As many of you know by now, I’m forever a fan of the underdog…Firefly, Alien Nation, etc…so it should come as no surprise to you that I’m a fan of The Middleman–yet another awesome show that was killed before it truly had a chance to thrive.
Based on the comic book series (which I have yet to find, much to my chagrin) published by Viper Comics, The Middleman (which was also written and created by the comic book’s creator, Javier “Javi” Grillo-Marxuach) unfortunately ran for only one season back in 2008 on ABC, but while it was on the air, it ran in a very similar vein as Men in Black. There are of course significant differences between the two…such as there are only ever two Middlemen (the Middleman proper and his sidekick) at a time, and the things that they deal with on a daily basis run the gambit from extraterrestrial to human super-villain.
The show (as well as the comic books) centers around Wendy Watson–artist by night and Middleman-in-training by day–and her boss, The Middleman (whose real name is never revealed) as they combat various forces of evil. But it’s nowhere near as cut and dry as it sounds. For one thing, as much of a badass as The Middleman is (and trust me…as a former Navy Seal, he is in fact a badass), he never swears, and never drinks anything stronger than milk. So then, how would I describe The Middleman?
This show was without a doubt different from anything else that was on television at the time, and there hasn’t been another show like it since.
I mean seriously…how many other shows pit its heroes against a troupe of Luchadores, alien dictators masquerading as a boy band, Peruvian Flying Pikes that were capable of creating trout-craving zombies with a single bite, a pair of vampire puppets possessed by the spirits of Vlad the Impaler and his wife, as well as a slue of other strange nasties?
It was campy. It was silly. Yet all that campy silliness aside, it still delivered relatable characters as well as entertaining plots that drew you in from the start of the episodes. Then, there’s the fact that while it ran for only one season, the show was and still is highlyquotable. As if that wasn’t enough to make this show awesome, each and every episode was like a treasure hunt for nerds everywhere because references were constantly being made to various films and other pieces of pop culture.
The episode that had a Ghostbuster theme was particularly well done.
Suffice to say, both hubby and I fell in love with the show from the moment we saw the first episode, and we were both heartbroken when it was taken off the air. Thankfully, we were able to purchase the DVDs when they came out, so we will never be without the awesomeness that is The Middleman. However, that doesn’t make it any less sad for us whenever we watch them, because like Firefly and Alien Nation this show was killed way too soon.
Seriously…what is with networks and their incessant need to put original, creative and worthwhile shows on the chopping block and leave shows filled with whiny, uninteresting characters and tired plot concepts on the air? Who performed the Jedi Mind Trick on network executives and told them that it was a good idea?
That’s all I have to say on the subject.