Monday, August 4, 2008

Season 1 Episode 2
“An Accidental Occidental Conception”
Written by Sarah Watson
Directed by Michael Zinberg

“Our mandate is to protect the people from threats infra-, extra-, and juxtaterrestrial; not to become consumed by the mundane problems of everyday life.”

Oh, lookie! A new opening credits sequence. It’s cool! And all sorts’a yellow!

Even as Wendy has a spat with her best friend, “confrontational, spoken-word performance artist” Lacey (Brit Morgan), an inexplicable mudslide in The Terracotta Warrior Tea House and Dim Sum Restaurant puts the Middleman right up against his very own Kryptonite: magic.
So a supernatural consultant is required.

Enter Roxy Wasserman (Elaine Hendrix, who played Joan of Arcadia’s science teacher, Ms. Lischak) of Famouse Fashion House, renowned fashion designer and reformed succubus, who employs a whole gaggle of demons who’ve turned a new leaf.
Only with Roxy’s help can the Middleman prevent a thousand-year rain of fire from coming to pass.

So the laughs and the pop culture references continue to zing by, as do the humourous rat-a-tat lines of dialogue (“You let yourself become distracted and the next thing you know, a geological rift opens and the city’s overrun by three-toed hominids who once battled man for dominance while you’ve got your tighty-whities around your ankles.”).
And yes, the strangely appropriate Power Rangers-grade CGI keeps on comin’.

We also get some new bits, both interestingly informative (the Middleman is the only Middleman in the world) and terribly, revealingly amusing (like a high school 1991 remembrance that partially explains why the Middleman is the way he is), as well as what could be a new recurring character, Trevor (Monarch Cove’s Matt Funke), the “barely reformed” demon who could be Lacey’s new love interest.
Hendrix as Roxy is also a spot-on plus. While her eccentricities as Ms. Lischak always felt particularly contrived, making the character an ill fit in Joan of Arcadia, the overall goofiness of The Middleman affords Hendrix a space in which her just-north-of-the-top performance feels right at home.

The Middleman’s rich, people, a light, fun, pop culture confection that gets a nice groove on when it’s so inclined.
You should really check it out, if you haven’t already.

“Look, I’m a multitasker. Ability to defeat evil and deal with emo at the same time. It’s like my superpower.”

(Images courtesy of and

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