The time has come to talk about one of my favorite childhood TV shows, Malcolm in the Middle. There were so many elements I loved about this show, that it would be extremely hard for me to write them all down, but I’m going to do my best.
Let’s start with the premise of the series: Malcolm is the middle child of an extremely dysfunctional family. He has a massive ego and the habit of getting into a lot of trouble. That might be enough to make any teenager’s life a living hell, but Malcolm is also a proper genius, attends a gifted class at school and has problems fitting in. This show came at the perfect time for me, as I was also hitting puberty back then and, even though I wasn’t a genius, I was an above average child and had major issues fitting in.
Malcolm’s family is comprised of an extremely hardworking, if somewhat tyrannical mother, a father who has a lot of heart but can’t be accused of being too smart and a few brothers that get into as much trouble as Malcolm does. All things considered, this is a family that many of us might find rather familiar. We all have someone in our family who gets into too much trouble, works too much or doesn’t appear to have any clue whatsoever. I guess this is one of the show’s strengths and the reason for its amassing such popularity.
If I were to name my favorite episode, I think it would have to be the fifth episode from season two. I was always very much into gambling and I think this is why this episode appeals to me so much. This episode also taught me that if I ever want to make money from a casino, cheating is not the way. The family travels to an Indian reservation to have a vacation and gamble at the local casino. Hal, the father, sees Malcolm’s brilliant intellect as a way to make money and gets his son to count cards at the blackjack table. Security is soon on them and they are banned from the gambling area. The guys then try to find other ways to have fun and manage to accidentally find their way to an Army artillery range.
The episode is a lot of fun and it was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life. However, the part about the casino just stuck with me through the years. Even though I too share in the ability to count cards, I’d just rather refrain from it and play the slots or other similar games. But that’s also because I don’t see gambling as a way of making money, but a way of having fun and meeting people. Also, I got pretty used to the way casinos pamper me when I decide to visit them, and I would not give that up just for the opportunity of making a few bucks by counting cards. I think there’s a lesson in there for all of us.