The Middle?
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Thread: The Middle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Question The Middle?

    I know there's a thread about "The Middle" so I didn't really make this thread to talk about my opinions on "The Middle", but I was reading several reviews on it, and I didn't understand one.
    "If "The Middle" reminds me a little of Fox's long-running comedy "Malcolm in the Middle," it probably has less to do with the title than with Atticus Shaffer, the actor playing the Hecks' oddball youngest child, Brick." (The 16th paragraph on Does anyone understand what the author of the review is trying to say in the paragraph? I get the part where "The Middle" is sort of like MITM, after than I don't really know what they're saying. (Getting a bit sidetracked, but really dislike how they compare Brick to Dewey in a lot of the reviews...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    The Netherlands (i.e. 'Holland') ;)


    I can see the comparison, it's in the title, the voiceovers, the dynamic camera style, the exchanges between the actors, yes, and in Brick, the enigmatic young boy who seems to inhabit a world of his own. Dewey also always had imaginary friends!

    Our French colleagues at Malcolm France certainly thought so:

    Vous conviendrez de l'étrange ressemblance avec une certaine série de la FOX diffusée quelques années plus tôt... Malcolm bien sûr ! Tournée également en single-camera et sans rires pré-enregistrés, cette nouveauté semble être une version de Malcolm in the Middle vu de la perspective du personnage de la mère.

    Ainsi, on retrouve une galerie de personnages assez similaires dans les deux comédies : la mère qui contrôle tout et au brushing ménagère-de-moins-de-50 ans, le père maladroit et proche de ses enfants, le petit dernier malin mais enfermé dans sa bulle, le plus grand flemmard qui ne veut rien faire de sa vie, et l'intello de service.

    Cette étrange ressemblance, que l'on pourrait qualifier de simple inspiration ou de vrai plagiat selon les sensibilités, n'a pas échappé aux internautes qui ne cessent d'en faire la remarque dans leurs commentaires sur les sites de partage vidéo. Les critiques n'ont pas non plus été dupes et admettent la forte ressemblance avec Malcolm, bien que saluant la qualité comique de l'épisode pilote, qui sera diffusé dans deux semaines outre-Atlantique.
    You will agree about the strange resemblance with a a certain Fox series shown a few years before .... Malcolm of course! Also filmed in single-camera without a laugh track, this novelty appears to be a version of MITM from the perspective of the mother.

    Also, we find another gallery of rather similar characters in the two comedies: the control freak mother with a housewife-pushing-50 type of non-permanent hairdo, the clumsy husband who's close to his kids, the little boy who's smart but locked up inside his bubble, and the biggest lazybones who doesn't want to do anything with his life, and the resident intellectual.

    This strange resemblance, which one could either see as simply inspiration or actual plagiarism according to one's sensibilities, didn't escape Net people who can't stop remarking on it in their comments on video sites. The critics couldn't be duped either and admit the strong resemblance with Malcolm, although they praise the comical quality of the pilot episode, which will be shown in the States in two weeks.

    Picture from Malcolm France :

    Last edited by Richiepiep; Feb 24, 2010 at 06:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Los Angeles


    I just watched my first episode of THE MIDDLE last night.

    The mother is sort of Lois-like, but think THE MIDDLE is definitely not as well written as MITM. The episode felt a little too staged like a dragged out SNL skit.

    MITM episodes were always fast-paced - especially as they jumped from different scenes so quickly - from Francis's location back to the house or split out among the kids.

    Obviously I'm biased, but I think THE MIDDLE needs some fancier camera work and tighter writing to be on par with MITM. The high schooler son's character has potential - he sort of has a Reese-like teen crankiness.

    But.... if you really want to see a good comedy about teens, check out BBC America for a British show called THE INBETWEENERS. Great cast, brilliantly raunchy writing. It only suffers from dull camera work - though the occasional focus jump seems MITM-esque.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I was wondering if anyone had seen this and compared it to MITM and i'm glad I'm not the only one who has seen the similiaries. I have actually just started watching it this season (Season 2) and so far I am really liking it. I think it is because it is so similar to MITM. Of course, MITM is/was better, but I find "The Middle" to be quite entertaining in a time where (good) new sitcoms are practically non-existant. The youngest son, Brick, reminds me so much of Dewey. It will be interesting to see if they actually copy MITM and have him develop some extaordinary talent as he gets older. I hope they wouldn't do that, but it will be interesting to see where they are going with this. In the meantime, it's decent entertainment and has that "All American, we-may-be-dysfunctional-but-we-still-love-each-other, family-bonding" feeling that I get whenever I see MITM.

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