The premise of White Collar puts it in that procedural category that generally doesn't appeal to me. But the twist on the formula is fairly novel. Con artist captured by the Feds offers to work with them to nab other criminals in exchange for his freedom. Morales joins the mix as a junior FBI agent who has enough smarts and attitude to hold her own with both the men in uniform and the criminals they're tackling.
Apparently, Warner Brothers set up a panel for just about every television show that have in development including Patricia Heaton's new ABC sitcom The Middle, making it the most "fish out of water" selection for a panel at the geek confab.
And so did the geeks in attendance. The panel only drew around 75 attendees and studio heads ordered Heaton not to introduce the panel because the crowd was too small.
I have a feeling a lot of DVD sets are going to be sold this week. Rabid fans of Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, Doctor Who, and Torchwood all have something to buy. If you didn't/don't watch any of those shows ... well, you can always buy season two of The Donna Reed Show. That's one classic sitcom that I never really got into. Not sure why. I loved Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy and Father Knows Best, but not The Donna Reed Show. Probably because it wasn't on as much as those other shows.
- Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.5 and Complete Series
- Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead
- Dollhouse - Season 1
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.
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.
This might be good news for young female TV-addicts, but sci-fi fans are no doubt bummed that Kyle XY and The Middleman will not be returning to the network.
Kyle XY will end after its current third season, and the prognosis is not good for the wonderfully zany Middleman. Though the fate of The Middleman was not mentioned in the new lineup announcement, it's probably fair to say that we've seen the last of Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales fighting talking apes and evil Lucha Libre wrestlers. According to SyFy Portal, sources at ABC Family say the network has no plans to order any new episodes of The Middleman, and Morales seems to have moved on. She's starring in the Boldly Going Nowhere pilot, which is expected to be picked up by Fox.
A little over two years ago, Joel posted about five episode naming patterns such as Friends' episode titles always starting with "The One" or Grey's Anatomy's usage of songs in lieu of titles. Since many series have come and gone since Joel first posted about episode naming patterns, let's revisit the subject. After all, episode titles are an integral part of a TV series and can add to the viewers' entertainment.
Here I bring you a list of seven episode naming patterns of series that currently air on a TV near you.
(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.
I also try to keep up with returning shows to see what they've done in their off-season. If it's one I watch, then I want to see if they've tweaked the formula in any way; and if it's one I don't, then I'm always interested to see if they've come up with something to pull me in. With tonight the unofficial start of the fall season, we see the newest networks, FOX and The CW getting an early start by returning three prominent shows. We also say goodbye, maybe forever, to one of the most enjoyable new shows of the summer while TNT takes the chance to bow a new series.
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.
(S01E10) "I'd rather lick money." - Lacey Thornfield
As exciting as the idea of Lacey having a sexy dream is, the feeling was immediately counteracted when she revealed that the dream involved Pip. The saving grace is that anyone who took Psych 101 in college could figure out that Pip was just a substitution for The Middleman. The uniform was a dead giveaway.
One thing that keeps me watching this show is the introduction of new characters that inhabit Wendy's life. Meeting Noser's roommate Anvil was very cool. I don't know if he's an artist like most of the other residents of the illegal sublet, but if he is, I really want to see his work.
(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.
Besides the panels that focused on various television programs, Comic-Con also had panels on the TV industry in general. One of these panels that I had time to cover was on genre television shows.
This wasn't a panel featuring writers and producers of obscure genre shows you have never heard of. The people on this panel had long careers in television and, in most cases, were actively writing or producing. These included Steve Melching, writer on the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, Ashley Miller, writer on The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Susan Watson, showrunner for Middleman. Also included on the panel were Harry Werskman and Gabrielle Stanton -- former showrunners for Moonlight.
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.
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