Pros:Funny, creative, witty, long-standing
Cons:Too much arguing, rarely do things work themselves out in the end
The Bottom Line: I'd say you should watch this but it will take a few episodes to get into it.
The family can't get along. That's been the theme of this TV show ever since its first episode. The brothers are always arguing with each other or together against their parents. The family consists of six awkward members:
Hal - The doting and caring husband/father who doesn't get angry as often as his wife but he when he gets angry, you better watch out!
Lois - The mother with a bad temper. Her temper seems to play a central role in every episode that she plays a role in. It's worsened in recent years. She used to be calmer in the earlier years.
Malcolm - The main character and usually the narrator of the show. He's a genius who still managers to get in trouble with his three brothers.
Reese - Very dumb and rude. He's older than Malcolm though he shows no real chance to go to college.
Dewey - Signs are showing that he's a genius like his brother Malcolm, though Malcolm secretly switched Dewey's tests results with Reese's in a recent episode and Dewey has been stuck being the leader of the Special Ed class, which has improved a lot since his arrival. They view him as some sort of leader and a deity.
Francis - The oldest brother who at first was the least responsible but more recently has morphed into more of an adult. He got a job at the farm with a very absentminded owner. Unfortunately recently he lost his job there, but I missed that episode. He started off the show in a military academy and eventually went to Alaska and then to his job at the farm.
As you can see, the characters age throughout the show. As the actors all age, it's impossible to have Malcolm convincingly stay in junior high school his whole life. We know that Malcolm is probably 16 or 17 at this point in the show, and he might have been 11 or 12 when it all started.
There are other minor characters that play a role in episodes.
There is Malcolm's friend Stevie who is in a wheelchair and can only speak one word at time, as he has to breathe between words. There are also a couple of other kids that were in Malcolm's "Crowboine" class in middle school, also known as the genius class.
There's Craig Feldspar, the overweight and perpetually geeky assistant manager at Lucky Aide. He has a huge crush on Lois and at one point the family burns his house down and he has to live with them.
Many other characters play a role in the show, and there are also others that appear in only a few episodes such as the family's grandmother.
One of the main flaws is the constant arguing and yelling. It's somewhat irritating and not all that funny anymore. Everyone in the show is always arguing with someone else, or planning to sneak out, or something. There's never respect or morals to be learned from these bouts of anger.
Although the show does not go without its moral merits. Recently Dewey has become a defender of the developmentally disabled, something that I am proud of.
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Type of Program: Comedy
Program Quality: Entertaining, but not intellectually or emotionally engaging
Best Suited For: Kids to Teens