The Middleman

Who is he? The Middleman. What does he do? He…middlemans. By that, of course, we mean he saves the world.

Or so he tells Wendy Watson, his soon to be apprentice, after she is nearly killed by a gross tentacle monster.

BOOM.

The Middleman is one of the greatest TV tragedies of all time. Fantastic premise, characters, actors and plotlines, it just didn’t’ get the amount of attention needed to keep it on the air. The Middleman was originally conceived by Javier Grillo-Marzuach, who wrote it in comic book form, then television, and then comic book form after it was discontinued by ABC family. The villains.

Middleman is about a shadowy organisation that employs the Middleman (name unknown, but holds a fondness for milk) and Wendy Watson, his new apprentice. Wendy (or Dub Dub, as she is affectionately known, struggling artist and quipper at large) is a fantastically sarcastic artist with a heart of a gold. Middleman follows the course of her career with the middleman organisation, under the guidance of her boss and Ida, a foul-mouthed robot (clad, as is only appropriate, in a floral dress and cat-eyeglasses).

The Middleman (ft. Milk)

Okay, Griffin, but why are you telling me to watch this show with only 12 episodes? The answer, dear reader, is because it is absolutely worth it.

The Middleman is like Captain America! (Only, without the gritty reboot aspect of the newer Marvel movies. Also, he can’t swear). Wendy Watson is a smart, level-headed woman character with great relationships with her best friends and boss. Legitimately a complete bad ass in every sense of the word.

I wasn't kidding. Also, she can fly fighter jets.

Lacey (Wendy’s roommate) Noser (Speaks only in song lyrics) Ida (aforementioned grumpy robot) and Tyler (cute, funny, male, can I say more? Yes, but I won’t) and others round out a great cast.

Middleman is full of zany plot lines (zombie fish infections! Vampire puppets! Gorilla mafia!) Every episode is jam packed full of quotable wise cracks and heart-felt moments. It’s a weird blend of comic book antics, utterly absurd characters, and very funny situations.

This is the Middleman fighting the Nacho Libre wrestlers who kidnapped Sensei Ping, for example.

So, if you like the following:

1. Actual platonic partners with a great mentorship relationship!

2. Villains with evil plans that are sheer elegance in their simplicity

3. Great characters

4. Wise cracks! Pop culture references! Quips!  Jests! Banter! Puns! Wit! Okay I’ll stop.

5. A love for anything nerdy (comic books, zombies, boy bands, sci-fi, aliens, monsters)

THEN THIS IS THE SHOW YOU SHOULD WATCH.

It’s only 12 episodes, but give it a try.

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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

We need to talk about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

She's my role model.

She’s my role model.

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been marathoning Miss Fisher with my new flat mate. It’s been a fabulous way to get to know her – there’s nothing like watching a really good murder mystery to bring up conversations. Even if they can get a wee bit macabre.

It also helps that Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is one of my favorite shows on right now. Seriously – I’ve been recommending it to everyone, and four of my friends are new converts.

Strong female friendships are based on serious side-eye and also murder solving together.

Strong female friendships are based on serious side-eye and also murder solving together.

This show has everything! Glitzy 1920’s costumes, fabulous car chases, exciting shoot-outs, gripping mysteries, historical accuracy, witticisms, feminism and utterly maddening romantic tension between the two leads.

They are incredibly frustrating.

They are incredibly frustrating.

The show stars Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher, a lady detective. Accompanied by her faithful Girl Friday, Dorothy Williams (Ashleigh Cummings), Miss Fisher solves murders in 1920’s Australia. It’s a fascinating new take on an old favorite – made 20X more awesome by Miss Fisher’s general everything. Her Joie de Vivre, her self-composition, and her sense of fun. Who doesn’t want to be a pearl-pistol handling, fabulously dressed, race-car driving lady detective?

Goals.

Goals.

She frequently comes into contact with Detective Jack Robinson (Nathan Page), and his constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt). Who are both adorable characters. Jack and Phryne’s interactions are what really make the show, as they dance around each other. It’s thrilling to watch two incredibly intelligent people have a mental battle. The show and their relationship manage to grow and progress in a way where the development feels natural. The two join forces and solve murders together, and the chemistry between them is indescribable.

Jack, Hugh, Dottie, Phryne.

Jack, Hugh, Dottie, Phryne.

Of course, this show wouldn’t be anything without the fabulous supporting cast of characters. There’s Mac, a LADY DOCTOR who is also incredibly fabulous, Bert and Ces, the two communist cab drivers, Jane, Phryne’s adopted ex-pickpocket daughter, Mr. Butler (the name says it all) and more. Every episode manages to introduce compelling and versatile storylines, and the murders are always fascinating to watch and piece together. (I often find myself thinking about how hard detectives had it back then. The show certainly does a good job of digging into old-fashioned policing, which may be why it’s all the more satisfying when they catch the culprit)

Mac and Phryne are often found drinking together and complaining about how stupid men can be. It's everything.

Mac and Phryne are often found drinking together and complaining about how stupid men can be. It’s everything.

The setting makes it a unique find in most detective stories, and the time period is handled accurately (always a plus) and with great interest in regards to WW1. It’s enough to make anyone interested in Ladies Kicking Butt swoon. The character of Miss Fisher is treated with such respect, and she absolutely demands it. The show does a great job of showing how a Lady Detective would have been treated. One of my favorite things is that Phryne never lets it deter her from her goal – finding justice.

 

This is someone who knows how to have a good time.

This is someone who knows how to have a good time.

AND THEN THERE ARE THE COSTUMES. (Prepare yourself for authentic 20’s fabrics and cuts – the costumer had a whole bunch of bolts from the 20’s saved up and decided to use them for the show.)

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And that’s just a SMALL sampler of the incredible things Phryne and Co. get to wear. If you are into costuming then this show is for you. If you also like strong female leads, respectful relationships, adorable banter, high-speed car chases, intriguing murders and more, then what are you waiting for?

For more fun, you can also research an actual lady detective.

Seriously though, this show is incredible. And on Netflix!!

Someday I hope to be this fabulous.

Someday I hope to be this fabulous.