Critical Condition: Life in Pieces, The Mick

Life in Pieces (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Monday)


“There were signs early on that this CBS show might defy all the usual glum expectations, almost invariably justified, about yet another broadcast family sitcom. By the end of episode one of Life In Pieces, it was clear that this comedy—advertised as being about one big happy family and its hilarious and ultimately beautiful milestone moments—had the wherewithal to do just that. Though it’s equally clear from the evidence that the aforementioned beautiful moments are going to be few, and a good thing, too.” — Wall Street Journal.

“In construct, Life in Pieces is just what the title implies and the opening credits promise: ‘One big family. Four short stories.’ As with Modern Family, most members of this multi-generational clan get their own stories in tonight’s premiere. But unlike Modern, those stories don’t cross and collide: they remain separate and self-contained, with each given its own beginning, middle and end. In essence, the characters move from story to story — but the stories stay put. That’s certainly different. But tonight, at least, it does not appear to be better.” — USA Today.

“It’s really just Modern Family under a different name. Although the show features a top notch cast, and marks a departure from Chuck Lorre’s multi-camera dominance on the network, Life, charitably, feels like one of those shows best watched while you’re making other plans.” — Variety.

The Mick (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Monday)


“Merely titling a show The Mick invites the assumption of utter outrageousness; content aimed to offend sensitive viewers brave enough to tackle it and delight those who favour abysmal behavior. Putting It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Kaitlin Olson front and center doubles down on the assumption for anyone familiar with her work. But the fact that the new half-hour comedy is a Fox comedy — a broadcast comedy — seems to immediately contradict the dark intentions inherent in its title.” — IndieWire.

“Fox’s new comedy dangles the promise of outrageous high jinks just around the corner, but at its heart, it’s a conventional story, the misfit forced to become the parent to three wayward kids and, of course, become a better person.” — Boston Herald.

The Mick is too often simply shrill, and its occasional attempts to drag the storytelling in sentimental directions are unconvincing. The fish-out-of-water elements and the dearth of self-awareness on display could have been funny, had there been anything distinctive about the family or their dilemmas. But in contrast to that jittery, promising opening sequence, this comedy is ultimately sophomoric and superficial. If nothing else, it’s certainly not a memorable vehicle for Olson’s solid comedic skills.” — Variety.

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2 Responses to “Critical Condition: Life in Pieces, The Mick”

  1. The times for these shows are incorrect according to the Sky tv guide.

  2. The times were correct for this week’s premieres. TVNZ 2 launched the new comedies off the back of Shortland Street’s return to try to maximise their sampling. As of next week, they will screen 8.30 and 9.00 Monday for a few weeks after hour-long repeats of The Big Bang Theory’s 10th season in another bid to maximise viewership.

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