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Series / The Mick

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From left to right: Sabrina, Ben, Alba, Chip, Jimmy and Mickey.

The Mick is a single-camera Dom Com starring Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Mackenzie "Mickey" Molng, an irresponsible grifter who ends up babysitting her wealthy sister Poodle’s three spoiled kids indefinitely after Poodle and her husband are arrested by the FBI on fraud charges and subsequently flee the country.

Sabrina (Sofia Black-D'Elia), a high school senior, is a vain but insecure Alpha Bitch who sees her aunt as an obnoxious obstacle. Chip (Thomas Barbusca), the middle child, is a smug and entitled wanna-be sophisticate who is struggling for the respect he thinks he deserves. Ben (Jack Stanton), the youngest, is an adorable but precocious seven-year-old. Other characters include Alba (Carla Jimenez), the kids’ long-suffering maid, and Jimmy (Scott MacArthur), Mickey’s deadbeat not-boyfriend.

Olson serves as co-executive producer for the series, which was created by her fellow Sunny alum John and Dave Chernin. The show ran for two seasons on Fox, from January 1st 2017 to May 10th, 2018.

The series provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Sabrina's small breast size is referenced several times over the course of the show, to her annoyance.
  • Affably Evil: In "The Visit" Ben's separated from Chip and Jimmy when they visit Ben's/Chip's dad in prison, wandering into a cell block somehow. The dangerous, hardened prisoners he meets all treat him very well, and even kill his dad's cellmate (who they know is raping him) as a favor.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sabrina is the most popular girl in school and wields her power like a cudgel.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When Jimmy is attacked by a girls soccer team, he begs them to stop, but when they continue peppering him with flying knees and spin kicks, he eventually fires back with haymakers and liver shots while apologizing profusely.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Chip carries a thousand dollars in cash on him and is able to lend Mickey forty-two hundred dollars to pay off a loan shark, and even Ben has a black card.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Ben spends "The Master" watching R-rated horror movies on his tablet. At the very end, Mickey sees he's watching Alien and tells him he can't watch that... because she thinks Aliens is much better.
    • In "The Visit," Mickey is horrified by Jimmy's suggestion that they get rid of Chip's pent-up aggression by taking him to a prostitute...because it would be way too expensive.
  • Bannister Slide: Mickey gets drunk and slides down the Pembertons' enormous staircase while wearing her sister's wedding dress in the pilot epiosode. She ends up falling off halfway down and knocks herself out cold.
  • Brain Bleach: Chip's lacrosse team gets sent a photo of a naked woman with a unicorn tattoo and the face cropped out. Chip spends quite a bit of time fantasizing about this faceless woman, until he sees that Sabrina has such a tattoo in the same place. He immediately runs for the nearest trash can to throw up. Sabrina gets to be the same way when she finds out that her brother and the entire lacrosse team saw her naked.
  • Break the Haughty: Both Sabrina and Chip are subjected to this in the second episode after being left in the care of their sadistic grandparents, to the point where they're begging Mickey to come back by the end of the episode.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Poodle sarcastically asks if the kids have received any new tattoos or piercings while she's been away, Chip and Sabrina exchange an uncomfortable look. This is a callback to several episodes prior, where Chip discovers that the woman in the photograph he's been lusting after is Sabrina based on her new unicorn tattoo.
    • The tattoo that the prisoners gave Ben in "The Visit" is seen again in "The Sleepover."
  • Character Title: The "Mick" of the title is none other than Mickey herself.
  • Christianity is Catholic: In "The Church" Alba goes back to church as a means of getting help with her drinking problem. Mickey has the kids do it too. They're all Catholic (very lapsed) it turns out, with no other denomination brought up in the series.
  • Corporal Punishment: Mickey spanks Ben when he acts especially willful.
  • Creepy Child: Ben has shown signs of this, such as weirding his teacher out through sitting and blankly staring at her during recess instead of playing.
  • Crossing the Line Twice: Mick falls out of a church window and Carla falls out right after. Somehow, the focus on Mick's pain disappears when the act is repeated.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mickey's boyfriend Dante relates that his father left during his childhood. When other guys interested in her hire an old man to pretend that he's the father to distract Dante so they can get her, Dante angrily beats his "dad" up for abandoning him.
  • Dom Com: The show centers on the eccentric home lives of the characters.
  • Downer Ending: Due to cancellation, the series ends with Sabrina in a coma that she may never get out of.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Between Mickey's irresponsibility, Poodle and her husband's criminal activities, and the kids' lack of any real parenting, the Pemberton-Murphy clan definitely qualifies as this.
  • Enemy Mine: Mickey and the kids form a shaky alliance at the end of the second episode in order to get rid of the grandparents.
  • Escalating War: Sabrina and Mickey constantly go back and forth pranking each other to get the other under control. In the second episode, Sabrina admits that it's preferable to her grandmother's brutal and malicious domination.
    Sabrina: At least Auntie Mickey knew how to do a rivalry.
