Log in

No account? Create an account
01 July 2008 @ 01:02 pm
Review: The Middleman (ABC Family)  
With more time on my hands and a whole bunch of screeners for new shows on my computer, I thought I would start watching and reviewing them. Up first though, is a new show, already on a network and available for free to watch online. The Middleman.

Wendy Watson is your average art school graduate. She is like most of us in that post-college time, trying to get through life, taking boring temp jobs in the hopes to pay down some of those student loans or at the very least, make her rent. Until one day, she witnesses something at her temp job that will change her life forever. A genetic mutation hellbent on well…well he doesn’t get much character development but I can tell you that he is big, ugly, and not all together pleasant.

Enter The Middleman, the guy who’s job it is to keep the world safe from genetic mutations, mad scientists, demon spawn, and all sort of other things that you only find in comic books. He is the guy that cleans up the messes, keeps things hush-hush so your average person doesn’t have to worry about evil overlords taking over Earth.

In Wendy (Or Dubby as he likes to call her), The Middleman sees something. She is cool under pressure, she has a good head on her shoulders, and really, let’s face it, every hero needs a plucky Girl Friday. Wendy is smart mouthed, doesn’t do well with authority, and really all she wants to do is paint. But when faced with saving the world, she steps up and gets the job done. (I think this is starting to sound like a certain other character that I adore, doesn’t it gentle readers? Just change painting to acting. LOL)

I don’t want to give away any more spoilers, especially about the type of villains that they fight. This is your standard Monster Of The Week type of show. Each episode, Wendy and The Middleman are faced with something straight out of a comic book while Wendy has to deal with her flaky activist roommate, Lacey and her overbearing mother (who I get a sense HAS to be the typical Jewish mother stereotype, which is okay because for now, she is a background character).

The real difference with The Middleman is that while it is on ABC Family, it, much like Greek, doesn’t feel like your typical ABC Family fare. In the first episode, there were certain parts that were bleeped out. The writing is incredibly tight and funny, the characters realistic. That is the issue that I think a lot of these shows have, making the characters feel authentic. Either the writing is too serious in MOTW shows or the comedy feels forced and borderline silly. This is seemlessly integrated. It is the sort of show that could be real, how some people would react in these situations. There is a sense of realism even when Wendy and The Middleman are fighting some outrageous villain (like in Episode Two).

I find myself really laughing along with a good deal of the dialogue. The Middleman is the straight man and Matt Kesselar plays up this All American Boy Scout with the kind of deadpan delivery that makes even the silliest of lines sound earnest but yet amusing. He is at his best when he is playing against Natalie Morales’ Wendy. Natalie Morales is also amazing as she plays slightly cynical in her role. She has some of the best and laugh out loud lines of the series.

However, the hidden gem of the show is Mary Pat Gleason as Ida, the android from outer space who is stuck on domineering schoolmarm. Her quips about Wendy smoking the “wacky weed” and to “shut her yapper” are delivered with such perfect comic timing, that even though they seem ridiculous out of context, in the show they had me snickering like a twelve year old boy.

It is well worth it to everyone who enjoys your typical Monster-Of-The-Week-Superhero-and-Sidekick show to check it out. Or if you just really want a good laugh, then check it out. With the episodes available online, there is no reason that everyone shouldn’t be watching this little gem.

Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three

Tomorrow, True Blood, the new series by Alan Ball.
Current Mood: happyhappy