Critic Consensus: Malcolm in the Middle blasts out of the gate with a startlingly adept child performance from Frankie Muniz, a robust family ensemble, and a distinctive, punchy visual style.
Malcolm in the Middle: Season 1 Photos
Tv Season Info
as Bathroom Attendant
as Wendy Finnerman
as Mrs. White
as Mr. Pinter
as Dave Spath
as Cadet Adam
as Mr. Inkster
as Mr. Kenarbin
as Mrs. Inkster
as Mrs. Kenarbin
The humor ventures into slapstick, the direction is fanciful but the themes are thoughtful.
The dysfunctional family setup is one that has been plenty of times on the small screen, but rarely does it work quite so well as it does here.
It's funny, quirky, surreal, dipping in and out of reality, moving from the often bleak reality of being a child to the heart-warming fantasy of living in a perfect, if temporary, world.
Seems to have found that optimum combination of elements... perceptive casting, outstanding acting and innovative direction brought to scripts that blend verbal jousting and slapstick
This promising show covers the whole adolescent gambit with a new spirit - a tad irreverent, a tad wise.
Audience Reviews for Malcolm in the Middle: Season 1
Many TV historians will tell you that if it wasn't wedged in between the Simpsons and the X-Files on FOX Sunday nights, Malcolm In The Middle never would have lasted seven seasons. The ratings did drop every time Fox tried to move the show, and it did ultimately get cancelled when Family Guy came back and took it's time slot. I think however, it had more to do with the kids growing up than it did with the quality of the show or it's time slot, because Malcolm In The Middle to me, was the first truly hilarious and worthwhile sitcom of the new millennium. The family with no last name, (yes, in seven seasons, they don't mention their last name a single time) is the dysfunctional family that puts all others to shame! The father, Hal (Bryan Cranston), may be the biggest kid of them all, with absolutely no self-control. The mother, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), is the boss, the big scary scream machine, who hands out the punishments, and is the boys ultimate rival, making her the most fun to mess with. The oldest son, Francis (Christopher Masterson), is so bad, that he keeps getting sent away to one ridiculous place after another. The next oldest, Reese (Justin Berfield), is the good old fashion school bully. Little brother, Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) is just as weird as they come (every time he screamed like a girl, especially when he got older, I almost peed myself). Finally, in the middle is Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), who is a genius, trying to make sense of the chaos that is his life. To me this show was so ahead of it's time, I mean they cast Bryan Cranston in a leading role, back when Vince Gilligan was still a part-time screen writer on the X-Files. The chemistry between the kids is fantastic and the dynamic between the laid back Hal and the high struck Lois is comedic gold. This isn't just the kind of show you love to watch, but it's also the kind of show you can tell the people involved with loved doing it. When it's more than just a job and the actors really love the characters and fellow cast members, that is when a show can become really special. The bottom line, most sitcoms are full of corny PG jokes meant for prime time audiences. They're something to tune into when nothing else is on, but once in a while, one of them comes along that is special and breaks the mold, Malcolm In The Middle is that show. No sitcom, with perhaps the exception of Everybody Loves Raymond has ever made me laugh as much as this show has, and trust me that is not an easy task with my weird sense of humor.
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