Malcolm in the Middle (2000)
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In the words of They Might Be Giants' rollicking Grammy-winning theme song, "life is unfair." The inventive and wholly original sitcom Malcolm in the Middle has been honored with a Peabody Award and Emmys for directing and writing, but if life was fair, it would have earned an Emmy for Best Comedy Series, not to mention statuettes for its pitch-perfect cast. With his perpetual "yes, me worry" expression, Frankie Muniz instantly earns audience empathy as Malcolm, whose chances for a normal life are thwarted not only by his genius IQ, but also by his outrageously dysfunctional family: Lois, his obsessive, control-freak mother; Hal, his loving but ineffectual father; Francis, his eldest brother waging his own private war at military school; middle brother Reese, a delinquent savant; and Dewey, the put-upon youngest. As Malcolm observes at one point, "This family may be rude, loud and gross, and have no shame whatsoever, but with them you know where you stand."
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