It’s graduation time for Sabrina Pemberton (Sofia Black-D’Elia), but it’s her Aunt Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) who’s the one celebrating.
Tuesday’s The Mick season finale finds everyone in the family excited for the impending departure of the bossy and feisty eldest child, especially Mickey, who, as seen in the exclusive clip above, is thrilled for the “death of tyranny” and the “birth of freedom.”
But before the season ends, EW chatted with Olson about the show finding a groove in season 2, what to expect from the finale, and the status of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Now two seasons in, are you starting to feel like the show is hitting a groove and becoming what you always envisioned it would be?
KAITLIN OLSON: I was really impressed with the first two episodes of season 1, like, “Wow, how did we do that? Pilots are hard.” So I’ve been pretty into it the whole time, but that being said, I also feel like we’re constantly trying to figure out how we can do this better, how can we make a simple story unique, how can we add an element of surprise. So we’re always figuring it out, but every time we get a little closer… I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, so I doubt we’ll ever completely get there. But it’s just been such a fun process, and being able to be a part of the creative process and have some creative control has been really fulfilling.
How would you say Mickey has evolved from when we first met her? She seems to be taking slightly more pride in her role as the kids’ guardian.
For me, I’ve always wanted it to be that, instead of taking pride in her role as their guardian she mainly just wanted to prove to the kids that she could do it, almost as if it’s some competition. Not that she wants to be able to do it well, more that she can throw it in their faces that they should be able to follow her rules. That element of competition between her and, specifically, Sabrina just keeps it fun for me. I never really wanted to settle into a maternal character, so that competition helps me keep it a little more combative, which to me is very funny.
Are you ever surprised you get away with some of the stuff you do? Just a few weeks ago, Chip (Thomas Barbusca) slices his hand and I almost passed out from how much blood was splashed all over the place. When you’re watching it’s easy to forget that this is on network TV.
[Laughs] I’m not surprised, I want more! I think it is because I’ve spent 12 years on cable where we’re pretty much allowed to do whatever we want and they want to push us further. I feel like I’m arguing for things and I’m like, “C’mon guys, it’s not that bad.” But that’s what’s funny to me, not the shock value, but that it isn’t something you’ve seen on network before, and I’m really proud of that. And I’m also proud of Fox for how much leeway they’ve trusted me with.
You mentioned how you’ve taken on a much more creative role behind-the-scenes, so what has that adjustment been like after 12 years as solely an actor on It’s Always Sunny?
It’s amazing. It’s more work than I’ve ever done in my life, but I’m loving it. Sunny is so funny and it’s awesome, but I show up, I do my job, and I go home. This job never ends. If I’m not acting, I’m there coaching the kids, I’m in the editing room, I’m giving notes. So it just sort of never ends and it’s exhausting, but it’s so unbelievably fulfilling. I don’t feel like I have ownership over Sunny. I’m very, very proud of Sunny and proud of the character that I’ve helped create, but this project is just a whole different ballgame.
You spent so long working with the same four people, so what’s the process been like developing chemistry with a whole new ensemble? Do you feel like two seasons in you’ve started to learn each other’s strengths and really gelled as a unit?
Yeah, that’s a great question. Certainly with Sunny I’m just playing around with my four best friends, so it’s very easy and there’s great chemistry. My cast on The Mick, they’re just so sweet and such good people and all very talented. And yes, it’s been a learning curve and that is a place where I think we’ve found our groove in this second season. And I think our writers have done an amazing job writing towards everyone’s strengths and being able to pair any two characters together and know what that relationship would be, and that’s really a tough thing to do and we’re all really finding our groove with that this year.
We see Mickey celebrating Sabrina’s impending departure in the exclusive clip from the finale, but what can also can you tease?
Sabrina is finally graduating and it’s like the best day of Mickey’s life. [Laughs] She blames Sabrina for being the reason that she has all this and is still unhappy, so she’s thinking that as soon as Sabrina’s out of the house then it will be her house and no one will disrespect her. So the whole episode is just getting Sabrina out of the house, and I just think it’s so funny to blame a 17-year-old girl for all of your unhappiness. But Mickey never gets what she wants, so it’s not going to work out exactly as she planned.
There’s been no official renewal of the show, but are you feeling good about getting a third season?
I hope so. That’s not up to me, so all I can do is a make a show that I’m proud of and that I would want to watch, and I feel like we accomplish that, so I’m really proud of all of us.
I can’t talk to you without getting an update on It’s Always Sunny. We don’t know what’s going to happen with Dennis, but Glenn Howerton hasn’t creatively left the show. So where are we in terms of putting together season 13?
The writers’ room has been underway for a couple months and we start shooting mid-April. We’ve all taken a year off, which is maybe the best thing we’ve ever done because we’re all so excited to get back in there and start season 13. I can’t wait. It’s going to feel like the easiest job in the world after two years of all of this. [Laughs]
The Mick season 2 finale airs Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.