Last night’s episode of The Middleman did not disappoint, easily being one of the best episodes of the season. In a clever riff on the Austin Powers concept, Kevin Sorbo guest starred as a Middleman placed in suspended animation in 1969, brought back to life once it is surmised his arch-nemesis has returned. Amidst an ever-escalating spoof of 60s spy movies, the current Middleman and his sardonic sidekick Wendy Watson must work with the 1969 Middleman to save the world.
Freezing someone in order to revive them later is a common idea in science fiction. And it’s probably one of the areas where people are trying their hardest to turn science fiction into science fact.
Science Not Fiction’s recommendation for today’s viewing pleasure: check out The Middleman on the ABC Family channel at 10 pm (9 central). The Middleman is a show about a low-key superhero and his sidekick, struggling artist Wendy Watson. Tonight, pulp science fiction TV legend Kevin Sorbo (star of Hercules and Andromeda) is guest starring in an episode titled “The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown.” A la Austin Powers, Sorbo plays a Middleman who was cryogenically frozen in the 1960’s and who now has been revived to battle his old nemesis. If you haven’t seen The Middleman yet, you should, not least for it’s sense of humor, which is so dry it could used for sandpaper.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become a big fan of The Middleman. Monday’s episode featured The Middleman and faithful sidekick Wendy Watson on the trail of a cursed tuba (being able to write plot summaries that feature the words “cursed tuba” is one the reason why I love this show). To assist the investigation, their robotic assistant Ida starts scanning the global telecommunications and surveillance networks for any mention of tubas. Not surprisingly, the next few scenes show our heroes slipping into near-comas of boredom as irrelevant hit after irrelevant hit piles up hour after hour. Interestingly enough, this is exactly the same problem that real super-high-tech spy agencies suffer from.
ABC Family’s new science-fiction comedy The Middleman (the pilot is available for free on iTunes) has a good shot at being a cult hit, or a least a guilty pleasure—it’s rapid-fire cultural references, charming cast, and tongue-jammed-firmly-in-cheek tone overwhelm the cheesiness of the low-budget sets and deliberately over-the-top scripts.
The central premise is that a Men-in-Black-style superhero, the Middleman, has recruited Wendy Watson, a struggling artist working temp jobs, to be his sidekick.