Fox Comedy ‘The Mick’

The new mid-season series ‘The Mick’ on Fox is a no-holds-barred take on unfit guardianship. Star Kaitlin Olson is the definition of irresponsible as she’s forced to care for her sister’s spoiled brats.

Kaitlin Olson has made a name for herself as Sweet Dee on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now she branches out in her own starring role while also serving as a co-producer of the new Fox series The Mick. Playing Mackenzie “Mickey” Murphy, she continues her trademark brashness and crude persona. As a hustler from Rhode Island, she comes to visit her rich estranged sister at a house party. However, when her sister is taken away by authorities on fraud charges, Mickey is suckered in to become the caretaker of her high-maintenance and snobbish niece and nephews.

Looking for a big payout once her sister returns, Mickey has her hands full, in between sipping copious amounts of alcohol. She’s reckless, unmotivated, and the last person to be in charge of three children. While the kids still have a roof over their head and maid service still on hand, Mickey tries to impart some wisdom into the kids as they’re navigating life’s harsh realities for rich folk.

Deadbeat Aunt

In the pilot episode, Mickey arrives with her equally loafer of a boyfriend Jimmy (Scott MacArthur) to her sister’s Labor Day party at a Greenwich, Connecticut mansion. Clearly the odd person out, Mickey makes no effort to fit in, even swiping a pack of cigarettes from her teenage niece Sabrina (Sofia Black D’Elia). After a brief re-acquaintance with her sister, in no time at all does Mickey begin harboring resentment against her sibling. Her sis only obtained this level of wealth from marrying a rich guy she met while working at a strip club.

Photo Credit: The Mick/Fox, Acquired From Fox Flash

Before they can go full-on bickering, the FBI raids the party and of course the mischievous Mickey automatically assumes she’s the target. Nope, instead it’s her brother-in-law charged with massive fraud. She returns to the house just as her sister is being arrested. With the three kids’ parents in custody, Mickey is tasked to act like their aunt for once and assume some responsibility.

Using a classic fish-out-of-water trope in the vein of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it’s a culture clash with upper class elitists. While the kids are away at school, Mickey takes full advantage of the mansion grounds, from the pool to the tennis court. She also can’t help herself to her sister’s massive wardrobe.

Of the three kids, Sabrina is the most troublesome for Mickey who defies her aunt’s authority. Add in the fact Sabrina considers her the estranged aunt only looking for a big payout doesn’t help with Mickey’s duties. Middle child Chip (Thomas Barbusca) is a straight up preppy WASP but subject to bullying at his posh private school. Little precocious youngest child Ben (Jack Stanton) considers the family’s maid Alba (Carla Jimenez) more of a mother figure than his actual mom.

Smarter Than She Looks

Upfront we’ve come to know characters like Mickey. She prefers a drunken night out at the club over paying the bills. She’s never had a steady job and she tends to be attracted to similar lowlifes. Unlike her Sweet Dee character on Sunny (who was usually the voice of reason), Olson portrays Mickey more immature but still with some heart. Despite skating by through life, Mickey has the occasional charm and given the chance is able to pull through with selfless acts.

Photo Credit: The Mick/Fox, Acquired From Fox Flash

After a rough couple of days, Mickey is anxiously awaiting for the kids’ parents to return. Unfortunately, she gets word from her sister that they’ve fled the country to avoid prosecution. By the second episode, Mickey has to break the news to the kids that their parents are gone while at a Hibachi grill. The news doesn’t sit well with Chip, who’s already mad at being in a “poor person restaurant” and begins trashing the place.

Now that it looks like she’s stuck with them, Mickey slowly but surely has some motherly instincts pop in. While she still has to exert her authority over Sabrina, she still wants these kids to find some happiness while stressing over their parents’ abandonment. When they realize they missed Ben’s birthday, Mickey wants to throw him a killer party including an impressive clown (who may or may not be addicted to heroin). After Chip complains about being bullied, Mickey advises he’d stand up for himself. That doesn’t work out though as Chip returns home with a bloody nose.

Despite a mediocre pilot episode, the series begins to grow stronger and Mickey is able to charm us with her good intentions despite her unorthodox methods. The egoistic routine ends rather quickly and Mickey starts adapting to her maternal instincts. It will be interesting to see how long the parents fleeing arc plays out. For the time being, The Mick has a lot of potential for Olson to shine on her own.

The Mick premieres on Sunday, January 1 at 8/7c on Fox. Regular episodes air Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on Fox.