I know it’s been quite awhile since I officially completed binge watching a show. That’s mostly because we started some longer ones like The Office and Malcolm In The Middle. Well, today I’m one step closer to running out of things to enjoy from Netflix. Unless you were living under a rock from 2000 to 2006 you should be pretty familiar with Frankie Muniz’s socially distraught television family but the real question we’re addressing today is; Is it worth watching all 151 episodes?
Although the show has an interesting look, making it appears like a lower-budget sitcom from the mid-90’s; it’s actually a great representation of the family’s bankrupt lifestyle. The darkness of the main set representing their budgeting schemes is something I’ve never caught when the show originally aired.
While it’s debatable whether the show’s unique style (unique to the 2000’s) was due to Fox’s old notorious hatred of big-budget sitcoms or if it was all done intentionally, where Malcolm In The Middle really shines is the acting. A handful of the main cast were unknowns but some had been around; either way Malcolm was most of their break-through opportunities which seemed to be over looked by the critics and award nominations. I mean, sure, there was a decent amount of ratings and awards given to the show but re-watching this show as the media-buff I’ve become has really let me see just how great the acting is and it’s absolutely incredible.
We all know what Bryan Cranston is capable of now thanks to Breaking Bad, but everyone on the show has their awe-worthy moments; especially Erik Per Sullvan (Dewey) who was only 9 years old when it started. You have to give credit when credit is due and more than enough is due for the kids sticking to the show through all 6 years, giving it their all. A lot of people tend to pick on Frankie Muniz (Malcolm) for still looking 15 (even at the age of 28) but his reactions to the ridiculous situations he was put into with the show is absolutely incredible. Even though Muniz has been acting through his illness while also maintaining a short lived drumming career, it amazes me that he still hasn’t landed a big defining role like Cranston did.
So even though the show feels low budget and grungy, the acting and writing quickly make up for it. Anyone who’s grew up lower middle class or had non-traditional parents can relate to the dysfunction while finding humor in the overly exaggerated situational comedy. Everything from bullying older brothers, to the struggle of surviving in school, to pranking the neighbors out of complete boredom. The pace of the show leaves room for constant laughter, and since none of the jokes are outdated yet (it’s pretty much timeless) if your funny bone is itching for some relief you can find it here.
So we’ve got great laughs, some amazing acting, and an original direction style; what else could you want? How about an A-list of cameos from the most absurd selection of guests? One single two-part episode pushes it to the limit with the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Tom Green, Heidi Klum, Howie Long, Christina Ricci, Patrick Warburton and more! And that’s just one freaking episode.
It is a series worth watching if you haven’t. Even if you remembered most of the jokes, it’s an overlooked classic that has hidden gems all over the place you may have missed. Should you watch it from beginning to end? Well that all depends on how much you can relate and how much you actually enjoy the show. The over-all plot of the series doesn’t change much besides the kids age (barely) and a couple of characters become introduced and reoccurring over time but you won’t miss anything big if you watch a later season before an earlier season. You may have a few unanswered questions, but nothing that would ruin the enjoyment for you. I just wouldn’t recommend watching the finale until you’ve revisited the show because a lot happens then.