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‘The Middle’ a ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ Rip Off?

The Middle is a new ABC sitcom based around a mother of 3, Frankie (!?) Heck (Patricia Heaton) she’s “middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.” Not surprisingly as soon as anyone heard about the show, thoughts turn to Malcolm in the Middle. I find it hard to believe you’d have a quirky (read dysfunctional) family based sitcom called The Middle and not expect everyone to compare it to Malcolm, but maybe that’s what ABC wanted? The next Malcolm in the Middle?

OK, so the title of this post was a bit of link bait I don’t, based on the previews, believe The Middle is a Malcolm rip off, but I had a quick bit of fun matching some scenes in the above video. AOL calls it “a dead ringer for Malcolm in the Middle with its realistic, wry take on regular family life” and they continue saying “little Atticus Shaffer steals the show as younger son Brick”.

It looks to have potential and I’ll be sure to check it out. It debuts on ABC 8:30pm EST, September 30th.

Source: ABC & AOL TV

September 2nd, 2009 tjpeople About: General

26 Comments Post a Comment
  • Wow thanks for this info!

    This rip-off looks pretty good (I hate rip-offs but some are good).
  • Might be an OK show, but i feel if it gets any popularity, people will forget MITM
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AlexTheMartian View Post
    Might be an OK show, but i feel if it gets any popularity, people will forget MITM
    Same way I feel.

    It's tough to say how it will be, for me personally nothing can be MITM because it was almost a perfect storm of when it was on in my life that made it so important to me, but for the general public, I don't think it could be as successful or as high quality (they don't neccasarily go hand in hand lol) without the excellent cast chemistry and talent MITM had.
  • Ha, they even borrowed Hal's "Stuck in the Middle with You" song.
  • 10 days left.

    Is it going to stream online somewhere in HD ?
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by MITM_Fan View Post
    10 days left.

    Is it going to stream online somewhere in HD ?
    I can't find anything official one way or the other, but my best guess is each episode will be viewable on ABC's official site the day after it initially airs. The only potential issue would be licensing it for online streaming as it's not owned by the ABC network. Warner Brothers Television owns the show and I know there are some shows Warner Bros. don't allow the networks to stream on their websites.
  • Did anyone else catch the premiere of 'The Middle'? I watched it and was very disappointed. It's trying so hard to be Malcolm in the Middle, but it's not even in the same league. The humor feels forced, where on 'Malcolm' it was all so natural. The youngest son looks like a creepy, ugly version of Dewey and the mom even has the exact same hairstyle as Lois.
  • Hello,
    I just watched the pilot of " The middle ". Thats about 3 kids and parents. same kind of show as Malcom's in the middle. the mum is a lot like lois and the little boy is some kind of a freak like dewey. Just take a look. you might get it here : http://www.mininova.org/get/3004289
  • I just finished watching the first and last episode of this crap serie, The Middle, they've tried to look as MITM, the kid Brick actually imitates Dewey.

    Enough said. Not watching more shitty serie's.

    btw, I actually watched it in 720p but made no good, except on quality.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by PBUNDY View Post
    Did anyone else catch the premiere of 'The Middle'? I watched it and was very disappointed. It's trying so hard to be Malcolm in the Middle, but it's not even in the same league. The humor feels forced, where on 'Malcolm' it was all so natural. The youngest son looks like a creepy, ugly version of Dewey and the mom even has the exact same hairstyle as Lois.
    Totally true.

    I give 3.2/10, I must say The Middle sucks.
  • I hope they cancel this show soon because it will fail, anyway it already has.
  • I've merged the other "The Middle" threads here (I like to keep things tidy).

    I haven't watched it yet, but will tonight. I'm surprised to hear people didn't like it, critics seemed to think it wasn't bad.
  • Well thats funny because I even didnt see others talking about this serie before my message was moved here and it seems PBUNY thinks like me. I dont think this is stupid but this is definetly a "copy cat". Even the house looks like the same ( washing machine on the left of the kitchen set etc..). The worst thing would be they use the sames scenari. But It's obvious they're gonna do it becaue any sitcom use the same book "pre-made stuffs for any dumb sits." We shall see how look their grand parents.. It might be "fun " to watch but if it's too close of mitm it's just going to be annoying. Btw there is also the sit " Hank" after or before " The middle " quite fun . ( parents + 2 children.. but it's a Real sitcom: fake applause etc (heurk ! ) ).
  • Writers seem to forget the originality of creating they're own show, they had to fuckin' copy Malcolm in the Middle.

    I remember Knight Rider 2008, not even the fans liked, or say me, pure bullshit rip-offs that fans and people dislike it.

    Dexter
    Lost
    Man vs Food
    The Office [US]
    Heroes
    Crash [US]
    Wipeout [US] (3rd season back in 2010 summer)

    This is about how many shows are worth watching.

    I just watch USA and Japanese shows or movies (also other countries but basically these two).

    It feels good to see Dexter's back on Season 4 but he kinda sucks now being a father. =/
  • I just saw an encore of The Middle, and I noticed they live in Indiana... I been to Indiana, and lets just say, I won't be surprised to see a family like that there

    It is not that bad... each character is different from each other. However, only the character types used seem like it is partly from Malcolm in the Middle, but the family as a whole, the way of life they have, reminds more more of Married with Children, only not as funny.
  • The show is up on HULU now.

    Maybe the show could be somewhat funny. I'm not sure. I was totally distracted noticing all the rip offs from Malcolm during the episode!

    The teacher they have a parent conference with was the same actor in a similar scene as the psychologist from the episode where Reese moves out.

