The Middleman (TV Series 2008) Poster

(2008)

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9/10
Good show
just-out16 June 2008
What a great new show. I was compelled to write this after I saw a negative review of it up here. It's definitely not for everyone, but I found the characters charming, funny, and likable. I can't wait to see what happens in the future episodes! It starts off with Wendy Watson on the never ending job hunts, and she finally finds her job as a Middleman. Dealing with all kinds of odd creatures and evil that seem like they'd be straight out of comic books and sci-fi movies. I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it, but definitely check out this show! It's a good one :) I'm really excited for it, ABC Family has been stepping up their game, with shows like Kyle XY and Wildfire. It's awesome too that it's during the summer when most shows have just finished up their season.
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9/10
Best new show since Pushing Daisies
Heliograph15 June 2008
A friend said I should take advantage of the free iTunes download, and it was great advice: The Middleman is the best show I've seen since Pushing Daisies. Both shows feature smart, rapid-fire dialog, but The Middleman features more action (and more jokes) with a lot less romance.

Another reviewer thought the pop-culture references were current and disposable, but I don't think the show has that feel at all: there were far more jokes referencing (and name-checking) comic books and other pop culture from the 20th century. The show even self-references the fact that the "reality" of the show is like a comic book, complete with "monsters, robots... aliens?" Even so, you jokes are plentiful, and if you're not a comics nerd you'll still enjoy it (there were a surprising number of painting jokes, frex). The show should have no trouble holding up years from now.

I was surprised the show will be on ABC Family. It doesn't really seem like a family show, but then again many of the more adult jokes may be over the heads of a younger audience. Frex, the heroine's roommate asks her what it is like to be a "beard." If you like The Venture Brothers, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, or the last bunch of Reaper episodes, you'll like The Middleman<. I've seen comments that it is a ripoff of MIB, Special Unit 2, or Reaper, but if the pilot is any guide is totally avoids the drama and angsty-ness that SU2 or Reaper occasionally indulge in: The Middleman sticks to laughs, and is more comic-booky. And I mean that in a good way.

I've never entered a comment on IMDb before, but I felt the other poster's comments were so unfair that I was motivated to submit my own views.
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8/10
Fresh and unusual, definitely an acquired taste
daveeda8518 June 2008
Like the title states, this show is definitely out of the ordinary. It has a very stylized sense of humor and it isn't afraid of making of itself. Some may see it as just random banter between cast, but if you really listen to what they say and understand it you can understand the wittiness of the writers.

For those people that enjoyed "Man in Black" when it first came out I think this is the show for you. It follow a similar theme, secret organization that takes care of monsters (or as they put it exotic problems.) The one downside to this show is the lack of budget. Being a alien and monster show requires a little more eye candy than probably what the studio is willing to spend, but if it does well this season I am sure the budget will loosen up.

This is not a show for everyone. If what you are looking for is something dramatic like the X-File this isn't for you, but if you are looking for a show that is light hearted, witty and filled with monster and gadgets you found the right show. For those of you who took the old SAT. The Middleman is to The X File as Chuck is to 007.
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9/10
Loads of fun!
jmsfan18 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Seeing the previews of this news, I was intrigued by the premise and if they could pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised that they did so in spades! First off, Natalie Morales is gorgeous as Wendy, a lowly temp who, after an encounter with a monster and showing extreme cool under fire, finds herself recruited by the Middleman. Who exactly he is isn't yet known, but he's played by Matt Keeslar as a suit-and-tie wearing, straight-laced, milk-drinking, non-profanity-using (except for one instance) square who still has that twinkle in his eye and is darn good at destroying monstrous baddies and solving mysteries.

In the first episode, somebody or something is offing all the Mafia in the city and Middleman (we don't know his real name yet) and Wendy are on the case. It's not hard to figure out the culprit/culprits but that's beside the point on this show. Watch it for the quick dialogue (I mean both quick=fast and quick=clever) and the fast-paced action, all done with loads of humor.

The supporting characters are cool: The Middleman secretary who is actually some kind of robot or alien (we don't see the front of her face, only Wendy's bored reaction and joke as it happens); her roomie, who is an animal activist; Wendy's boyfriend, who, in the pilot, breaks up with her while filming it, all as a part of his film-class project; the guitar-playing dude who hangs out in Wendy's hallway and talks to her in mostly lyrics and trivia and loves it that she answers in kind. "She's the only one who gets me," he says.

