At least for now, I believe I have perfected my timeline. The valuable piece of information that I needed, that I felt it just couldn't be finished without was supplied in last night's ep Lois Battles Jamie: Reese's birthday. I still cannot pinpoint it to an exact month, but I did deduce it had to be sometime in summer, and that piece helped me to finish it.
I'll still be adding to it until the end of season six, but any revisions you can think of should be posted here and I can update it.
Improvements and Notices from the last version I posted in the old forums:
--each boy now has an age next to thier birthday. This is found by assuming (or inferring) an age during at least one season, and then adding or subtracting a year for each of the other seasons. Lois and Hal don't have ages because it's irrelevant, but if anyone does know them, I can add them. Also, I have season one now beginning in December, 1999 instead of January, 2000 in order to show Malcolm's birthday, which is in December.
--it is assumed that episodes that aired in the order that they take place, however not necessarily at the time they take place. I'll use the three most current ep's: Hal's Christmas Gift, Hal Sleepwalks, and Lois Battles Jamie as an example. They must be placed in that order on the timeline, but from an earlier ep, I deduced Hal and Lois' anniversary is in April, thus Hal Sleepwalks takes place in April. Lois Battles Jamie must, then, take place later than Hal Sleepwalks. Because the boys are still wearing general cool-weather clothing, I deduced the ep must take place in April as well, since by May that type of clothing would no longer be necessary.
--since no location is explicity told to us (we generally assume anywhere from Idaho to California) I assume a general American climate, which includes a warm summer and cool winter. The timeline is also based on the American school system, with grades 1-12, Dewey in first grade in the first season; Malcolm in 6th grade, Reese in 7th, and Francis at the age of 16, or a sophomore, at the military academy.
--not everything is explicitly told to us. In these situations, I either use other episodes to infer the missing details (for a recurring event, such as an anniversary, or to help pinpoint a time zone) or look to details in the episode in question, including clothing, weather, school (or not), time of day, etc.
--it is probable that the writers were not even thinking this deeply when they wrote the ep's, and I do realize that. For that reason, not everything makes perfect sense. There are some episodes where Malcolm has to be taking summer school, and even then it is a stretch for it to work properly. For some reason, May always seems to be an especially busy month. For those months with more than two episodes, I used a calendar to verify it was possible to fit the entire plot in that month. For example, if we see the episode takes place over the course of three weeks, then no other ep's can occur during that three-week period.
--the timeline is color-coded by season and is in the Excel format, inside of the zipped file (because I'm not allowed to upload xls files.) If you don't have Excel or the necessary unzipping program, it sucks for you. Find an Excel viewer and unzipping program, or download OpenOffice.org suite and WinZip and open it. From now until the end of season six, I will revise it weekly using clues from the new episodes to help complete it, but as I said, please place any suggestions (or questions or comments) that you may have in this thread.
Attached are older versions.
Last edited by tjpeople; Mar 27, 2008 at 01:29 PM.
Yardgames, it's great!!!!! I agree with your statement about the writers not even thinking this deeply when they wrote the episodes; an issue that has caused confusion with viewers including us here, and this timeline will for sure resolve a lot of the confusion. Thanks!!!!
Let us know if you decide to do any more great MITM projects.
And, yes, season one was especially difficult, but let me tell you my reasoning.
With Hal and Lois' anniversary in April, that's obviously when Red Dress had to take place. Home Alone 4 was rather irrelevant, but Shame had to be during school. Generally, marathons are in early spring, which is late April, where Shame falls. I didn't think Malcolm Babysits could be any earlier than May because most people don't open their outdoor pools earlier than May, and even early May (like the first weekend) was a bit of a stretch here. I figured Sleepover took place the Friday night after Malcolm Babysits, and Francis Escapes began that Sunday or Monday. Krelboyne Picnic seemed like the perfect way for the school year to end, and Lois vs. Evil, once again, didn't make too much difference. Stock Car races showed summer attire, so it was a good fit for June, and Funeral wasn't too bad. Cheerleader seems odd where it's placed, but my reasoning is that you try out at the end of the school year for next year's team. As far as Rollerskates, that was most definitely a summer ep, and Bots and Bees was a summer project. As far as Smunday, the only way I could possibly get it to fit was by jamming it in in July, so I was forced to reason the boys were taking summer school. In my district, summer school classes aren't just for people who fail; they offer all sorts of various items and they go through July, so I figured a similar program could be in place, and then it would (sort of) fit.
Remember, I had to stick to the rules, which means the episodes were aired in the order they took place, but not necessarily at the time they took place.
yardgames - u are 1 dedictaed fan, *i kneel in your presance* i mean its a huge task and you have though about so much detail. this aint the first time ive comended it and it just keeps getting better!
Lois and Hal don't have ages because it's irrelevant, but if anyone does know them, I can add them.
First of all: Great work!!! I´m very impressed that you took time to figure this out. About Lois´s age:
In Lois´birthday she says to a boy "Ok, I´ll get out, if you do one thing for me. You give me back 15 years of my life. Can you do that? Can you reverse time. Can you take me back to when I was 23?"
So that would make her 38 in the 2nd season.
I didn't update this after Dewey's Opera, so this updated version now includes everything through Living Will. Dewey's Opera was placed in September, because of the leaves being raked that Stevie *almost* landed in on his street-luge, implying that it is fall. The clothing matches this assumption, however with the way that it is placed right now, there have been no summer eps this year. I'm looking to completely change season six after Grandma Loses a Leg.