Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Middleman (Javier Grillo-Marxauch, 2008)

I first heard of The Middle Man when I did a little NGoN post on Natalie Morales a few weeks back. Since, here and elsewhere, I had heard nothing but great things about the show, so I decided to take a look.

Originally a comic book, The Middle Man deals with a hero, known only by that name, and his assistant, Wendy Watson. Wendy is a down on her luck art school graduate with an amazing ability to cope with the bizarre. She is contacted by The Middle Man to work with him fighting the evils that plague mankind, be they supernatural, extraterrestrial, or just plain weird.

It is very much like the John Steed/Emma Peel version of The Avengers, with some Men in Black thrown in. The Middle Man is a talented veteran who, while carrying a sidearm, tends to eschew gun-play. Wendy Watson, as Emma Peel, is a "talented amateur" who is highly capable of taking care of business.

A great part of the show, and I assume the comic book, is the allusions to pop culture. Wendy's friend "Noser" always starts a musical conversation, and once it involved Rush's "Spirit of the Radio" without naming the song specifically. Sorry, but you get points with me for that. Also there is some great references to lesser known tid-bits, such as the discussion of the little known yet regularly panned Zombies of Mora Tau which Wendy watches. Her future boyfriend questions her taste/nerdhood until she explains that it is a zombie movie palate-cleanser which makes Night of the Living Dead brand new for her.

It is an extremely enjoyable show that is available on DVD and at iTunes, but was sadly cancelled. The first season might be all we needed though. I tend to appreciate when things don't go on too long. If you are worried about single season cancelled shows I will let you know, and this is not a spoiler, that it does not end on a cliff hanger.


mad photog said...

Glad you liked the DVD. I really wished for a second season, but maybe it was for the best. Perhaps SOME cable channel could have given it a home, but the quality might have suffered.
Oh, well. At least we had the one season.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I wish that American Networks would let someone set out to do one season, like the guy who made Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies. Tell him to make 12 episodes of whatever you want, and we won't pull the plug halfway.

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