Review: THE MIDDLEMAN “The Pilot Episode Sanction” (S01E01)

Natalie Morales and Matt Keeslar

It seems that ABC Family is unstoppable. After great shows like Kyle XY and Greek, they bring us a new original series, THE MIDDLEMAN, which premieres Monday, June 16, at 8pm.

Based on the comic book of the creator, Javier Grillo-Marxuach (you can read our interview with him here), The Middleman is a funny, witty, original show. It tells the story of The Middleman (Matt Keeslar), a man who “takes care of exotic problems.” In the first episode, The Middleman finds a new partner, Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales), an art school graduate in desperate need of a job. Together they fight comic book-like evil characters.

Having already read the comic book it was expected that I would compare the two. I will admit that my idea of Wendy Watson was totally different than the way she is portrayed in the show. Was it a problem at first? Yes, because I had to adjust. Will it bother me in the future? No. I think you just have to see both medium as separate at this point, since the show will most likely not follow the comic book in the future (especially since there are only three volumes of the comic book). And by the end of the pilot, I could already tell that I was going to warm up to “TV Wendy.”

As for the Middleman himself, well although I also had a different image and idea in my mind, Matt Keeslar has totally won me over. He is a great Middleman and he even made me laugh quite a few times. I don’t think I ever saw him in anything else, but I am sold. In fact I liked him so much that I cannot wait to see more of the show. And I really have to give it up to him because the Middleman is not an easy character to play.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. I don’t think it’s like anything I’ve seen on TV before. It’s very stylized, the dialogue is very fast-paced and full of references (which I don’t get half of the time… shame on me, but it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying it none the less), as well as very original. I think that people are either going to love it or hate. I personally really liked it and I think there is great potential for it. Plus ABC Family is a great channel to launch a show like that.

I would recommend you give it a try this summer and see how you like it.

Don’t forget to tune in Monday, June 16, at 8pm on ABC Family.