It's a funny, clever, exciting mix of sci-fi and pop culture moments all wrapped up in an over-too-soon hour. If you can't catch the pilot on iTunes somehow, at least watch the next show. Highly recommended.
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Something Special 4 Intelligent TV viewers
gfoyle6930 June 2008
Odd, Weird, Strange and Campy........but the more you watch it the more it grows on you and you begin to love it. An snappy, well written comedy that's unlike anything on TV now. Watch it for that reason alone. It's different and highly entertaining. Don't know if it will carve out an audience sufficient enough to stay on the air long, but it will surely gathered a devoted audience, like other offbeat and short lived shows (The Tick, The Dresden Files and Wonderfalls for example). The comic acting is spot on and the supporting cast is extremely strong. I promise you, if you watch it, you WILL be hooked, if you have any imagination at all.
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10/10
"The Middleman" is quirky genius!
brightlamp9 October 2008
"The Middleman" was a delightful, campy series that faithfully brought beloved comic book characters to life. It was full of quirkiness, enjoyable predictability, and good old down home humor that was refreshing amidst the doldrum selection of TV viewing currently available to viewers who just wish to be entertained. Kudos to the writers, creator, special effects crew, and the talented actors that made this series so full of happy moments and tongue-in-cheek humor. The story lines were full of surprising variety interspersed with unexpected twists and turns. The dialog was sharp, witty, and included the right amount of clever references to past sci-fi classic shows that gave even the nerdiest viewer a satisfying taste of nostalgia throughout this top notch series.

I do hope it will return for a second season since the 1st season finale left us wanting more,more,more!
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8/10
I really enjoyed the show!
diirk24 June 2008
I was a little hesitant at first to watch this show, there's just not enough time in my busy life to waste watching a lame show. But I recorded it on the off chance I might get a moment of free time. It just so happens that I did get that moment and I'm glad I did. So much so, that I watched the 2nd episode right after the first, and if there was another, I would have watched it too. I really enjoyed the show.

I don't need to go into details that were already covered, but if you like Eureka or liked Wonderfalls or any other light, entertaining fictional show, then this is the show for you. Besides the great reviews it received from the NY Times and the TV Guide, it's just fun to watch. There is so much going on that I'm going to watch them both again tonight just to see what I missed.
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9/10
Short but sweet
JayArfur30 July 2009
If there is one thing that makes me want to kick a cat it's when I find out a TV show that I've fallen in love with has been cancelled in its first year. Lucky for me and the cat I don't own any pets. Animal cruelty aside, it is very frustrating when a TV network cuts short something as wonderfully odd and brilliant as The Middleman.

Based on the graphic novels by Javier Grillo-Marxuach it's the story of Wendy Watson, played by Natalie Morales, a young attractive artist who finds herself working for The Middleman (Matt Keeslar) a square-jawed all-American hero who saves the world on a daily basis from supernatural forces while not even uttering a curse word.

Taking in elements of Men in Black, The X-Files and a host of other past sci-fi classics, it manages to be a light-hearted entertaining comedy drama. While clearly a low budget show – most of the set pieces are played off camera; it rarely feels cheap and if anything, that's part of the joke.

