Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is, you guessed it, the middle child of a family that gives theSimpsons a run for their money in the demented dysfunctionality department. The fourth wall isbroken, reality goes rubber, and almost anything is possible in each episode.
The sound is clear and free of distortion, but is otherwise uninspiring. There is very little byway of surround effects. Even the music barely registers. So the experience is not really any…different from watching the series during broadcast.
The colours are excellent, with sharp contrasts, good blacks and flesh tones. There is,however, a surprising amount of grain at times. The picture is thus sometimes worse than youwould see on TV. Hmm.
The primary feature is the commentary that runs for the entire season. You have a huge rangeof people speaking, and so a very nice extra is the commentary ID track: engage it, and thespeaker’s name will appear on screen. Creator Linwood Boomer is present for much of theproceedings, and also introduces many of the extras that show up on Disc 3. Here you have“Malcolm Vision” — a collection of flubs visible only in the 16:9 frame; Season 1 promos;“Dewey’s Day Job: A Portrait of Erik Per Sullivan” (which has better surround than the episodesthemselves); “Cold Opens” — four discarded openings (with intro by Boomer); a gag reel; fourdeleted scenes (with intro); “Malcolm in the Middle: A Stroke of Genius” — your standardpromotional featurette; and “Behind the Middle” — a scored montage of the cast and crew atwork on Season 2 (ID track available here too). The menu is fully scored and animated, as are thetransitions.
An interesting collection of features, many of which focus on things that went wrong — butthat’s just about right for such an off-kilter series.
Special Features List
- Season Commentary
- Commentary ID Track
- “Malcolm Vision” Widescreen Bloopers
- “Cold Opens” — Discarded Openings
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes
- “Behind the Middle” — Season 2 Shooting Montage