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DVD Review

DVD cover

Malcolm in the Middle
The Complete Seventh Season


Starring: Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Masterson and Justin Berfield
Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 October 2013

For seven seasons Malcolm in the Middle charted the chaotic lives of Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), his three brothers, Reese (Justin Berfield), Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) and Francis (Christopher Masterson), as well as their long suffering mother Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and man-child father Hal (Bryan Cranston).

The show had started strong, but had shed its audience season by season, while at the same time perversely continuing to win awards. The child actors had grown and the show had reflected this growth. While change was inevitable and a necessity, as the boys grew, what didn’t change was the quality of the writing.

Malcolm in the Middle: Season Seven (2005 - 482 min) has been released as a standalone set. Created by Linwood Boomer, who also wrote and directed a couple of the episodes the show, overall remained strong throughout its run.

The three DVDs contain the entire twenty-two episodes, opening strong with Burning Man wherein the family travel to the annual Burning Man festival, of course this is just an excuse for the manic form of surreal comedy which was the signature of the show. In a place of free expression and general weirdness, some of the family join in, while Hal’s personal weirdness is mistaken for performance art.

Each subsequent episode has an equally ridiculous premise, until the final episode Graduation which closes another chapter in Malcolm’s life with a story of both change and continuity. With Malcolm off to college, Reese is moving out to start a job. The final section shows the older boys moving into manhood, while Dewey and Jamie take up the challenge of being the source of chaos in the family home.


Charles Packer

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