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I've never really been a huge fan of this show. I'm not so sure many people are. It seems like a pretty average show with some passing similarities to Malcolm In The Middle. I do think the whole Fire Blogger thing is probably the most pointless pursuit on earth. It's always good to dedicate yourself to taking down a show that has roughly 500 dedicated viewers and nobody else really bothers to watch most of the time. It'd be a bit like creating an entire blog about how M&M's need to stop making blue ones. Nobody really gives a shit. I don't meant to crap on the show or anything, but The Middle seems like the kind of show that is watched mostly by middle aged women, and the Fire Blogger seems like the type where all 10 of his fans are primarily douchebag hipster 18-22-year-olds. I mean, his target audience who might listen to him about how this show needs to be off the air and the people who actually watch the show, who would need to be swayed to his point of view, are completely different demographics.
But that's beside the point. The show itself is pretty average. I've never really found it tremendously funny, but not particularly bad either. A lot of people say it ripped off Malcom In The Middle, which I don't really see, but probably wouldn't care if it did. It's just personal taste, but this show is better than Malcolm, since the characters are a lot more sympathetic, or more accurately, at all sympathetic. Basically, this show is Malcolm In The Middle without having an entire cast of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist and Darkness Induced Audience Apathy.
Now, once again, don't get me wrong. I find the show really corny at times, it honestly looks a bit like it was written by a Sunday school teacher at points, but it's not so bad. Certainly not bad enough for a review blogger to try (futilely) to take off the air. No, seriously, if anybody wanted to do it, it should have been anybody else, cause anybody could just watch an episode and groan uselessly. I could do that. A monkey could do that.
Yeah, that's more a review for the Fire Blogger, so sue me. The show itself, 5/10.
There are only a few jokes that The Middle has made that I laugh at: "I'm lying" and the PA announcer at Frankie's work. Everything else is unoriginal.
The characters are almost taken completely from Malcolm In The Middle, as well as the jokes and the episodes.
Frankie is the cranky (rhyme not intended) mom who always finds herself screaming at her family (played for laughs), and works at a really unpopular blue collar job, and in terms of hairstyle, almost looks exactly like Lois. Only Lois was better played, because the parents in the audience would root for her, whereas the kids in the audience would root for the kids.
Mike is the all-too-laid-back dad who barely contributes anything useful to his kids' lives. Just like Hal, only, once again, Hal is funnier. Why? Bryan Cranston. He is the man. Neil Flynn can be funny, he's known for that from Scrubs. But here, he looks bored as heck. (Yep, pun intended. If you think that's bad, look at some of their advertisements for Season Two.
Axl is like Francis, only whinier, more annoying, less tolerable, and far less likeable. Yeah, Francis was whiny, but not that whiny, and I never found him so annoying. Why? Because he was kicked out and thrown into military school, traveled to Alaska only to be abused by a horrible woman, got judged by his family after he married Piama, and couldn't find a great job. I don't give a crap about Axl. Also, PUT SOME FREAKING PANTS ON! IS THAT THE ONLY JOKE THAT YOU HAVE WITH THIS CHARACTER?!
Sue is some sort of Malcolm, minus the academic brilliance. She's just socially awkward. She's practically the butt monkey of the show. I guess that Sue is the only original character in the show.
And Brick... tiny eyed, grating voice, short hair, youngest in the family, and academically brilliant. WHO DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF?! If you're smart, you said, "Dewey". And boy, are you correct. Thanks for winning the one cent question. The fact that this little twerp gets so much praise for ripping off of Dewey disgusts me. Yeah, he's an okay actor, but he's also a rip off of Dewey.
Bob is Craig. Only I actually prefer Craig, BECAUSE I ABSOLUTELY ABHOR CHRIS KATTAN!
Don Ehlert is any regional manager at the Lucky Aide.
Ehlert Motors is the Lucky Aide. I defy you to even argue this.
Brick's special class is Dewey's special class, the Buseys.
I'm not exactly sure what to say about this.
On one hand, some jokes work, and the show is all-around heartwarming.
On the other, this show seems like a Malcolm in the Middle knockoff, but it does have a hint of originality to it. But it seems like a giant Cliche Storm. The episodes range from sub-par to pretty good, and the show has the same format: the parents get caught up in some situation, the kids get caught up in some situation, and it all is (mostly) solved by an emotional speech that lasts a few minutes.
So, it's a mixed bag really. It's got some heart and some fairly original and funny stuff, but it seems like this is a giant mess of unoriginality and predictability. 6/10.
Rip-off of Malcolm In The Middle? Please. Title similarities aside, this show is done in a much different style. For starters, it's not quite as centered on the kids as Malcolm was, or at least not in the same way. Yes, the kids get a lot of the spotlight on this show, too. But the real laughs lie in the parents' responses to their kids' behavior. Especially Mike's responses. Carrying over at least some of the Janitor's dry sarcasm from Scrubs really helps.
Of course, funny as the show is (I actually consider this one funnier than the much-vaunted Modern Family, which is no slouch in the comedy department itself), it's a bit flawed, too. Like most sitcoms, it unfortunately falls prey to Flanderization. Particularly affected is Sue, whose excessively positive, quirky, Zooey Deschanel-y personality only gets worse as the show goes on. I just wish there comes a time when they stop having Sue act "rebellious" over extremely minor misdeeds, and also have her finally act normal. Many fans like her for it, but I don't. Brick doesn't escape either (stage whisper: either!), but at least his character isn't terminally annoying - in fact, as the Dewey-Expy, he's one of the funniest ones on the show. As for Axl - if anything, he seems to undergo some kind of simultaneous Flanderization and reverse Flanderization. Sure, he's increasingly portrayed as a dummy, but at least he's not lounging around in his underwear all the time anymore. In the first couple of seasons, that Running Gag kinda wore out its welcome. I take it as a sign that the writers learned a lesson. In addition, he demonstrates Hidden Depths more and more as time goes on - see "Life Skills" for proof.
Overall, though - great show. Maybe someday it'll outshine MF in popularity.
I'll have to admit, when I first saw the promo of this show, I was thinking "Malcolm In the Middle knock-off", but as I watched more and more episodes, I found myself more and more intrigued. The show really started to grow on me, and I realised just how different the two shows are. There are plenty of other tv shows with "dysfunctional families" and the only reason these two are compared is because of their titles (even though both titles refer to very different subject matters).
The show is funny, very relatable, and quite sweet actually. Not to mention the characters are highly likeable. Overall, one of my favourite shows.
Even the jokes are unoriginal, and don't worry, if you don't like Malcolm In The Middle jokes, that's okay, they also plagiarize from Gilmore Girls, another fine series. Enjoy the "got hit by a deer" joke, ripped straight from Gilmore Girls.
And of course, so are the episodes. Hilarity ensues when the gifted youngster's special ed class are introduced to the playground? (TM: TV Or Not TV vs. MITM: Dewey's Special Class) or Ripped off. Hilarity ensues when the gifted youngster brings a friend from his special ed class for a sleepover? (TM: Valentine's Day vs. MITM: Chad's Sleepover) Also ripped off. I can name so many rip-offs, but at the moment, I need to get back to work.
This show sucks, this is all that I can take.
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