Laura Hudson had a chance to sit down with the series creator in San Diego. In her interview over at Comics Alliance, Javier Grillo-Marxauch says that if DVD sales are great, The Middleman would probably go back into production. I suspect his enthusiasm had more to do with the excitement that comes with being at San Diego than anything ABC Family has indicated.
The fans stopping at the booth are excited about the show and that fever can be infectious. They'll do what they can to spread the word, but I just don't think that fan-base is big enough to change the network's minds. Or that ABC Family is interested enough to care.
Ironically, the series will be published by Viper Comics, which is the company that published the original Middleman comics that inspired the television series. The graphic novel, titled "The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse" is being written by creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Hans Beimler. So in a way you could also call this just the next Middelman comic story. Sure there were some minor continuity variations, but we should get all that trademark snappy dialogue and wacky encounters the show was famous for. And maybe the TV variation of the story behind Wendy Watson's father.
I first noticed actor Matt Keeslar in Whit Stillman's 1998 comedy The Last Days of Disco. In that film, Keelsar played a squeaky-clean FBI agent who stood out like a sore thumb among all the coked-up club owners and yuppie partygoers on the screen. His straight man-routine -- and his hilarious dissection of Lady and the Tramp -- is unforgettable, and it's one of the best things about the film. I'm sure that performance helped him land the title role in The Middleman.
(S01E12) "Can't wait to hear this guy's monologue. 'I am the Palindrome. Feel my power. Power my feel. Palindrome the am I.'" --The Middleman
Paul's out and about traveling; I think he's been recruited to the exciting world of temporary employment by the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Temp Agency; so I'm stepping in to cover the first season finale of The Middleman. I'm not even going to consider this as a series finale because it's just too smart and too good to end. ABC Family has yet to make a decision one way or the other about the future of the show, but apparently ratings haven't been great so it's riding the bubble right now.
Well, well, Wendy Watson. Wow! Natalie Morales was possibly looking hotter than ever in the opening scene of tonight's episode. it's amazing the depth of cleavage they are able to create with what assets she has. The power of Hollywood brassieres, I guess. My wife would kill for that magical ability. I wouldn't be displeased either.
Then they upped the ante by giving us a full-on panties and bra scene. Or boxers and t-shirt for the Middleman if that's more your flavor. I guess for next week, she'll spend the entire episode in a string bikini. Maybe that'll help the ratings. It's sad to think that next week is the season, and possibly series, finale of what has become a charmingly delightful little show.
Well, if anyone was going to bring the leather catsuit from the Avengers inspired intro sequence into the show proper, it would be a Middleman who'd been frozen since 1969. It was cool how the Middleman from 1969 was such a different, more hedonistic personality than the goofily straight-laced Middleman of our era. He carried himself more like James Bond ... well, more like Austin Powers, really. The casting of Kevin Sorbo in this role was just inspired as he really threw himself into the zaniness of the Middleman Universe.
It looks like the sexual innuendos are going to continue as there were again a few lines more explicit than you'd think ABC Family would be comfortable with ("I'm looking for some hooch!"). That said, the show is still relatively clean fun and there's a level of quality amidst the silliness and snappy dialogue that is sorely missed on most shows. The depth of the characters and the world they inhabit just continues to grow after each episode.
(S01E08) "Guy I Don't Know is starting to look like Guy I've Known My Whole Life." - Noser
Yo, Wendy Watson. Thanks for wearing the skimpy dress in the very first scene of the show.
For the most part, scenes with two attractive young people flirting with each other while spouting flippant duologue has been done to death. For some reason that I can't quite identify, the scenes in tonight's show worked for me. Maybe it's the huge crush I have on Natalie Morales, maybe it's the fact that The Middleman is chock full of that kind of dialogue, maybe it's because I still feel bad about what happened to Brendan Hines on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
(S01E07) "8660 Hawkins Lane, Apt 9. God am I underpaid." Ida and then the very next scene caption
Paul will be pleased to see that the continuing theme of opening each episode checking out hot Wendy and hot Wendy's hot roommate continued in this installment. And once again, it was hot Wendy's hot roommate who was wearing less and heating up the screen more. But then we got a bonus edition of the hotness on board the Titanic. Even the Middleman changed his suit for that one.