There is great re-watch value too, with each episode filled with in-jokes, nods to other sci-fi references and the obligatory Wilhelm scream. In the current climate of TV channels that are filled with near identical crime or medical dramas with Brits playing Americans, spending most of their 43 minutes sarcastically mouthing off to a group of near identical supporting cast members, it seems crazy to let something as original as The Middleman join the likes of Firefly, Wonderfalls, Odyssey 5 and American Gothic as one season gems. We should however at least be grateful for the few fine episodes made.
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10/10
Pearls to the pigs
oxode12 June 2009
I just stumbled over a DVD with the full session 1, it was not broad casted in Germanistan,like most good TV-shows. I bought it mostly for the nice screen shots on the back and was totally surprised. This show was not only really funny, it had (I'd never believed to find this in a US serial)esprit. It's what 'Austin Powers' and the unspeakable 'Avengers' movie tried to be and failed, a parforce ride through popcultur. I love it because it is made by people who love their characters and their world. They took every superherostereotyp, from marvel comics, over Kung Fu flicks,up to Mexican wrestlers added a dash of MIB, Avengers, shook (not steered)and added a cherry of good sitcom figures. They make fun on all this, but it's obvious, that they always keep their sympathy for this figures and the values they represented, as they have been a part of their childhood and are still a part of the western collective sub-conscience. It's like rereading Your old comic books and realizing, that they had formed Your view of the world. Some other IMDb-users wrote, that they had missed a background story . . . I have to say to this, that they didn't make the step the scriptwriters did. A background story is just a McGuffin. So it is only consequent to do, as Sir Alfred Hitchcock did,in "Nort by Nortwest", just skip it. It is sad the serial was discontinued, but it was foreseeable. Only a minority would see the hidden anarchistic humor behind the slick surface.
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9/10
Hysterical
Animus19 December 2008
I found The Middleman when a friend suggested it to me, he said "It's your kind of comedy". He was right. The Middleman is the kind of show for fans of The Tick or Mel Brooks movies, lots of quirky jokes some of which take a minute to register because your brain needs time to process them. For those seeking plot info the basic premise is Wendy Watson, struggling artist gets hired by a temp agency and finds out her boss (The Middleman) actually solves problems and protects the citizenry against hostile creature para-, extra-, and juxta-terrestrial. It's kind of a 'men in black' thing without the memory eraser. There are running gags in every episode, sometimes its the fake names, sometimes its about song titles, sometimes its even the info that pops up X-Files style on the screen. All in all, it's my favorite show to come from ABC in many years and I hope it will return for many season to come.
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10/10
Midleman cancelled after just one season its a scandal!
gladfan3-128 August 2009
Well how good was this show, based on a comic book this is true to its origins with corny gags and over the top acting. The actors do this complete justice and throw in a cameo from Kevin Sorbo of Andromeda/Hercules fame and you have a show in a million. Why would the studio cancel this show which has already reached a IMDb score of over 8 over some of the other drivel they renew. Midleman or Gossip Girl mmmmm cancel gossip girl and pass the money over folks. such a shame.. With great gadgets and a computer that you would want to beat with a baseball bat every episode, this just makes for great television for all the family. Mark Dacascos does the best and funniest sensai that i have seen on TV for a while, he is a great martial artist he can also bring some comedy to the role. Bring this back, join the fight to bring this back search for petitions to bring this back.
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10/10
Bring This Back!
amyottman30 June 2017
It has been 9 years and I still think about this show. It was so ahead of its time and was a true gem. I remember when this show got canceled and I was devastated. In the age of bringing back shows that were canceled too soon, this should be on the list. This show is funny, witty, charming and really creative. I highly recommend this show for anyone who likes a good laugh.
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7/10
Weirdly fun
osj250714 March 2015
Unfortunately this got a short run, it was a really good series, very weird sci-fi, strange characters, unusual cases, but above all wonderfully weird, fun and entertaining.

This was really one I had hoped would go on, but maybe it was the time (many shows didn't continue) or maybe it was the weirdness of the series that didn't give it enough viewers, maybe not a typical ABC show in many ways actually :)

I loved it for the weirdness, the strange characters and the insane spectacles and scenery, it was kind of a low budget setting and what you in movie sense would call a b-genre one. But it worked and really incorporated that spirit into the series.
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9/10
brilliant, tragically short-lived
cherold17 June 2012
Wildly funny, this crazed collection of running jokes, old movies homages, and sharp writing is one of those amazing shows whose cancellation boggles the mind.

The humor reminded me of The Tick (either animated or live), as well as the 1960s Batman TV series. The lead character made me think of the lead from Due South.

You can learn a lot about the show by reading the negative reviews, which often complain about the stuff I like or seem to not understand what kind of show it was. For example, some people complain about the fast dialog, but if you're a fan of 40s screwball comedies or the works of Aaron Sorkin and Amy Sherman then that witty fast-paced banter will feel very comfortable.

