JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 78
Print this page

Malcolm In The Middle 4

Monday, 18 March 2013 16:55
Posted in TV DVDs
Written by 

Malcolm in the Middle - Series Four out on DVDHere we go again with season four of this excellent sitcom. If you are new to Malcolm in the Middle let me introduce you to the family. Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is the genius son and brother in a fraught American family. He is frequently the instigator of plans to make life better for himself and his brothers in a continual war with their parents. Malcolm’s intelligence is also often used to get the family out of tricky situations.

Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) is the youngest and probably wisest brother. He can turn on the charm when puppy dog eyes are required or speak reason to his panicking father. Reece (Justin Berfield) is the second eldest and least understood brother; he occupies a world of his own where simple things amuse him. He is both tormentor and occasional saviour to his younger brothers.

Francis (Christopher Masterson) is the eldest of the four brothers. He was sent to military school after causing his parents many, many problems. He ran away from military school and worked for a time in Alaska until he again ran away. This season sees him grow up quite dramatically.

Finally Malcolm’s parents Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston). Lois is forced to rule over her family with an iron fist, she should be awarded medals and honours for keeping any kind of order amongst her unruly brood. Hal often behaves like another child. He is at times competitive and at others pathetic, he will reluctantly back his wife up when disciplining the boys but let them get away with most things when she is not around.

So the scene is set for the fourth instalment of adventures for Malcolm and his family. We are treated to a trip to the Zoo where Malcolm and Dewey are almost eaten by tigers; Malcolm beings high school where he ends up humiliated by his mother in front of the whole school; we meet Hals extended family in an episode which guest stars Christpher Lloyd who puts in a tour de force performance as Hals dad.

It is very difficult to find fault with this series, if anything I would say this series is better than the previous one, particularly with Francis’ storyline. Francis is generally away from his family apart from several visits each season. This year sees him down on his luck having recently married Piama (Emy Coligado) and being out of work. He meets Otto (Kenneth Mars) and Gretchen (Meagen Fay) who just happen to run a ranch and just happen to need a manager.

The ranch is badly run and the employees take advantage of the overly generous Otto. Francis, who has gradually matured somewhat over the last two series does not take advantage and becomes a competent manager who looks out for Otto.

It is this development of the characters that makes Malcolm in the Middle such an enjoyable show. Another good example is Malcolm himself; he is now taking an interest in girls and goes through a couple of relationships as he begins to find his way around these strange creatures. He also goes through various emotions; he becomes quite depressed in the first episode and tries to think before he speaks in another, initially enjoying other people’s reactions but eventually ending up becoming quite stressed and getting an ulcer.

Lois surprises the family with an unexpected pregnancy this year which will no doubt cause some upset. It also means that actor Jane Kaczmarek does not have to continually hide her real baby bump behind cushions and assorted pieces of furniture.

Whilst I would not generally associate with a family like this I am always interested to see where they will go and what they will do next. I look forward to seeing how they cope in the future.

Malcolm in the Middle – The Complete Fourth 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 RRP is £29.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com  


Last modified on Monday, 18 March 2013 16:59