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'Mike & Molly' fan recap: Bacon, bulldogs, and bad moms

Season 6 | Episode 7 | “Weekend with Birdie” | Aired Apr 25, 2016

Mike & Molly is back for its final run. In less than a month, we won’t be gifted new episodes of Melissa McCarthy stretching her top-notch comedy muscles on our television screens every week. An advance moment of silence for the absolute boss.

When we last left the Chicago lovebirds, they were griping over the gendered (ahem, archaic) roles in marriage, with Molly ultimately teaching Mike a lesson he had never truly learned. But Mike & Molly tossed another critical battle the titular couple’s way in regard to parenthood. This time, a bulldog dropped the knowledge, and both Mike and Molly took some notes.

After a domestic dispute between a couple (which the show kept reminding us was a lesbian couple) leaves their bulldog homeless while her moms are in the slammer, Mike brings the dog home for an extended stay. Initially, the family takes right to Birdie, but Molly has a hell of a time winning her over despite her bacon-assisted efforts.

Before long, Birdie loves on everyone—even wine-soaked Joyce and overbearing Peggy—except Molly. Is it because Molly doesn’t coddle Birdie the way Mike and Vince do? Is it because she’d rather hit the couch than cuddle with her? It can’t be because Molly isn’t maternal or, worse—a cat person. Could it?

Billy Gardell as Mike and Rondi Reed as Peggy in Mike and Molly

Peggy drags the metaphorical knife through Molly harder than she ever has when Molly fumes over Birdie using one of her heels as a chew toy. To Molly’s chagrin, everyone rushes to Birdie’s defense instead of reprimanding the should-be-trained, full-grown animal. Peggy theorizes that Molly’s annoyance and general indifference toward Birdie is a reflection of how she would be as a mother. Harsh.

What follows for Mike and Molly is a rumination on how their own mothers have influenced their impending parenting skill sets. Mike had a mother who tended to his every need, and to this day delivers him fresh underwear and spoon feeds him applesauce. Molly, on the other hand, had Joyce, who had children because “it’s what you did back then.” Molly and Victoria weren’t nurtured like Mike (though referring to Peggy as nurturing toward anyone but Mike and Jim would be libelous).

It takes a solo car ride with Birdie for Molly to realize that the strain between her and her temporarily adopted pup was a simple misunderstanding. She had bought into the fear that Birdie giving her the cold shoulder, denying her care and bacon, was an indication that her own child would prefer Mike’s secondhand smothering. But, suddenly, Molly’s maternal instincts kick in during a quick stop, and Birdie rewards her with sloppy kisses.

Predictably, Peggy doesn’t apologize (you can’t teach a dog new tricks, after all), and it points to where Mike & Molly is, by all indications, headed: finally seeing the couple have their own human child. Birdie was the starter baby, practice for Mike and Molly to finally start their own family before series’ end. If they can’t agree on how to care for a dog that isn’t even theirs, man, will parenthood be one wild ride.

Mike & Molly airs Monday nights at 8/7C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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