    They are trying to have the Dad do the same detached looks of "I don't care, ask your mother" thing Hal sometimes did, but this guy is not Bryan Cranston

    The play scene was such a predictable disaster it reminded of the better scene with Malcolm being stuck as the farie

    even the idle banter of mom and and another woman seemed ripped from Lois when they talked about how many kids they had. She works at used car lot, I was waiting for a duplication of the Lois parking lot scene at Christmas where she smashes her car. Maybe it will be in the second episode!

    They actually named the main character who narrates to the audience "Frankie". lol just go all the way and name her Malcolm. It is like they are having a play on words and snickering while writing the script!
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by MalcolmFun View Post
    They are trying to have the Dad do the same detached looks of "I don't care, ask your mother" thing Hal sometimes did, but this guy is not Bryan Cranston
    Come on, Bryan Cranston did invent that sort of TV father. He did damn well with it, but he didn't invent it.
  • I just watched the sample from the 2nd episode, and it has alot of common with MITM, the house, the customs, the kids, well it was all featured in the 1st but this shows what it needs to.

    "oh yeah you were a mistake but we're happy that you're here now.." and "you're not fat"

    they're copied alot but it made me laugh finally, a second chance is always good to give.
  • I only saw the 2nd episode, maybe I should go back and watch the 1st....

    ok I am watching it now

    By the way, Indiana is not the middle of the country, so I do not get why the show is called The Middle... I guess "The middle of nowhere"?
  • I thought more people would be impressed that Malcolm in the Middle is held in such regard to be ripped off. Imitation, flattery and other cliches and all.
  • There is somewhat of a difference between borrowing good ideas from a predecessor and just trying to make a cheap a copy. Whatever ideas Malcolm borrowed from previous things, they were put together into something unique. This show doesn't have to be horrible to merit criticism that there is nothing much new or exciting about it nor is it as good as what they are trying to copy.
  • Reading some of the negative comments about “The Middle” being a rip-off of MITM, I agreed when I first saw the new show. However, it really is not the case.

    Some of the creative geniuses that gave us MITM are now working on The Middle. A name that appears prominently on the opening credits of MITM and TM episodes is Alex Reid – he was a writer and producer of the best MITM episodes. He is now a co-executive producer on TM. It is therefore not surprising that TM has a similar feel to the early seasons of MITM.

    It is not a rip-off if it is the same people creating both shows.

    When MITM ended I kind of wondered what future projects the production and writing teams behind the show would work on next. It is surely a good thing that they are giving us another family based comedy with similar entertainment values so enjoyed in MITM.

    On the contrary to this show failing – it must succeed. If anything fans of MITM should enjoy it. Since MITM ended in 2006, there has been a culture of bland shows based on public “talent” and drab celebrity status. These make me yawn. At least TM is filling a cultural void by giving us quality television which is actually funny and entertaining. Without TM, we would have nothing.
  • Another point I have on TM may be rather controversial here, being a MITM fan site, but I actually think TM is better than MITM.

    Yes, i really did say that.

    TM is uniquely from the point of view of the mother instead of the children. Perhaps the show is aimed at adults, considering that those who enjoyed MITM as teenagers are now young adults themselves.

    It also has added realism which was lacking in MITM such as the way in which the family have breakfast and evening meals. In MITM, they dined at the table every single morning and night with high quality, specially prepared food. C’mon, can we really believe that a busy family would eat like that every day.

    In contrast, the mom on TM shoves a frozen pancake into the microwave for seconds – that is Brick’s breakfast on the first episode. Also, eating dinner as a family is sitting on a couch in front of the TV. Very realistic as I am sure this happens in many American homes.

    The TM family also watch real TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars to give a sense of added comedy value. They have a surname and they live in a real state. Perhaps the creators got too much of an influx the first time round from fans asking Malcolm’s surname and location. It is as if they have ironed out all the holes that existed in MITM to give us something better.

    As we get close to 2010, it is as if TM is a new show for a new decade. Instead of comparing TM with MITM, we should just enjoy the new show on it’s own merits: the cast and characters are very good, the plots are unique and there are genuine laugh out loud comedy moments.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by we_dye View Post
    Another point I have on TM may be rather controversial here, being a MITM fan site, but I actually think TM is better than MITM.

    Yes, i really did say that.

    TM is uniquely from the point of view of the mother instead of the children. Perhaps the show is aimed at adults, considering that those who enjoyed MITM as teenagers are now young adults themselves.

    It also has added realism which was lacking in MITM such as the way in which the family have breakfast and evening meals. In MITM, they dined at the table every single morning and night with high quality, specially prepared food. C’mon, can we really believe that a busy family would eat like that every day.

    In contrast, the mom on TM shoves a frozen pancake into the microwave for seconds – that is Brick’s breakfast on the first episode. Also, eating dinner as a family is sitting on a couch in front of the TV. Very realistic as I am sure this happens in many American homes.

    The TM family also watch real TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars to give a sense of added comedy value. They have a surname and they live in a real state. Perhaps the creators got too much of an influx the first time round from fans asking Malcolm’s surname and location. It is as if they have ironed out all the holes that existed in MITM to give us something better.

    As we get close to 2010, it is as if TM is a new show for a new decade. Instead of comparing TM with MITM, we should just enjoy the new show on it’s own merits: the cast and characters are very good, the plots are unique and there are genuine laugh out loud comedy moments.
    That isn't necessarily unrealistic. In the pilot they fight over frozen waffles, and despite how busy some people are, they still make time and a point to eat dinner together, not everyone eats in front of the TV. Actually eating together is a sign of authoritative parenting, which is overall what was present in MITM.

    And if we knew Malcom's surname, and state and city, how does that make a better show? I don't sit and watch it and say "Wow I sure wish I knew their last name, that would make it way funnier and more relate able."

    And I'm sorry, I never found the janitor to be very funny. Not then, not now

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