tek's rating: ¾

The Middleman, on ABC Family
Amazon; Great but Forgotten; IMDb; Shout! Factory; TV.com; TV Tango; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia

This ran for one season of just 12 episodes, in 2008. It's based on a comic book I never heard of. (In fact I'm not even sure I ever heard of the publisher.) But anyway... I initially put this in the "paranormal" section, but even then I thought I might ultimately decide to move it to "quirky"... and now I have. Well, the premise is similar to shows like Special Unit 2, or something. The main characters... fix exotic problems. Could be aliens, mad scientists, supernatural stuff, any sort of comic book type stuff (but not always supernatural or sci-fi or whatever, it could be as ordinary as, say, evil luchadores). But it's not exactly a big organization fighting evil, it's just two people. The title character, the Middleman, has a headquarters and all kinds of high tech gadgets, but he doesn't know where any of it comes from. He was recruited at some point, but he works on his own. Although at the HQ, there's a cranky android named Ida, who is helpful in quite a few ways. (Actually, as an inside joke, they call their organization O2STK, which stands for "Organization Too Secret to Know," seeing as they know nothing about it.) Anyway, the Middleman recruits a woman named Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales). She's a painter, but up until now she's been working a lot of office temp jobs, I guess. Anyway, she seems to take all the weird stuff pretty much in stride. Though she's kind of sarcastic and stuff. As opposed to her new boss, who is very... clean cut, straight-laced, an overgrown boy scout. Or whatever.

Um... well, Wendy has a roommate named Lacey Thornfield. She's like um... a confrontational spoken word performance artist. She's got all sorts of causes, but she's not very practical about her protests. She doesn't know what Wendy's new job is, but she does like Wendy's boss, and he seems to like her, too. Oh, and there's a hippie guitarist called Noser who's usually seen sitting in the hall of Wendy and Lacey's building.

Not sure what else to say right now, but it's a fun, clever, amusing show. It's a damn shame it didn't last longer. If it had, I very well might have rated it higher.

quirky index
summer series