I think this episode returned the show to form, keeping the humor and lightness, but adding a real sense of emotional attachment to these characters and their various situations. Sure some things hit better than others, but The Middleman is really starting to hit its stride and stand as a pretty damned good series.
Well, crap. I don't think there is really any way to spin this in a good way. ABC Family has cut the order for Middleman episodes from 13 to 12. That's rarely a good sign. Television history isn't exactly full of stories that go, "Then they cut the episode order, and everything was frickin' awesome." All is not lost though. Please join me in taking solace in the fact that the show hasn't actually been canceled.
A quick trip to Radio Free Javi, where you should go for all of your Grillo-Marxuachian news, tells a little more of the tale. As Javi puts it, the show is getting great reviews and the network loves it, but the ratings have not been stellar. He adds that the decision to drop the 13th episode was a joint one, between himself and the network. A possible silver lining is his mention of pooling their resources to make the finale the biggest and best that it can be. So, tell your friends to watch, and tell them to tell their friend with the Nielsen box to watch. The Middleman really is a good show and deserves to make it to a second season.
Unfortunately with this panel, I didn't get any decent pictures worth sharing. The room this panel was held in was small, though crowded, and the lighting was horrible. To make matters worse, only Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Matt Kesslar were in attendance; Natalie Morales appeared in a recorded message that she couldn't attend. So what about the other cast members?
Not a whole lot was revealed about the upcoming episodes, though we were treated to some scenes from them. We were told that the season finale is completely filled with the Middleman screaming profanity, complete with blacked-out mouths and bleeps. Aaand ... that's about it.
(S01E05) The basics of the show are established by the fifth episode and now it's up to the characters and the premise to sustain it. With this episode, The Middleman proves that it knows how to dance that fine balance between the campy silliness of its plotlines and snappy dialog and the deeper relationships between the principal cast.
I wasn't sure early on if Wendy's supporting cast, namely Lacey and Noser, were going to work in the long run on the show, but I think the normalcy they represent in Wendy's life is as important as the work-driven lunacy that the Middleman and Ida represent. In fact, those two are almost caricatures in their personality, which juxtaposes them even moreso with Noser and Lacey, who are gaining depth and complexity without sacrificing the innate quirkiness that made them work in the first place.
(S01E02) "I'm as serious as a hefty bag full of Rottweilers." - The Middleman
One thing I noticed about last week's episode carried over into the opening scene of this week. When Wendy is "off the clock" she seems to always dress in very relaxed clothes; skimpy shorts, halters, etc. Her hot roommate not only enjoys the freedom that shorts and tanks offer but apparently has no problem with public nudity as well, especially if it's in the name of freedom. I'm not sure what these fashion choices mean but it's something I couldn't help notice.
I have a feeling Ida is going to be my favorite character on this show. Not because Mary Pat Gleason is a talented veteran actress but because she seems to have an endless array of functions. Not only can she produce a cup of coffee from her midsection but it comes in a to go cup with the logo of an imaginary coffee shop already printed on it. Very cool.
(S01E01) "I think Jughead's a real hoot." - Wendy Watson
From the beginning, I can tell this show is going to be pretty campy. That always tends to make me nervous. There are very few shows that can do camp and still be truly entertaining. I consider Batman to be one of those shows, although I know there are many who disagree. The corny looking mutant, the cheap special effects, the conversation about dating; all these things point straight towards camptown, but it's only the first three minutes.
Generally, I am not a fan of shows with quickly spoken dialog. It reminds me of how great Bruce and Cybill did it on Moonlighting. However, when it's done right, it not only sets a tone for the show but also gives the characters more freedom to have fun with the script. In the case of Middleman, I think it really works. Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales have a nice rapport and their serious tone is a nice juxtaposition to the outrageous situations. One more point for the show.
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