Top positive review
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Was MY family like this?
on June 24, 2003
Living outside the U.S. for a while now, I've been a bit out of touch with American television for the last few years. So, when a friend of mine handed me this DVD set and said "You've got to see this show", I got my first taste of "Malcolm In The Middle"...and was completely hooked.
This show is not only funny and original, but it seems to strike a familiar chord with childhood memories. Not only mine, but also everyone that I've discussed this series with. Although the family in the series appears (at first glance, anyway) to be thoroughly dysfunctional, they grow on you as the series progresses. I began to recognize bits and pieces of my own childhood, whether it was some absurd thing said by one of my parents, a kid-like caper pulled off in school, or some friend that I had that didn't quite "fit in". I can relate to this show.
The writing is excellent and extremely funny, even managing to put valuable life lessons across, without being heavy handed. The acting is top notch, reminiscent of "Family Ties" and "Home Improvement" in its ensemble cast chemistry and tightness. And, although a surprise, I found the unique innovation of not including a laugh track to be refreshing, allowing me to decide what was funny (almost everything), rather than trying to force me down the road of simulated amusement.
The DVD set is a great value. Fantastic transfers (as best as I can tell, without ever having seen an actual broadcast), great sound, and jam packed with special features. There's about 3 hours of commentary for selected scenes, a bloopers reel, 4 unaired opening scenes, 4 deleted scenes, and a handful of "promos". There are also 3 fairly interesting featurettes covering the show itself, the crew, and a day in the life of "Dewey" (Eric Per Sullivan). The only lame feature of the entire set was a small section called "MalcolmVision", which was basically just some framing goofs as a result of the program's shooting in a 16X9 format. An incredibly small negative for what is overwhelmingly an outstanding boxed set.
Good show, good price, and exceptional entertainment...You just can't go wrong with this series. I can't wait for the release of season two!