As for people who describe this as a failed attempt at a Torchwood-style show, that's like saying The Simpsons is a failed attempt to recreate Gilligan's Island, or that MST3K compares poorly with My Dinner With Andre. Yes, like Torchwood there is a sci-fi theme, but this is not a science fiction series, this is a comedic comic book series. It is more comparable to Doctor Who, simply because that show was funnier, but this also would be an inaccurate comparison, because once again, that show is science-fiction with comedy, as opposed to comedy with science fiction.

As for people who understand the show and just don't find it funny, well, I can't argue with that, because we all find some things funny and others not. I laughed constantly. And while some people said the series grew on them after a slow start, I loved every episode from the first to the last. Discovering the show years after its cancellation, I watched the entire series in a week.

It was an odd fit for ABC Family, being completely devoid of teenagers. I think it would have had a better chance on the Syfy channel, which is not opposed to shows like Warehouse 13 that are more comedy than sci-fi, or on Comedy Central if they actually did hour-long series. Or maybe MTV, if they still do anything besides reality shows (haven't watched them for years). But while it was the wrong channel for the show, I'm glad to have got to enjoy the episodes that exist.
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8/10
quirky, bit childish humor, but also some good liners and social commentaries
surfisfun15 December 2018
This is a show for kids n adults .remember that. for a tv production it was decent. a bit of the Tick 2001 flavor. but more for kids. main male actor play his clark kent persona well. was unappreciated at the time I guess . totally watchable .
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6/10
Mixed
Elewis119520 July 2017
The show was quirky, silly, entertaining enough if there was nothing else on, and ultimately, didn't quite have the juice - in my opinion. It was a cute, but been done a thousand times idea - introduce a regularly girl into a strange new world full of oddness and monsters and aliens and give her a utility belt filled with nifty tech and give her a square boss and write around that. It's formula, with a degree of cuteness and Natalie Morales played the role as well as she could, but the show lacked teeth, not to mention, the graphics were terrible.

I'd rate it kind of similar to the Tick (2001) with Patrick Warburton in terms of production quality, silliness and special effects. Still, like the tick, this show had a charm and likability, even if it wasn't great TV. Watchable on a night when I'm tired and don't want to think. 6 out of 10.
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6/10
It needs to breathe. . .
Mr. OpEd17 June 2008
There were a few things to like about the premier episode: music, photography, effects (that cheesy monster at the beginning). And I chuckled several times. I might have even laughed out loud, but I was never given time.

While the show nods at several sources, its roots stretch most obviously back to TV's Batman and Howard Hawks' screwball comedies. However, in both of those classic examples, the creators didn't try to quench the viewer's thirst with a firehose.

Middleman's script can be a problem. For example: the exchanges between Wendy Watson and her guitar playing roommate take too long to gel, happen too often, and never have a satisfying payoff (no laughs). The philosophy is: "If you didn't like that joke, there will be another one in a nanosecond; and if you DID like that joke, there will still be another one along in a nanosecond stepping on the toes of the one you did just like. The show's pacing needs some breathing room.

And how about a little consistency? The Middleman is a knockoff of Rustler's Rhapsody's Rex O'Herlihan and Adam West's Batman, right down to the non-swearing and milk drinking. Yet, in this very first episode he does swear. He also threatens his employee-to-be with death and beats a thug relentlessly against a car fender. These events don't fit! The Middleman won't be on my "must see" list.
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4/10
Not worth the watch, but could potentially become so.
morten_berg115 July 2008
I figured I'd check out this show, as it was seemed interesting in concept. While I was watching the first episode, I was thinking along the lines of "this is sort of interesting, it could take a right turn somewhere", but the last ten minutes were boring, ridiculous and just not entertaining in general.

I figured I'd watch the second episode to see where the series were going, and I found it to be incredibly dry, and hard to watch. I'm reminded of Torchwood without a back-story. It's pure and simply "random POTENTIALLY interesting guy with a horrible sense of humor, random potentially interesting chick with a decent sense of humor" teaming up and chasing a ridiculous story.

The whole plot with aliens and crazy doctors is introduced in the sentence "the stuff you read in comic books are true", and there you go. No back-story, just kill bad guys without action.

