Yea, the funny shots are when they are in the strip club, the girl is dancing on the pole, and the bottom of the screen reads “A new kind of family. ABC Family.”
I actually didn’t like this. The humor is incidental, and story appears to be written by a committee of non-writers, and the production values are juvenile.
At first I thought they were going for a cross between MiB and Pushing Daisies, but where it fails on both counts is attempting to do that in the first place. 10 producers sat around a table and “brain”-stormed for 20 minutes, handed their ideas off to the beleaguered writers, who did the best job they could.
When they obviously asked the writers to spice up the dialog by making sound more like Juno, I started to get angry with it.
This struck me as reaching back, past the Spandex age, to the old Radio Drama style of superheroes. The fact that they stuck to that concept so closely as to trigger some of the complaints I see in this thread is surprising.
For what it is, I thought it was well-written and carried out. There are inherent weaknesses to the genre, and the pilot was affected by them. But, in all, it was a fun little piece of fun that manages to avoid a lot of the common traps you see in T.V. today, such as the relationship between protagonists.
They even managed to fit in a few self-reference and self-reflection, which is good because it’s addresses a broader scope of subjects that way. There is such a thing as too much (see the Geico Caveman ads as of late), but The Middleman didn’t get there in its first episode.
From a narrative standpoint, there is plenty to explore, given that the last time this genre was visited in this sort of incarnation has lapsed from memory. As long as they avoid falling into a “quirky cop show” rut, they’ll do fine.
It’s nothing special, fluff you’ll forget about immediately afterwards, but watchable reasonably entertaining fluff. It’s summer, pickings are slim and I have two tuners and 1TB of storage on my DVR. Season-passed.
It was written by one guy, based on his comic book of the same name, and he freely admits it’s supposed to take all the sci-fi and pop culture stuff he’s grown up loving and throw them into a blender. He’s a well established TV writer who’s done a lot of genre work, including Lost, The Pretender, Seaquest DSV, Jake 2.0, The Chronicle, etc etc.
I’m not saying you have to like the thing, but recognize that it’s pretty clearly the labor of love of a particular personality, not something tossed off by a committee of suits in 20 minutes.