Malcolm in the Middle is a family comedy TV show started in 2000. Airing on FOX, it ran for 7 seasons until finally coming to a halt. Starring Frankie Muniz as the main character who illustrates his life as a young teen living in a dysfunctional family . 7 members make up Malcolm’s lower middle class family with five boys, a childlike and emotional father, and a mother who has to take on the role of authority figure.
The Introduction to Malcolm in the Middle starts with the song Boss of Me by They Might Be Giants. The lyrics start with
” yes, no, maybe, I don’t know Can you repeat the question? You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now, and you’re not so big”
which really gives us the perspective of rebellion to come in the show. All while the family is shown in many dysfunctional scenarios like Lois spraying water all over the kitchen at the kids, Dewey holding onto Reese’s back and pulling back his nose so he looks like a pig and Hal in his underwear. The dysfunctional family is something that makes every family laugh especially if you can imagine living in a house of three destructive boys.
A few reasons draw a whole range of viewers to Malcolm in the Middle. It lets the average family relate to situations in everyday life we see as parents and children while sending the audience into a burst of laughter. Starting even before the Introduction to the show in the first season it gives the audience a vision of Malcolm’s brothers through his eyes. His oldest brother, Francis, who is in Military school. The second eldest, Reese, who is the worst behaved of the brothers. The brother slightly younger than Malcolm is Dewey, the more caring and loving one of the family. Lastly Jamie who is the baby of the family and taken care of mostly by the mother. The mom who has to put up with these lunatic brothers is Lois. An aggressive and controlling mom that has a love for her sons that I would relate to a mother bear. At the throne of the family is Hal, a more relaxed weird dad that has a few unusual hobbies and fears Lois more than the boys.
Then there is Malcolm, the character I’d say I relate to most in the TV show. Malcolm being the middle in age of the family gets picked on by Reese but also picks on Dewey. He is a child prodigy having an IQ of 165 at the age of 12 but hates being considered gifted. He also loves to edge on his brothers and start problems. A very big protagonist in my eyes which I myself can relate too a lot. The relationships between these brothers isn’t too easy for me to connect with since I was a only-child growing up. Yet watching Malcolm in the Middle gives me that feeling like I knew what having a younger/older brother was like. Though a best-friend of mine from high school and his two brothers are almost an exact copy of Reese, Malcolm and Dewey.
A reason to watch this TV show is because of it’s high success. Winning 46 awards and nominated over 100 times, Malcolm in the Middle was a Family Comedy way ahead of its time. It gave viewers a new type of show that hadn’t really been seen yet with a childhood that isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. In 2000 after the first season was aired Malcolm In the Middle won two Emmy’s for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (http://www.emmys.com/shows/malcolm-middle). Through the 7 seasons Frankie Muniz has won a handful of awards for his work on the show. Frankie “The Kid” was an idol of mine growing up, he was the all-American kid that rebels and is a bookworm at the same time.
In the Pilot episode, it follows Malcolm through one of his unusual days in life. He is told by his mom that he has to go on a play date after school with Stevie Kenarban. Stevie is a cripple in a wheelchair that has a problem with his breathing and is a very big nerd. The play date doesn’t consist of very much because of the fact that Stevie is so sheltered but these boys do find one thing in common, Comic Books. When Malcolm enters his closet and see’s a magnificent collection of all his favorite comic books it sparks an instant friendship. A friendship that grows each season and last the complete span of the show. Malcolm becomes a lot closer to Stevie when he is recommended to be in the advanced schooling program. Their relationship is one that any kid who was friends with someone that got picked on when they were younger can connect with.
Malcolm is picked on due to his excellence in school. When Malcolm’s school counselor, Caroline Miller, notices his intelligence she tries to refer him to the advanced program while Malcolm is too worried about the Middle School bully, Spath. Mrs. Miller pushes the fact to Lois who believes it a bunch of bull crap at first. When she warms up to the idea, she forces Malcolm into the program. Malcolm knows its the best thing for his future but all the “nerds” in this advanced program are considered to be ” the Krelboynes” the weak and wimpy. This pilot episode sets the scene for the amazing must watch show through understanding how Malcolm isn’t any average Krelboyne. He sticks up for Stevie and calls out Spath for being a mean bully who is worthless. Malcolm doesn’t conform to be a pushover and knows how to talk his way out of things.
Critics have been known to relate this show to The Simpsons and I disagree highly. It creates more of a passion with the characters at the same time as providing that belly busting humor. It brings you through two or three stories each episode that have a beginning, middle and end. Malcolm in the Middle brings real scenarios to a family that is unrated and willing to say whatever is on their minds. It makes you feel like your part of the family watching this show and it also brings to depth the secondary characters more than most. Malcolm in the Middle gave me the family I never had. It is a binge worthy show that will grasp the viewer in for 7 seasons.