  • Establishing Character Moment: A couple in the pilot:
    • Mickey is introduced casually shoplifting and going through her morning routine in the middle of the grocery store, establishing her as an irresponsible slacker and petty criminal with no direction in life.
    • Sabrina first appears sneaking a cigarette outside Poodle's barbecue, snottily refusing Mickey's request for a smoke and making fun of her low-class appearance. It's not until a few minutes later that we find out she's Mickey's niece.
  • Ethnic Hired Help: Alba. She's also pretty stereotypical.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Mickey is the brash, unemployed slacker to Poodle's responsible, married mother of three — although this gets played with somewhat when it turns out that Poodle is wanted by the FBI.
  • Friends with Benefits: How Mickey sees her relationship with Jimmy, at least; they've been "pounding for like ten years", but she vehemently denies that he's her boyfriend.
  • Gag Penis: Mickey advises Chip to get revenge on a school bully by "making fun of his tiny pecker". This backfires spectacularly, as it turns out the kid is unusually well-endowed.
    Chip: I'm lucky he didn't beat me with it!
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode:
    • The episode "The Bully" has a plot line where Jimmy takes Ben and Chip to the dentist, which leads to him doing some DIY Dentistry to avoid having to pay the dentist. The episode's other subplot involved Mickey and Alba helping Sabrina get back at a girl who leaked her journal online.
    • The episode "The Implant" has Jimmy taking Ben and Chip to see a ballgame. The other plot is Mickey trying to convince Sabrina not to get breast implants.
    • "The Visit" has Chip and Ben go with Jimmy to visit the kids' dad in prison. Sabrina meanwhile goes with Mickey to see the kids' mom in prison too.
  • Good-Times Montage: Happens in the first episode when Mickey and Alba enjoy having the full run of the Pemberton mansion while the kids are at school, trying out the pool and tennis courts while binging on wine and cigars.
  • Harmful to Minors: Mickey has no idea how to look after the kids, as she freely admits. In the first episode alone, she's indirectly responsible for Chip getting his nose broken and Ben suffering an allergic reaction.
  • Hidden Depths: Character Development establishes that Sabrina is more than just an Alpha Bitch.
  • Hollywood Healing: Mickey and Jimmy suffer from pretty awful injuries in a number of episodes, but always bounce back pretty fast. By the next episode, they're perfectly fine. Chip at one point cuts off his fingers and sprays blood all throughout the house, with no signs of this by the next episode.
  • Homage: In the pilot, Mickey knowingly drinks a beverage spiked with sleeping drugs and assures Sabrina, "I can handle my 'quill!" This is very similar to a scene in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in which Charlie knowingly eats food spiked with sleep drugs and assures the gang, "I can handle my downers!" The Mick's creators and star also worked on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Homage Shot: In one scene, Mick tries to stop the relationship between her new friend and Jimmy from dating during a wedding. She causes a scene from an interior balcony. This is a nod to The Graduate. Of course, it's more comic because Micky falls one and a half stories and she is pretty overdramatic for breaking up a relationship during a wedding.
  • Immune to Drugs: Mickey gets Sabrina to stay home the first night by offering her some absinthe. They drink a few shots, Sabrina laughs off her attempt to drink her under the table, drinks a few more... and then has to sit down because Mickey spiked it with six different sleep drugs.
    Sabrina: But... you drank it too...
    Mickey: Oh, you don't worry about me, I can handle my 'quill.
  • Jury and Witness Tampering: When Chip gets caught with naked pictures on his phone he must stand before the school's Honor Board, which Sabrina is a member of. Mickey thinks Sabrina should let Chip off since he's family. When she doesn't, Mickey breaks into Sabrina's room and downloads her laptop's data to a USB stick. She threatens to release it unless Sabrina lets her brother off easily. Sabrina simply steals the drive back.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After the entire episode being verbally, mentally, and physically abusive to Sabrina and forcing Chip to solely care for his severely disabled grandfather in the way of feeding and bathing him, their grandmother is in the middle of telling Mick she will never see any of the Pemberton's money after calling her (Mick's) sister a whore when she slips on the floor and goes down like a sack of bricks hard enough to shatter both her hips. She last seen being loaded into an ambulance moaning in agony.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When the 17-year-old Sabrina says that she wants breast implants to help her look more mature, Mickey cracks, "You already look 25!" Sabrina's actress Sofia Black-D'elia was 25 during filming.
  • Lesbian Jock: Sabrina dates Alexis, a star women's soccer player, in "The Juice".
  • Lighter and Softer: The show basically a domestic It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia with a conscience.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Sabrina is a pretty femme girl, with long hair, wearing skirts, blouses or dresses frequently and liking girly things. In "The Juice" she dates Alexis, a lesbian jock. Sabrina also dates guys however, refusing any labels for her sexual orientation.
  • Loan Shark: A particularly violent one shows up in pursuit of Mickey in the second episode, going so far as to break her hand with a hammer. She's able to pay him off in the end by borrowing the money from Chip.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Sabrina (a girl with long hair who likes to wear blouses, skirts or dresses pretty often, while having traditionally feminine interests) is with Alexis, a lesbian jock in "The Juice" who's only shown wearing her uniform and workout clothing. They don't last long however.
