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Middle Man

Ok, I had never even heard of this until about 30 seconds before it aired (I haven't watched live TV since the SV finale...just haven't been in a television mood), but I happened to be surfing the TV Guide channel to see what was on and saw an ad, and DAMN. They pretty much had me at "hentai tentacle monster."

So a quick glance at imdb tells me this is based on a comic, which I kind of guessed just based on tone. And I thought in at certain points it was trying a little too hard --and the dialogue was coming so lightning fast in the beginning of the episode it didn't actually seem to synch up with the actor's lips (or else the tape was slightly off)--but otherwise? This was a fantastic, ironic, hilarious show. God, the dialogue is so excellent--very funny and surprisingly sophisticated for an ABC family show. And I adored all the comic book references (Robin, boy hostage!) and the Avengers montage. But mostly I just really love Wendy's character, and I think the Middleman is a hoot.

For those who didn't see it, the basic premise is that Wendy Watson is a twenty-something temp who proves to be good under pressure when a lab explosion creates a hentai tentacle monster gets recruited by the Middleman, a dorky, clean-cut hero whose job it is to clean up/cover up comic book evil that infests the world. The motto: Middleman--we fight evil so you don't have to. Wendy has an art degree, an overbearing mother, a performance artist roommate who's really into animal rights, a slacker film student boyfriend who breaks up with her on camera for his cinema verite project, and a finely honed ironic sensibility filled with comic book and pop culture references. The Middleman is sort of like Benton Fraser if he was written by Kevin Smith: square-jawed, clean cut, non-swearing, milk drinking, country-music listening, badass but always polite, yet with an overlay of irony. In general, the show is pretty campy in the way it plays with different genres (in this episode: mob movies and scifi movies). The pilot was good enough that I watched it twice in a row. It's probably on ABC family's website, if you missed it.



Nora (KK glasses)
Nora Norwich

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