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Malcolm In The Middle 5

Monday, 29 April 2013 00:00
Posted in TV DVDs
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Malcolm in the Middle - Season 5 out on DVDSo here we are at the fifth instalment of this highly entertaining series. For the uninitiated the Malcolm of the series is the middle son in a family of five boys. Their parents Hal and Lois try, mostly in vain, to control this quintet of trouble. Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is a genius, although his intelligence gets him in as much trouble as his brothers. He is sometimes too smart for his own good and often thinks he can outwit his mother. In the episode “Thanksgiving” he sneaks out of the house to go to a party and after drinking a little more alcohol than is sensible he returns home and promptly ruins the family dinner by giving them all a piece of his mind before throwing up and passing out.

Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson) is the oldest brother. He works on a ranch for Otto (Kenneth Mars) who is somewhat incompetent and requires Francis to sort out most of the daily running of the business. Francis’ younger siblings all look up to him and sometimes find it hard to accept that he has matured, married and settled down leaving his wayward years behind him. He does, on occasion, revert to his previous self and become quite childish, particularly around Lois who never seems to approve of anything he does.

Reece (Justin Berfield) is not a genius; he is at times quite stupid. He is easily distracted and likes nothing more than bullying his younger brothers. In the episode “Block Party” he and his younger brother Dewey come up with a scheme to make money by letting all the kids he has bullied beat him for 30 seconds. Rather than actually take the beating himself he cons another boy into pretending to be him. But he does get his comeuppance.

Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) was, until the end of Season Four, the youngest brother. He is now in the interesting position of not being the baby of the family anymore. At times he finds this difficult to cope with. He cannot identify with Malcolm or Reece and is a little jealous of his younger sibling.

Hal (Bryan Cranston) is not the head of the household; he would not want to be as any hint of responsibility weighs heavily on him or is not taken seriously. He is sent to a Father/Baby bonding group which he finds very dull. When he realises the other fathers think it is dull as well he instigates a series of activities culminating in baby curling involving a polished floor and babies being slid about using brooms. His wife is not amused by this.

Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) tries to keep her brood under control. She frequently fails but does garner their respect. The boys and Hal try their best to avoid her wrath. Generally she is right all the time, but on a few occasions she can be wrong including the time Malcolm catches her smoking at work and takes great delight in telling her off.

Most of the stories are farfetched and silly, and that is exactly what you want from a show of this nature. Sometimes you can see the outcome a mile away and can sit and cringe at the inevitable downfall of some crazy scheme or other. Occasionally there are touching moments that make you reflect on your own life.

I was worried the series would be getting a bit repetitive by now but the writers seem to be able to come up with fresh ideas each series. This series sees Malcolm getting quite serious with a girl, Dewey getting sucked into a parallel universe where his parents are rich and Hal almost gets recruited by a secret organisation.

This show really is worth sticking with, it is laugh out loud funny with some fabulous writing and acting. I certainly intend staying until the end.

Malcolm in the Middle – The Complete Fifth  Series is out now, courtesy of Fabulous Films Ltd/ Freemantle Media Enterprises, has a running time of approx 482 minutes and carries a ‘12’ certificate. The retail prise is £29.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com  


Last modified on Thursday, 02 May 2013 11:44