Sep 12, 2015

Frankie and Erik in the Middle

The heir of dysfunctional family sitcoms like Roseanne and Married...with Children, Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006) was about the middle boy (Frankie Muniz) in a family of miscreants, who happened to be an academic overachiever.

I've already posted on the rather explicit gay subtexts of Malcolm's older brother Reese (Justin Berfield), and the lesser but still substantial subtexts of his oldest brother, Francis (Christopher Masterson).  But how do the other two boys in the family fare?

Not good.  All of the show's heterosexism seems to distill onto them.

Malcolm spends the series hot for one girl after another, with no close male friends except Stevie (Craig Lamar Traylor), who uses a wheelchair and has a lung problem that allows him to say only a few words at a time.  Not a lot of buddy-bonding there.

When Malcolm joins the photography club, his mother believes that he joined only to meet girls -- that's the reason any boy does anything, isn't it?  "What's her name?" she asks, over and over.  Malcolm insists that there's no girl. . .but, in a plot twist, there really is one!  Boys play sports, join clubs, choose classes and careers, for one of two reasons: to meet girls, or to impress The Girl.  Period.

Not a lot of gay interest in Frankie Muniz' later career, either. The hetero-horny Extreme Movie (2008), with Ryan Pinkston.






Pizza Man (2011), who wins The Girl of His Dreams.

















What about the youngest, Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan)?

No better.

When the boys get a hot female babysitter, they try various strategies to win her over, but Dewey has the best: he has a "bad dream."  She promptly invites him into her bed, and he grins with triumph as his brothers watch.

After Malcolm, Erik starred in Mo (2007), about a teen with Marfan Syndrome who "discovers girls."

At least he's rumored to be gay in real life.

See also: The Top 10 Hunks of "Malcolm in the Middle"