Monday, August 18, 2008

The Middleman

If you are actually blogging, or even worrying about, the "Cone of Silence" or McCain's superior performance in Saturday night's Saddleback Forum, you need to just relax and tune into tonight's episode of The Middleman, one of the most brilliant television series ever created.

Created by Javier Grillo-Marxuach from his own graphic novels (or comics if you prefer) by the same name, The Middleman is absolutely overflowing in trivia, cultural references and inside jokes. If somehow you glossed over this series thinking it's some sort of modern day Batman (the Adam West version), you need to sit back down and watch it again. It's closer to modern day Get Smart, with Natalie Morales a legitimate heir to Don Adams brilliant comic timing.

But the writing is well beyond Get Smart's simple humor and mild satire. Each of The Middleman's thematic shows is a veritable treasure trove of layered humor, nuance and tribute to past cultural icons. You literally need to watch each episode several times to catch and find the references. And even then you'll need to log into one of the many Middleman forums and read comments from other viewers.

The comedic acting, led by Morales and the equally talented Matt Keeslar, is wonderful. Mary Pat Gleason, as the annoying and all too human android Ida, is a joy to watch.

Watch every detail. No detail is too small and absolutely nothing is unimportant. In a recent episode that overflowed with Ghostbuster references, a street sign had the name "Ray Palmer Jr. Ave."

So, take a break from your stress over who will be nominated as Barack Obama's Vice President and immerse yourself in an hour of real fun and frivolity. Discover one of television's hidden treasures, The Middleman.