As serious as a German film festival

The Middleman is television for and by TV Tropes-reading movie and TV geeks. All artificial, full of popcultural references and ironic, quick-paced dialogue that screams: “Yes, this is television. We’re just a bunch of writers goofing around, come and join us!” This is your reward for knowing your Mario Bava movies and your Wilhelm scream, and your kung-fu and sci-fi and vampire lore. Popcultural trivia doesn’t impress your friends and it bombs at parties, but now there’s a television show just for you. Actually, The Middleman is well-written and has enough general wackiness to appeal to anyone with a passing familiarity with the genres it plays with, but it’s clear who their target audience is: The kind of person who, to the annoyance of everyone around, exclaims “OMG!! this entire episode is based on Escape From New York!!” No really, I like it. I like that it goes 100% synthetic with barely an honest emotion in sight. No halfway caffeinate-it-for-the-kids measures here, just a pure dedication to superficial fun. And let me just say, for the record, that I think it’s awesome that the goatee-universe version of our clean 50’s comic-book-hero-style Middleman is based on Snake Plissken.

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