  • Manly Gay: Doug in "The Night Off", a large tough guy who helps out Jimmy in a fight, is revealed to have a boyfriend later. Jimmy is quite dismayed and surprised by this at first.
  • No Bisexuals: Sabrina gets annoyed when Mick calls her a lesbian in Season 2 for dating a girl, and had dated a boy prior, rejecting any labels to describe her sexual orientation.
  • Not Actually His Child: In Season 2, his mom reveals that Chip's dad isn't his birth father. Both of them react poorly to the revelation. This is subverted when it turns out the other guy wasn't actually Chip's father. It turns out he's a different man whom his mom had sex with back then.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When the Pembertons' neighbor Liz drops by with a casserole to see how Mickey's getting on and sees Chip with a bloody nose, she assumes that Mickey has been hitting him, a notion that Chip doesn't try very hard to dissuade her from.
  • N-Word Privileges: Sabrina gets a lot of flack in one episode over reciting a rap song by Biggie Smalls, as this includes the n word.
  • Pregnancy Scare: Mickey fakes this on Sabrina to insure she doesn't really get pregnant, after learning she's not using birth control of any kind with her boyfriend. It works, though not before her boyfriend chivalrously offers to marry her when they think she's actually pregnant.
  • Promotion to Parent: The basic premise of the series; Mickey is forced to step up and act as a parental substitute for her niece and nephews, despite being grossly unqualified for the task in every way imaginable.
  • Relationship Labeling Problems: There's a Running Gag that Mickey won't label her relationship with Love Interest Jimmy, despite the latter living with her. In the Season One finale, Mickey has to shoot Jimmy in order to cover up the fact that Chip accidentally shot his Dad. Jimmy agrees to do this, but only if they put a label on their relationship. Even under these circumstances, Mickey is still reluctant to label their relationship and tells Jimmy to ask her for something else. This gag is brought up again in Season Two when it's discovered that Sabrina is seeing another girl. When she refuses to say she's a lesbian, Mickey chastises her generation for having an aversion to labels.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Alba keeps at least a dozen identical white rabbits in a closet because Ben keeps accidentally killing his pet and simply replacing it is the quickest solution.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Poodle and her husband flee the country to escape the feds at the end of the pilot, landing Mickey with the kids indefinitely.
    • Mickey attempts to pull this in the second episode by calling in the kids' paternal grandparents to watch over them instead, but has a change of heart after realizing just how pathetic her old life is.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Cake is for closers." is a clear reference to "Coffee is for closers." from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.
    • Chip's public trial at school in which he's pressured to expose his co-conspirators and thus incur their wrath is based on the premise of Scent of a Woman. Mickey starts quoting Al Pacino's character during her statement.
  • Slapstick: Mickey gets the worst of it, but all of the female characters are subjected to various Amusing Injuries, among other humiliations.
  • Surprise Incest:
    • Chip is aroused by the photo of a nude woman with a unicorn tattoo. At the end of the episode, he realizes that the woman is his sister. Neither of them can stop throwing up.
    • Chip meets his biological father after learning about him, and finds that his half-sister is attracted to him. She kisses him, although Chip tries to resist this, and he stops things after she does. Subverted though later when it turns out they don't share a father.
  • Tempting Fate: In "The Mess," the kids lock Mickey in her room so they can go to a party and Jimmy helps out. The kids are scared by how enraged Mickey gets, but Jimmy insists they're safe since Mickey's stuck on the second floor. Cue her jumping onto his car from the balcony.
  • Token Houseguest: The show's premise is that Sabrina, Chip, and Ben have to be looked after by their Aunt Mickey while their parents are on the run from the law. While watching over them, Mickey brings in her boyfriend Jimmy to live with them. There's also Alba, who lives with them.
  • Twofer Token Minority:
    • Alba, a Guatermalan woman who's the domestic servant of the Pembertons, is the only person of color in the main cast.
    • In Season 2, Sabrina sees a dark-skinned girl (she's played by Pakistani-American actress Sophia Ali) named Alexis for an episode, a star soccer player.
  • White-Collar Crime: Poodle and her husband are arrested for charges relating to fraud and tax evasion.
  • Workout Fanservice: In different episodes, Sabrina and Alexis (her girlfriend for one episode) are both seen walking around wearing only a sparts bra with very brief shorts. Both of them are good-looking.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • When Jimmy is attacked by an entire high school girls soccer team, he begs them to relent, then starts firing back with full-strength haymakers while apologizing profusely.
    • When Mick tries to teach Chip about her ways of stealing and being a con artist, she asks him to hit her so she will look more natural in the environment. She tells Chip not to go easy on her because she is a woman. Chip punches her so hard that she flips over a table and lands head first to the ground before she can finishes her sentence.