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Malcolm in the Middle 6

Tuesday, 04 June 2013 00:00
Posted in TV DVDs
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Malcolm In The Middle - Series 6 out on DVDSo we reach the sixth series of this all American show about a somewhat dysfunctional family. If you have read my reviews of the previous series you will know that Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is the genius brother to Francis (Christopher Masterson), Reece (Justin Berfield), Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) and baby Jamie. His parents, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Brian Cranston) struggle to hold the family together, somehow they just about manage to keep the family in check.

This season sees Francis unemployed, which is a shame as it means we don’t get to see the great Otto (Kenneth Mars) anymore. Reece continues to find more inventive ways to get himself into trouble. Malcolm battles with his own morals on several occasions and Dewey continues to astound with his musical brilliance.

There are some superb recurring characters that compliment the family. The aforementioned Otto brought hilarity in huge dollops throughout series 4 and 5, but others have left their mark as well.

Craig Feldspar (David Anthony Higgins) is a colleague to Lois at the Lucky Aide supermarket. Lois seems oblivious to his love for her and uses him when necessary as a babysitter. The family have been responsible for several disasters in Craig’s life. Craig however is always sure to get payback for these problems; he has used Malcolm’s genius on more than one occasion for his own gain.

Malcolm’s best friend and fellow genius is Stevie Kenarban (Craig Lamar Taylor). Stevie uses a wheelchair, something that is often used to comic affect but never in a nasty way. Occasionally Stevie is the voice of conscience when Malcolm comes up with a more outlandish scheme than usual, but generally he and Malcolm work together with a common aim to beat those above or below them on the intellectual scale.

Stevie’s father, Abe (Gary Anthony Williams) is another regular recurring character. After a shaky start he and Hal become firm friends and with a few of Abe’s poker buddies they form an unusual group who unwittingly emulate the Hal’s sons with some of their antics.

Lois’ mother is Ida (Cloris Leachman) who terrorises the family by frequently turning up unannounced and making demands of everyone. Lois hates her, Hal is scared of her and the boys just hide. Ida is bitter about everything; she has a negative opinion about everyone and is generally mean. She is a joy to watch.

Other guest stars over the years have included Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Tania Raymonde (Lost, Death Valley) and many more.

Each episode is as fun as the previous one. There has not been an episode where I have not laughed out loud on several occasions. Some of the humour is telegraphed and you can see the punch line a mile away but that does not matter. All the cast throw themselves into their roles with vigour and panache. Watch and laugh, go on, I dare you.

Malcolm in the Middle – The Complete Sixth 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 price is £29.99, or get it for less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:40