Misconceptions about 'Malcolm' series target audience?
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Thread: Misconceptions about 'Malcolm' series target audience?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    The Netherlands (i.e. 'Holland') ;)

    Default Misconceptions about 'Malcolm' series target audience?

    I thought I'd share with you the popular misconception or bias that, in my view, accounted for the lukewarm reception of the original run of the series in Holland. Initially, it got between 50,000 and 75,000 viewers per episode in a population of 16 million, in syndication as late as 2008 about 180,000 viewers - still not a big hit (the few top comedies notch up about 1 to 1.5 million viewers).

    My theory is that most adult or at least older teen viewers took it for a program aimed squarely at kids and young teens, and initially dismissed it as childish. It only changed when Comedy Central started showing the series in its full run in syndication last year, at a later time in the evening meant for more adult viewers.

    I wonder if any of you recognize those sentiments from other countries? Could it have been a wrong marketing strategy? You probably know the series initially got a thumbs-down from all networks, and also from audience previews. It took one young, ambitious head of Fox to take the risk.

    I have translated some typical Dutch quotes (none mine) from some blog sites.

    Staff member Moviemeter-site: "I unjustly ignored this series. Delightfully absurd, politically incorrect humour. No other comedy stays so fresh and funny throughout the seasons".

    Another, moderator Moviemeter-site: "I avoided the series for a long time, because I was convinced it was some lame kids' program or other. A few months ago I discovered it was the opposite and now I'm totally smitten with this brilliant series with delightfully absurd and deadpan humour and great characters".

    Another Moviemeter member: "Me too, I avoided the series for years, but for me it was because my sisters were mad about it, just when I took everything they watched for dumb by default. Well, they asked for it, because they were into Full House, Little House on the Prairie, Heartbreak High. Now I've found it how brilliant it all is".

    Others: "I may have been naive, but I'd always thought it was some Lizzie McGuire-like series. I saw some episodes last week, and boy, I was wrong, what a great show!".

    "MITM is great. Enjoyably absurd, and sometimes my jaw drops at all that's happening. This isn't just a children's series".

    NRC (leading Dutch critical newspaper) reviewing the pilot: "Could it be a comedy for kids, but programmed too late [initially it was shown at 9 p.m. later at 6, ed.]? Are the situations in Malcolm's family reconizable to parents who would gladly throw their children out of the house when they've turned 18? Hopefully the coming weeks will make this clear, otherwise Fox will have a hard sell on his hands".

    For good measure, a similar German sentiment on comicforum.de: "The first time I heard about it, I thought the series would be another sentimental children's comedy. I've never been so wrong about a series as about Malcolm. Absolutely over the top, weird stories without any lapses. In my humble opinion, the series really skirts a lot of clichés, for instance the lady teacher isn't an understanding surrogate mother or a nasty harridan, but simply a highstrung, hysterical, pseudo-psychological incompetent (needless to say I'm very familiar with this type of teacher). The series is really fantastic, and a comedy has rarely made me laugh as much as Malcolm." (*)


    (*) German original for our German Mittendrin members: "Als ich das erste mal , als ich davon hörte, dachte ich die Serie wäre irgendeine neue, ktischige Kinderserie. Ich habe mich bei einer Serie nie so geirrt wie bei Malcolm. Absoult überdrehte, schräge geschichten ohne irgendwelche Ausrutscher. Die Serie umgeht imho eigentlich viele Klischees: z. B ist die Lehrerin keine verständnissvolle Ersatzmutter bzw. fieser Drachen wie üblich, sondern einfach eine überdrehte hysterische pseudopädagogische tiffe (unnötig zu erwähnen, das mir dieser Lehrertyp seeehr bekannt ist) . Die Serie ist wirklich fantastisch, und ich habe selten bei einer Serie so sehr gelacht wie bei Malcolm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    IMO it can be watched by kids, but it is more enjoyable and would probably make more sense if you were the age/older of the character's portrayed.

    My 2 cents.....


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