View Full Version : Is MITM so unpredictable that it is becoming predictably unpredictable!

Oct 9, 2005, 04:46 AM
We haven't had many structural debates for a long time, so I thought I'd start one up.

Is Malcolm in the Middle becoming unpredictable, that you can now predict those unpredictable parts of the storyline.

I give you do recent examples, that I was able to predict before I'd even seen the episodes.

Firstly in "Burning Man" it was so obvious from the onset of the storyline that something bad was going to happen to the van, especially with all the emphisis on Hal trying to protect it, albeit I did not predict they would blow it up, you could see that something bad was going to happen to it.

Again, in "Health Insurance" you could immediately tell from the title that the weekend they have no health insurance is the weekend they will need it the most. Again how they need it is sometimes not predictable, but anyone could have predicted that someone is going to get injured over the course of the weekend if not everyone.

Any constructive opinions?

Oct 11, 2005, 02:51 AM
Wow, no one's posted in this? Ok, I'll have a go.

Burning man was pretty predictable as eps go, but as a series I don't think it's becoming predictable.

I haven't seen Health Insuarance yet, but the example you gave seems more like a premise than something that's predictable or not. It's something everyone knows at the beginning of the show and it's the basis of the plot.

And if you look at some of the eps from last season, some really wacky and unpredictable things happened...Butterflies, No Motorcycles and especially Stilts.

Even in Burning Man, I wouldn't say that it's so unpredictable that it's predictable...I'd say it's just plain predictable.

Maybe an example of so unpredictable it's predictable would help explain wha I'm thinking:

There's this one Hindi movie (Moksha) where the plot gets so wacky that it unintentionally becomes a comedy about 20 mins in. It's hilarious - so even though it's not all pertainent, I'll include the whole plot.

The main character is a lawyer that wants to start a pro bono firm. But, he doesn't have enough money to do that, so he decides to rob a bank (start seeing the bizzareness:D?). He enlists his girlfriend, but a few days before the robbery, she backs down and tries to stop him too. Not because it's a ridiculous idea, but because she had a dream in which he died robbing the bank! So, he kills his girlfriend to keep her quiet (about the bank he was robbing to start a pro bono firm:D).

Here's the relevant part...He feels really guilty about having killed his girlfriend, so he pushes a boulder off the cliff where they told each other they loved each other and then decides to kill himself. Then, as he has the gun pointed to his head, he looks in the mirror and starts rubbing his chin. I started making fun of that and said..."He just realized he forgot to shave that morning." And guess what???...he pulls out a travel kit thing and starts shaving!!! :eek::D That's the kind of thing I'm think of when you say so unpredictable it's predictable. With Burning Man, I just saw the entire thing coming. I thought that was what was going to happen, it happened, and then I wasn't surprised that it happened. It was just plain predictable.

If you want to know the end of the movie, the main character dies reenacting the girlfriends dream of him dying (as a tribute to her). Honest to god, this was supposed to be a serious, heart warming movie!

Oct 11, 2005, 07:17 AM
@Emrysgirl: Sorry if this sounds dumb, but what's a pro bono firm? I take it it's not a business set up to promote the work of the lead singer of U2! If so then the films even more ridiculous than it already sounds:D.

As for your question david, sometimes writers have to insert predictable elements into a storyline to aid the construction of the plot. I can't comment on the individual episodes but it sounds like the examples you give are more plot devices than jokes that the audience is supposed to be surprised by.

Oct 11, 2005, 03:41 PM
I thought Health Insurance had a surprising twist as well as the end of Health Scare. And Mrs. Tri County was on both ends between predictable and unpredictable. Since it was obvious Lois was going to kick those bratty women's butts! And on the other hand the ending was bit weird yet somewhat unpredictable(as far as the whistling thing goes). But since this is not a "what do you think was the most UNpredictable episode ever" thread I will list the episodes I thought were predictable:

Dewey's Opera-We knew it was Stevie and that Malcolm would find out and the Dewey thing was funny but we all knew what the ending would look like as far as Lois and Hal finding out goes.

Lois' Birthday-Lois would never leave those helpless boys! And the Francis/Indian Girlfriend(I forget her religion!)thing was pretty predictable. It would never last!

Casino-We knew in every single way those boys would be screwed somehow! And as far as the Lois/Dewey thing goes. They don't give a care! What else is knew? Especially Lois!:p

Kitty's Back-The argumentative Lois, the psycho wife who doesn't give a care about what Lois thinks, the stupid Reese who will do anything to screw up someone else's project, the stunned Malcolm and Stevie and Stevie who hates Malcolm for siding with his mother for once and last but not least the childish immature Francis torturing his little brother Dewey which in know way was unpredictable. But the Francis-telling-Dewey-about-the-vanilla-candle thing was quite a classic moment!:D

Red Dress-Those stupid boys and stupid Dad who lights her wife's dress on fire. What else is knew in MITM?:)

Stilts-Predictably unpredictable!

Humilithon-Sad to say but Malcolm is a social screw-up anyway! The show wouldn't be a show without Malcolm being an outcast! The car-smashing-Cynthia-sex thing was somewhat unpredictable. But also the Hal plot was right away predictable he would start war with Herkabe!

And finally:Long Drive!-I just didn't see the point for this episode. Malcolm scared to death of "the talk". And Hal's stupid band!:)

I could go on forever but I can't now!:D

Oct 12, 2005, 05:25 PM
By the way, Admin. I totally know what you mean about the van thing. Me and my parents automatically knew that the van was going to burn or explode or have something horrible happen to it!:D The more Hal talks about it and obsesses about it increases the opportunity and percentage of the chance of it blowing up or something like that!