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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Like many comic book heroes, The Middleman works for a mysterious organization dedicated to fighting evil and righting wrongs. He and his new assistant Wendy operate outside standard law enforcement channels and generally take on missions that the everyday police won't handle or simply can't comprehend. As a result, they must actively hide their activities while trying to save the world.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of stylized violence (including weapon use), but little gore -- and the action scenes are so over the top that they seem more comical than thrilling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex and only a little romance. Wendy has a boyfriend, but her new job fighting mysterious enemies prevents her from spending much time with him. Just about all of her friends openly wonder if he's actually gay; one refers to Wendy as his "beard" (i.e. a disguise for his true sexuality). Some or all of these references may go over kids' head.
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No swear words, but a few clever insults and derogatory comments.
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Products & Purchases
Several references to well-known comic book titles, which is appropriate for a show based on a series of graphic novels that tries hard to transport its comic-like atmosphere to the screen. The script also includes frequent quotes from well-known movies, though these fleeting shout-outs don't credit their original sources.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this tongue-in-cheek adventure show is based on a series of graphic novels. It takes pains to bring that comic-book atmosphere to the screen, so expect lots of over-the-top situations, plenty of strange characters, action sequences played for laughs instead of thrills, frequent pop culture references, and a hero whose main strength seems to be his ability to accept the unbelievable without batting an eye. Aside from the cartoony violence (which includes weapon use) and a bit of innuendo (there's some speculation about the sexuality of one character's boyfriend), there's not much for parents to worry about here -- unless being required to suspend your disbelief much more than usual is an issue.
Is It Any Good?
This action show intentionally skirts the line between quirky and silly, setting up one crazy situation after another. If it feels a lot like a comic book, that's no coincidence -- executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach created the Middleman character in a series of popular graphic novels. On the spectrum of action heroes, this show falls much closer to the wacky tone of Men in Black (also based on a comic book) than the thrills of Superman; it goes more for laughs than excitement.
The Middleman seems self-consciously aware of its position in the pop-culture pantheon; the character is deliberately trying to be a very different kind of hero, and the show often quotes well-known lines from well-known films likeThe Godfather and Independence Day. These references go by quickly, as if the writers are challenging the viewers to spot them. The people who can are probably the ones who will enjoy this show the most.
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Our Editors Recommend
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