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A friend said I should take advantage of the free iTunes download, and
it was great advice: The Middleman is the best show I've seen since
Pushing Daisies. Both shows feature smart, rapid-fire dialog, but The
Middleman features more action (and more jokes) with a lot less
Another reviewer thought the pop-culture references were current and disposable, but I don't think the show has that feel at all: there were far more jokes referencing (and name-checking) comic books and other pop culture from the 20th century. The show even self-references the fact that the "reality" of the show is like a comic book, complete with "monsters, robots... aliens?" Even so, you jokes are plentiful, and if you're not a comics nerd you'll still enjoy it (there were a surprising number of painting jokes, frex). The show should have no trouble holding up years from now.
I was surprised the show will be on ABC Family. It doesn't really seem like a family show, but then again many of the more adult jokes may be over the heads of a younger audience. Frex, the heroine's roommate asks her what it is like to be a "beard." If you like The Venture Brothers, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, or the last bunch of Reaper episodes, you'll like The Middleman<. I've seen comments that it is a ripoff of MIB, Special Unit 2, or Reaper, but if the pilot is any guide is totally avoids the drama and angsty-ness that SU2 or Reaper occasionally indulge in: The Middleman sticks to laughs, and is more comic-booky. And I mean that in a good way.
I've never entered a comment on IMDb before, but I felt the other poster's comments were so unfair that I was motivated to submit my own views.
What a great new show. I was compelled to write this after I saw a negative review of it up here. It's definitely not for everyone, but I found the characters charming, funny, and likable. I can't wait to see what happens in the future episodes! It starts off with Wendy Watson on the never ending job hunts, and she finally finds her job as a Middleman. Dealing with all kinds of odd creatures and evil that seem like they'd be straight out of comic books and sci-fi movies. I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it, but definitely check out this show! It's a good one :) I'm really excited for it, ABC Family has been stepping up their game, with shows like Kyle XY and Wildfire. It's awesome too that it's during the summer when most shows have just finished up their season.
Odd, Weird, Strange and Campy........but the more you watch it the more it grows on you and you begin to love it. An snappy, well written comedy that's unlike anything on TV now. Watch it for that reason alone. It's different and highly entertaining. Don't know if it will carve out an audience sufficient enough to stay on the air long, but it will surely gathered a devoted audience, like other offbeat and short lived shows (The Tick, The Dresden Files and Wonderfalls for example). The comic acting is spot on and the supporting cast is extremely strong. I promise you, if you watch it, you WILL be hooked, if you have any imagination at all.
Like the title states, this show is definitely out of the ordinary. It
has a very stylized sense of humor and it isn't afraid of making of
itself. Some may see it as just random banter between cast, but if you
really listen to what they say and understand it you can understand the
wittiness of the writers.
For those people that enjoyed "Man in Black" when it first came out I think this is the show for you. It follow a similar theme, secret organization that takes care of monsters (or as they put it exotic problems.) The one downside to this show is the lack of budget. Being a alien and monster show requires a little more eye candy than probably what the studio is willing to spend, but if it does well this season I am sure the budget will loosen up.
This is not a show for everyone. If what you are looking for is something dramatic like the X-File this isn't for you, but if you are looking for a show that is light hearted, witty and filled with monster and gadgets you found the right show. For those of you who took the old SAT. The Middleman is to The X File as Chuck is to 007.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Seeing the previews of this news, I was intrigued by the premise and if
they could pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised that they did so in
spades! First off, Natalie Morales is gorgeous as Wendy, a lowly temp
who, after an encounter with a monster and showing extreme cool under
fire, finds herself recruited by the Middleman. Who exactly he is isn't
yet known, but he's played by Matt Keeslar as a suit-and-tie wearing,
straight-laced, milk-drinking, non-profanity-using (except for one
instance) square who still has that twinkle in his eye and is darn good
at destroying monstrous baddies and solving mysteries.
In the first episode, somebody or something is offing all the Mafia in the city and Middleman (we don't know his real name yet) and Wendy are on the case. It's not hard to figure out the culprit/culprits but that's beside the point on this show. Watch it for the quick dialogue (I mean both quick=fast and quick=clever) and the fast-paced action, all done with loads of humor.
The supporting characters are cool: The Middleman secretary who is actually some kind of robot or alien (we don't see the front of her face, only Wendy's bored reaction and joke as it happens); her roomie, who is an animal activist; Wendy's boyfriend, who, in the pilot, breaks up with her while filming it, all as a part of his film-class project; the guitar-playing dude who hangs out in Wendy's hallway and talks to her in mostly lyrics and trivia and loves it that she answers in kind. "She's the only one who gets me," he says.
