Spoke too soon on "The Middleman," as I was able to finish watching it this morning. Spoilers for episode two coming up just as soon as I pick up some bottled water...
My only real reservation from watching the pilot was whether the show would be able to pull off that half-retro, half-self-aware, all-funny tone on a regular basis. Episode two reassured me on that front; the wheels could still fall off down the road, but this felt very consistent with what we got from the pilot.
In some ways, "The Accidental Occidental Conception" (say that five times fast) was actually an improvement, in that Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales were given dialogue that was just as goofy but not nearly as long. "I'm as serious as a Hefty bag full of Rottweilers" is a funny line, and one where Keeslar could focus entirely on the delivery and not on his breath control. And on occasion, all it took to make me laugh was the insertion of the right word into an otherwise straight line, like hearing him say "anathema."
Based on my recent complaints about the heroine's family being an annoying distraction on "In Plain Sight," I'm pleased that, so far, Wendy's roommates have been well-integrated into the story. (Middleman's crush on Lacey helps, as it provides an excuse to have Wendy's two worlds cross paths even if there isn't a plot reason for it like there was last night.)
The captions continue to amuse, as does the just-broad-enough acting by the guest stars (I particularly liked the bitchy Underworld desk clerk). Plus, points for having Wendy complain that the bad guy is the latest in a long series of "Terminator 2" rip-offs.
(Speaking of Wendy, my wife watched a bit of the episode with me, and pointed out that Morales comes across a lot like Amanda Peet, and it became one of those things that I suddenly couldn't avoid noticing. In particular, she sounds exactly like Peet did on "Studio 60" -- albeit much funnier.)
One complaint: I know you've gotta at least attempt to service the fanboys, and so the main titles feature Wendy in a cleavage-baring catsuit that she never wears on the show itself, but I preferred the fake opening credit sequence from the pilot, the black and white homage to the Diana Rigg "Avengers," complete with umbrella and SCUBA mask.
What did everybody else think?