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Malcolm in the Middle Season 7

Sunday, 06 October 2013 11:50

Malcolm in the Middle - Season 7 is the final in the seriesAs we enter this final season of Malcolm in the Middle, first screened in 2005, it is worth reflecting on how is all began back in 2000 when 12 year old Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) was just discovering that he was a genius. Reece (Justin Berfield) was 13 and the then youngest brother Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) was eight. Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson) was 16 and at military school.

The years have changed the brothers and their parents Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston). All have grown, except perhaps Hal who is just as childlike. Malcolm is now 17 and Reece is 18 but has been held back a year and is in the same class at school as Malcolm. Dewey is just starting to get interested in girls and Francis is unemployed and looking for work.

I did wonder if this would be a season too many; would the fun have gone out of the show after over 130 episodes? Francis is notable for his absence in many episodes and Reece does seem a bit lost as a very immature 18 year old, who seems to make no attempt at moving on with his life.

But there are still many, many wonders to behold. “Health Insurance” sees Hal desperate to protect his family from any medical misfortune for a weekend until the insurance starts on Monday. “Blackout” has the whole family dealing with a variety of issues played out from different points of view all starting with a balloon hitting the power cables.

The final episode “Graduation” does see the boys finally settling down, Reece and Francis getting jobs, Malcolm studying at college and Dewey taking on the bigger brother roll to youngest sibling Jamie. But of course there is a sting in the tale for Hal and Lois who may have thought they could at last settle down themselves.

Guest stars include Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) sporting the most inexplicable hair you will ever see and George Takei consoling Hal after the loss of his father.

As for the actors, Frankie Muniz is now the drummer for US indie band Kingsfoil. Jane Kaczmarek will be appearing in Us and Them – US a sitcom based on Gavin and Stacey to debut in 2014. Christopher Masterson runs a DJ management company and regularly DJs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Erik Per Sullivan went on to study at the University of Southern California. Justin Berfield is now Chief Creative Officer for production company Virgin Produced. And do I really have to tell you what Bryan Cranston has been up to lately? Flipping between Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad has been quite a surreal experience.

Is it time after seven seasons to graduate; time to move on; time to grow up? No. Rather like The Simpsons I believe Malcolm and his brothers will be stuck in perpetual adolescence, forever getting up to mischief and then paying the consequences. Lois and Hal will be long suffering parents for eternity. And we will always have the theme tune rolling around in our heads…

“You’re not the boss of me now, you’re not the boss of me now…”

Malcolm in the Middle – The Complete Seventh Series is out now, courtesy of Fabulous Films Ltd / Freemantle Media Enterprises, has a running time of approx 480 minutes and carries a ‘12’ certificate. The retail price is £29.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com  

Also available is Malcolm in the Middle - The Complete Collection also out now, courtesy of Fabulous Films Ltd / Freemantle Media Enterprises, which has a running time of approx 2,996 minutes and carries a ‘12’ certificate. The retail price is £149.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

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