I enjoy series such as Doctor who, torchwood, etc, but this one actually bored me. It has potential though, and I will suffer myself through another episode or two to see if the series turn into something I enjoy. Nevertheless, I'm left with the feeling that this series is intended for a generation older than me.
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1/10
The birth of a truly awful show
thecrysalid17 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well what can I say about this show? one word, awful. This type of show seems to be a staple for ABC family with shows such as Kyle XY etc., The dialogue loosely described as banter between the cast is set at mind boggling speed and must have taken quite a few takes to get right, but this may have been the makers idea of tongue in cheek humour. using men in gorilla suits mixed in with real silver backs is just one example of terrible continuity and belief in the show. What I thought I was about to see was a combination of MiB and Heroes, what I saw was a rip off of 60's avengers sequences, a very poor situation comedy, 2 main characters with no chemistry, unbelievable plot lines, terribly acted from all. I get it that this is ABC family, but who was their target audience? The dialogue is way too fast and difficult for kids and way too childish and unbelievable for adults. Will be very surprised if this makes it past the 13 episode period. Sorry ABC, but D- could and should have done so much better, can I have my 40 minutes back please?
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2/10
Won't last
jimmiehack16 June 2008
I just got through watching the pilot for this show and all it did was confuse me. The pace of the delivery of the lines was hard to get used to and I suspect it's not very appealing to most people. It's also very confusing why this is on the ABC Family Channel. There were at least three times I remember the main character Wendy telling someone to "go to hell". There are a lot of references to outdated things such as Patsy Cline and the Carter administration that most children won't relate to. There are plenty of things that adults will relate to like a reference to the line from "Planet of the Apes"..."Get your filthy paws off of me you damn dirty ape".

There is a short visit to a strip club (nothing is shown). There is a short dialogue where both main characters exchange playful curse words that get bleeped out with a censor box placed over their mouths. In the first ten minutes of this episode the words "homosexual" and "lesbian" are used casually and later on Wendy calls two men "hormone jockeys". There are some funny references especially with a musician that hangs out in Wendy's hallway, but for the most part this is just hard to follow. Don't waste your time watching this. They've only made three episodes and I doubt they'll make more anyway.

ABC Family Channel has a new tag line "A New Kind of Family". If this is what they think we want as family television programming, they are sadly confused. This show belongs on a different channel, but it won't last anyway so it's not worth complaining about.
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2/10
Rubbish
youwilldieinsevendays23 June 2008
This is the lowest quality show I have seen so far this year. It has the apparent budget of a BBC show but without the good acting and writing that the British generally provide. The writers provide cliché after endless cliché combined with some of the poorest attempts at comedy that I have born witness to in what may have been the longest 45 minutes of my life. The Middleman actually left me feeling depressed. I haven't seen such poor television since the last time I accidentally flicked onto the Living Channel. And the main character looks like a monkey. However I acknowledge that just as some people enjoy watching the living channel, some people may conceivably enjoy this show, but if you are over the age of 12 I do not recommend this show (the fact that The Middleman seems well suited for children is the only reason I do not rate it with a mere one star). With a near endless wealth of far greater quality television available, this 'family' show will most likely drive the majority of any family into a catatonic state and certainly does not come close to it's competition. I noticed that one comment likened The Middleman to Chuck. Chuck is a well written show with a good budget created by Josh Schwartz (The OC). The Middleman is not well written, nor does it appear to have a good budget. Also coincidentally it does not have Josh Schwartz. Be warned.
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1/10
Tried and tired but just can't watch it anymore
monkabc328 July 2008
I watched three episodes of this show and I think that that is giving it a fair shake considering how much I cringed each hour. Some of the writing is excellent and witty and Wendy's deadpan delivery is perfect on those occasions. Unfortunately, the rest is absolutely, 100% awful.

The Middleman simply isn't funny and his attempt at '50s naivety and morality doesn't work. The worst are the plots. Simply not funny, not imaginative and very immature. Perhaps those of very, very low IQ might find some of the plots funny but that is the only audience they are going to get. That and the I watch it 'because it is so stupid' crowd. If you want to call that campy, fine but that is too big an umbrella for me.

I think the production dollars should definitely be spent on something else and put this mishmash into the out bin. Gods! Why do they cancel the clever shows and feed us this garbage?
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