Halls of Montezuma, Dubbie!

middleman.jpgIt is a fact that my love for [*The Middleman*](http://doombot.com/2008/07/22/short-television-review-the-middleman/) knows no bounds, corporeal or spiritual, so despite the fact that the show is—in [the words of its creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach](http://themiddleblog.livejournal.com/41963.html)—”hibernating in a high-tech vat, or a sac filled with a translucent amniotic fluid”, I can still rest secure in the knowledge that come July, I will be able to own all twelve episodes in [one handy DVD package](http://www.amazon.com/Middleman-Complete-Matt-Keeslar/dp/B001XW7ICW/). Not only that, but arriving at the same time is a graphic novel that concludes the storyline from the TV show (which, if you’ll cast your mind back to more carefree days, you’ll remember was itself based on a comic series).

To my mind, *The Middleman* is undoubtedly the best prematurely-cancelled show since *Firefly* walked upon England’s mountains of green—and let’s be fair: I watch a lot of shows that get cancelled. I could almost be the patron saint of cancelled television shows—well, except for that whole “performing miracles” business. Then again, *Firefly* already got revived once, so maybe if a couple more shows I liked come back from the dead, that’ll count.

Basically, this is all a long way of saying that you should really watch *The Middleman*. This is, after all, the show that brought us fish zombies, vampire bat puppets, and five intergalactic dictators masquerading as a boy band. Matt Keeslar as the eponymous Middleman is a square-jawed, all-American hero in the vein of pulp heroes of old, and Natalie Morales’s Wendy Watson is probably geekdom’s best heroine since Veronica Mars. If you like the show *half* as much as I like it, well, I’ll have liked it twice as much as you.

And that’s logic you can’t argue with.

Short Television Review: Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica‘s “re-imagined” series is winding to a close, and I say one part good bye, one part good riddance. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed lots of individual pieces, such as the first season-as-mini-series, the short “occupation” arc in season 3, the odd episode here and there, and the finale. Unfortunately, there was a lot of material in there that just shouldn’t have been there. Filler material is to be expected on TV, but I was more bothered by the twists and turns that ended up becoming plot holes so deep even the writers themselves can’t seem to answer many common questions clearly. A lot of the twists in the show’s story feel out of the blue and insufficiently foreshadowed, probably in large part because the writers went into it without enough an overarching plan and just made stuff up as they went along. Fans allege this of TV writers all the time, but it’s not just speculation in this case; Ron Moore himself has mentioned in interviews about how certain decisions were made well into the series, such as the oft-maligned “these humans turn out to have been cylons all along” revelation(s). This can be chalked up to the fact that they didn’t actually envision it as a finite, self-contained series from the outset, but as an “open ended adventure,” according to executive producer David Eick. (Shortly thereafter they announced a definitive end in sight, though one gets the sense this was due to negative response following both the “open-ended” comments and some really rotten filler episodes.) Overall, I think this show is a great example of both how great TV can be and how stupid and pointless it can be. Overall, Battlestar Galactica could have been a truly, singularly excellent thing in sum if only they’d planned it that way from day one.