It's a funny, clever, exciting mix of sci-fi and pop culture moments all wrapped up in an over-too-soon hour. If you can't catch the pilot on iTunes somehow, at least watch the next show. Highly recommended.
I was a little hesitant at first to watch this show, there's just not
enough time in my busy life to waste watching a lame show. But I
recorded it on the off chance I might get a moment of free time. It
just so happens that I did get that moment and I'm glad I did. So much
so, that I watched the 2nd episode right after the first, and if there
was another, I would have watched it too. I really enjoyed the show.
I don't need to go into details that were already covered, but if you like Eureka or liked Wonderfalls or any other light, entertaining fictional show, then this is the show for you. Besides the great reviews it received from the NY Times and the TV Guide, it's just fun to watch. There is so much going on that I'm going to watch them both again tonight just to see what I missed.
"The Middleman" was a delightful, campy series that faithfully brought
beloved comic book characters to life. It was full of quirkiness,
enjoyable predictability, and good old down home humor that was
refreshing amidst the doldrum selection of TV viewing currently
available to viewers who just wish to be entertained. Kudos to the
writers, creator, special effects crew, and the talented actors that
made this series so full of happy moments and tongue-in-cheek humor.
The story lines were full of surprising variety interspersed with
unexpected twists and turns. The dialog was sharp, witty, and included
the right amount of clever references to past sci-fi classic shows that
gave even the nerdiest viewer a satisfying taste of nostalgia
throughout this top notch series.
I do hope it will return for a second season since the 1st season finale left us wanting more,more,more!
If there is one thing that makes me want to kick a cat it's when I find
out a TV show that I've fallen in love with has been cancelled in its
first year. Lucky for me and the cat I don't own any pets. Animal
cruelty aside, it is very frustrating when a TV network cuts short
something as wonderfully odd and brilliant as The Middleman.
Based on the graphic novels by Javier Grillo-Marxuach it's the story of Wendy Watson, played by Natalie Morales, a young attractive artist who finds herself working for The Middleman (Matt Keeslar) a square-jawed all-American hero who saves the world on a daily basis from supernatural forces while not even uttering a curse word.
Taking in elements of Men in Black, The X-Files and a host of other past sci-fi classics, it manages to be a light-hearted entertaining comedy drama. While clearly a low budget show most of the set pieces are played off camera; it rarely feels cheap and if anything, that's part of the joke.
There is great re-watch value too, with each episode filled with in-jokes, nods to other sci-fi references and the obligatory Wilhelm scream. In the current climate of TV channels that are filled with near identical crime or medical dramas with Brits playing Americans, spending most of their 43 minutes sarcastically mouthing off to a group of near identical supporting cast members, it seems crazy to let something as original as The Middleman join the likes of Firefly, Wonderfalls, Odyssey 5 and American Gothic as one season gems. We should however at least be grateful for the few fine episodes made.
I found The Middleman when a friend suggested it to me, he said "It's your kind of comedy". He was right. The Middleman is the kind of show for fans of The Tick or Mel Brooks movies, lots of quirky jokes some of which take a minute to register because your brain needs time to process them. For those seeking plot info the basic premise is Wendy Watson, struggling artist gets hired by a temp agency and finds out her boss (The Middleman) actually solves problems and protects the citizenry against hostile creature para-, extra-, and juxta-terrestrial. It's kind of a 'men in black' thing without the memory eraser. There are running gags in every episode, sometimes its the fake names, sometimes its about song titles, sometimes its even the info that pops up X-Files style on the screen. All in all, it's my favorite show to come from ABC in many years and I hope it will return for many season to come.
I just stumbled over a DVD with the full session 1, it was not broad casted in Germanistan,like most good TV-shows. I bought it mostly for the nice screen shots on the back and was totally surprised. This show was not only really funny, it had (I'd never believed to find this in a US serial)esprit. It's what 'Austin Powers' and the unspeakable 'Avengers' movie tried to be and failed, a parforce ride through popcultur. I love it because it is made by people who love their characters and their world. They took every superherostereotyp, from marvel comics, over Kung Fu flicks,up to Mexican wrestlers added a dash of MIB, Avengers, shook (not steered)and added a cherry of good sitcom figures. They make fun on all this, but it's obvious, that they always keep their sympathy for this figures and the values they represented, as they have been a part of their childhood and are still a part of the western collective sub-conscience. It's like rereading Your old comic books and realizing, that they had formed Your view of the world. Some other IMDb-users wrote, that they had missed a background story . . . I have to say to this, that they didn't make the step the scriptwriters did. A background story is just a McGuffin. So it is only consequent to do, as Sir Alfred Hitchcock did,in "Nort by Nortwest", just skip it. It is sad the serial was discontinued, but it was foreseeable. Only a minority would see the hidden anarchistic humor behind the slick surface.
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