For the opening scene of THE MICK, Ben is in the principal’s office waiting for Mickey to come get him. She’s running late and the jokes about why are variously clichéd and unfunny. It seems that the reason for her visit is that Ben has been peeing on the school bus—in and on people’s things. Also, he hasn’t been following the private school’s dress code and is sporting Sabrina’s heels with his slacks, which fit his tiny child feet to a T, enabling him to hobble through the halls. It seems that his choice of attire is the larger problem and after the principal explains the situation to Mickey, she ultimately rants and raves and ends up taking Ben out of the school—culminating in her storming out in a rage and leaving Ben to teeter after her.
As the principal warned her, Mickey discovers its hard to enroll Ben in a new school mid-year and so Chip decides that it’s because of prejudice against white males. This leads to a side story in tolerance and it turns out that the kids don’t have a diverse group of friends or know much about Alba. So Chip wants to hang out with Alba to show how diverse he is and into Guatemalan culture and so Sabrina—to prove Mickey wrong.
Mickey decides to take advantage of Ben’s love of wearing his sister’s clothes to enroll him as Beth, a transgender student. There are several questions that Ben asks about his new status and Sabrina also gives lessons on the LBGTQ community. The lessons always have a quirk or a joke so they never come off as preachy, which seems like an excellent way to gain a new vocabulary from a show that promises to be politically incorrect.
So while Ben is in school getting in touch with his feminine side, Chip and Sabrina are busy hanging out with Alba and learning about Guatemala. Only Alba doesn’t know much about Guatemala either, she’s using Wikipedia to give her tips because as she later reveals she came to America as a kid so she’s more familiar with Chip and Sabrina’s culture than her own family’s past. The skip the Guatemalan restaurant in favor of a diner with daytime Karaoke. It turns out that Alba loves Karaoke but is terrified of singing in public. Chip is ecstatic to discover a Nigerian busboy to befriend and tries to record the kid’s life story. Because that’s what friends do. On a second trip, Sabrina Karaokes to “Big Poppa” by Notorious BIG and discovers that using “that word” is never okay as the diner diners boo her. Alba saves her by singing “At Last,” so beautifully that Sabrina’s faux pas is forgotten. Seriously, more of Alba singing is what’s really needed. It makes watching The Mick so much more enjoyable.
And Mickey’s attempt to get Ben into school as a Beth has gone haywire as a parent has come forward with a complaint about his daughter sharing a bathroom with a “boy in a dress.” This pretty much accurately sums up Ben as Sabrina points out that the kid seems to be gender fluid. Although Mickey reminds us all that labels aren’t necessary. Seriously, lots of valuable lessons on acceptance in this episode that are important and necessary and are delivered in a remarkably unpreachy fashion. I’m impressed.
So Mickey gets revenge on the school’s purported intolerance by surprising the lady principal in a bathroom stall and then setting up Jimmy as child predator with a camera on the school grounds. And after all her troubles it turns out that Ben was happier at his original school wearing his own uniform. And so Mickey ends up in the original principal’s office confessing her numerous shortcomings as a human being and eventually guilting the guy into taking Ben back.
The episode was one of the better ones, managing to be well-paced, appropriately zany and surprisingly politically correct for a show that delights in shock value.
Season 1, Episode 11 (S01E11)
The Mick airs Tuesdays at 830PM on Fox
Read all of our reviews of The Mick here.
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Carly is a freelance writer that watches too much TV while she writes blogs and articles about lifestyle including travel, food, fashion, beauty, home decor, entertainment, health, fitness and wellness and green living.
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Carly Zinderman | Contributor