Malcolm in the Middle

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Template:Infobox television Malcolm in the Middle is a situation comedy on the Fox Network. It first aired in 2000.

It stars Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, the third oldest of five boys in the family (hence the name, "Malcolm in the Middle"). The show centers around Malcolm and his dysfunctional family's life.

The series is different from many others, in that Malcolm breaks the fourth wall, and talks directly to the viewer. It is also one of the few sitcoms that does not have a live studio audience or any other sort of laugh track.

The show's theme song, "Boss of Me," was recorded by They Might Be Giants, who also perform the musical scoring for the show.

It airs in Canada on the Global Television Network. It is also shown in Britain on Sky One and then BBC2 a few months later, and in Australia, it is aired by Nine network. In Mexico it is aired in Spanish on Channel Five (XHGC) of Televisa. In Israel it is aired on Bip Channel, The comedy Channel. In Germany it is aired on Pro 7, in Austria on ORF 1. The series is also aired on one of Malaysia's free TV stations, NTV7. In the Middle East, the series is aired on MBC 2 (http://www.2onthenet.com/) and Showtime Arabia's (http://www.showtimearabia.com/) Paramount Comedy Channel. In Spain it is aired on Antena 3 (http://www.antena3tv.es/), and on M-Net in South Africa. In Hong Kong it is aired on TVB Pearl and around Asia it can be watched on Star World.

Contents

The family

Missing image
Malcolm_in_the_Middle.jpg
Malcolm in the Middle family. Clockwise from top left: Hal, Lois, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Francis. (Not shown: Jamie, the youngest)
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MITMJamie.jpg
The youngest member of the family, Jamie.
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MITMStilts.jpg
An image from the recent episode "Stilts", with Malcolm taking on the role of Uncle Sam at the Lucky Aide, and Reese taking part in multiple drug development programs.

Originally there were only four children (although Malcolm's eldest brother attended a military school away from home, so he was still the middle child left at home). The fifth child, a new baby, was introduced in the show's fourth season, although it was not made clear what sex the child was until the beginning of the fifth season (a boy). The boys are, from eldest to youngest: Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie.

At the beginning of the series, Malcolm's principal recognizes him as a gifted student, and places him in an accelerated learning class. Much to his dismay, the move brands him as a "Krelboyne," a member of the gifted class. The name "Krelboyne" comes from the surname of one of the characters in the movie Little Shop of Horrors. Many episodes revolve around Malcolm's attempts to reconcile his genius-level IQ with his desire to lead a "normal" social life.

Reese, the second oldest, is also the dumbest. This is because at an early age he learned how to get rid of his troubles, by turning his brain off, or singing the "Minty Mint Song" in his head. He is overall the most destructive of the brothers, and arguably the biggest trouble maker (the full extent of Francis' deeds have yet to be revealed, but occasional glimpses of the past have shown presumably why Francis was exiled from the house). He has a reputation as a bully, but over the show's development has begun to follow Francis and become more responsible. He is an excellent chef and loves to cook, and it has become Hal and Lois' only true leverage to punish him.

In the fourth season, Malcolm's younger brother Dewey begins to exhibit a high degree of intelligence, seen mainly in his talent playing the piano. Dewey was about to follow his brother into the gifted class, only to have Malcolm help him stay in normal classes by using Reese to complete Dewey's tests, which accidentally gets Dewey thrown into the "Special" class, full of kids considered lost causes (the class is known as the "Buseys", an apparent reference to actor Gary Busey.) He has since organized the class to want to be all they can be, and is teaching them standard lessons as their teacher/leader. He has been trying to show that they are just as capable as others, and has organized them to do things like perform an opera he wrote based on his family.

The eldest brother, Francis, is a regular character on the show, though he has not lived at home with his brothers since Hal and Lois sent him to military school (part of the backstory to season 1). After the second season, at only age 16, he legally emancipated himself with the help of an unscrupulous Alabama lawyer. He left the academy and headed up to Alaska to find work as a logger. By season 4 he found himself working as a farmhand at a Texas ranch/hotel which is owned by Germans. (But are Danish in the German version of the series.) Now married to Piama (an Alaskan Native), Francis has become a responsible adult. He applies discipline to his young siblings, who up to that point had regarded him as a role model.

Lois works as a clerk at Lucky Aide, a local drugstore. She has unconventional ways of disciplining her children. Her mother is still alive, much to the family's dismay. Lois also has a sister, with whom she is on uneven ground. Her boss, the domineering but socially inept Craig Feldspar, has romantic feelings for her, which he makes known in several episodes. Lois is of undetermined Eastern European descent, an aspect only explored in a single episode in the latest season.

Hal is a bit squeamish and more relaxed in his parenting than Lois, mainly because he is afraid to make the wrong choice. His indecisiveness supposedly stems from a childhood incident in which he caused a clown to get attacked by a snake (both of which he is now afraid of). He's smart enough to know not to cross Lois. He is arguably the biggest dreamer of the family, usually daydreaming about enjoyable situations. He comes from a large rich family, with all of the family members having some (repressed) problem or another. They rarely visit because of the friction between Hal's relatives and Lois.

Their last name

The last name of the family has never been revealed on the show, but several sources have reported that it is Wilkerson. This is the result of a joke that appeared in the original pilot script. In that script, Malcolm was walking to school when a neighborhood kid came running up shouting, "Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. I was talking to my parents last night - I was listening to them talk, and what's your last name?" "Wilkerson, why?" Malcolm replied. "Oh. Who are the Pariahs?" said the other kid. The joke was eventually cut. Although in another episode, when the family came to a company picnic, the last name was mentioned as Landon. One theory of why their last name has never been given is that the producers did not want them to be typecast as any particular ethnicity. However, Lois (the family matriarch)'s mom, who makes occasional appearances, is evidently of Eastern European descent.

The setting of the show also has never been revealed. The locale doesn't appear to have noticeable seasons, and doesn't appear to be in a desert environment, so one could conjecture the setting is somewhere in suburban southern California. Also, the schools the teens attend has the look and layout of a common California public school, with classes in many sperate single story buildings, and lot of outdoor space inbetween (usually with a central plaza-like area), instead of a single multistory building.

Opening titles

The opening titles feature a collection of short, subliminal clips from cult icons or movies, edited together with clips from the early seasons of the TV series. These include:

  • Three women fighting a giant turtle: From One Million Years BC (1966)
  • Grinning anime boy in rain: Shiogami from anime Nazca
  • Monster rising out of the ocean: From Clash of the Titans (1981)
  • Woman being held above a nest of hungry pterodactyl: From One Million Years BC (1966)
  • Anime guy skateboarding: From anime Nazca
  • Mud-monster grabing a women as she kisses a man: From The Creature From The Haunted Sea (1961)
  • Man ski-jumping while ignited in flames: From unknown
  • Wrestling fight: Bret Hart wrestling Chris Benoit, during the 1999 WCW Mayhem PPV in Toronto, Ontario
  • Prosthetic face being assembled: From unknown
  • Man attacking giant brain with an axe: From The Brain From Planet Arous (1957)
  • Boxer knocking out referee: Pedro Cardenas fighting Willie deWit but accidentally KOd referee Bert Lowes instead, during the 1982 North American Championships in Las Vegas

Cast

See also

External links

de:Malcolm Mittendrin fr:Malcolm

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