Episode 01: Traffic Jam (2)
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Traffic JamSeason 2, Episode 1Air dateNovember 5th, 2000Written byDan KopelmanDirected byTodd HollandPreviousNextWater ParkHalloween ApproximatelyTraffic Jam is the first episode of Season 2 of Malcolm in the Middle and the seventeenth episode overall of the show.
After being banned from the water park (because of rule violations, including sneaking alcohol and Reese and Malcolm fighting), the family gets stuck in a traffic jam in the desert, caused by a car wreck right in front of them. At the military academy, Francis bets fellow cadets that he can eat 100 Quacks, but gets very sick in the process. Dewey has a long adventure returning home after getting lost from his babysitter.
A large traffic jam is formed after a semi truck tips over and blocks off the entire road with the silver Toyota in the ditch with the driver DOA. Reese and Malcolm wander through the road with Reese in awe of the accident after seeing the truck jackknife and a wheel fly through the air he claims that an explosion would've been nice but you can't have everything. Malcolm reminds Reese that now they're stuck in the blistering heat with no food and no air conditioning, despite this Malcolm claims it could be much worse, he could've been the unfortunate driver of the silver Toyota.
Hal stares in shock at the accident site while Lois asks a sheriff why he can't open a lane so the cars can go. The sheriff states they have to wait for a crane to arrive before they can even consider opening the road to traffic. Lois claims that if they moved the police cars there would be enough room to pass on the shoulder and how stupid it is, the sheriff tells her not to call a police officer stupid, Lois is in disbelief that is now considered a law.
The ice cream truck owner Clyde tells the kids to go away and there is no ice cream in the truck. A girl named Erin looks in the window and tells everyone he's lying and there's plenty of ice cream inside. but he says the ice cream inside isn't for sale and it's against the law for him to sell it in the middle of traffic. Reese calls him for his senseless act and that he could make money and please children and that he is pure evil. Clyde decides that since the kids aren't willing to discuss it sensibly he locks himself inside the truck. Malcolm tells Reese there's nothing he can do but Reese runs at the truck and rams the door to no avail. A girl named Jessica comments on Reese's stupidity and Malcolm agrees after introducing each other Jessica invites him to go check out the crash site.
Lois tells Hal to just pull out but Hal absolves to wait his turn patiently and he is no longer going to be reckless. Jessica calls out to Malcolm from her car in an attempt to give him her phone number so they can stay in touch but in the middle of handing it off the dog grabs it and rips it up, Jessica simply shrugs since they are now left out of touch for life. As the family rides back home in silence all upset over their endeavours ending in failure, Malcolm enthusiastically realizes how fun in the traffic jam was and wonders when they can go on another road trip.
The second season of Malcolm in the Middle premiered on November 5, 2000, on Fox, and ended on May 20, 2001, with a total of 25 episodes. Frankie Muniz stars as the title character Malcolm, and he is joined by Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan.
Main cast members Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan return as Malcolm, Lois, Hal, Francis, Reese and Dewey respectively. Catherine Lloyd Burns, who portrayed Caroline Miller as a regular in season one, appeared in only two episodes of season two due to being pregnant, and left the series after giving birth. The episode "Bowling" alternates between two storylines with the same characters, taking inspiration from Sliding Doors, and uses several split screens.
The showrunner for the season was Greg Daniels. Wes Archer, the supervising director, did a redesign on most of the characters to make them appear more realistic than they did in the first season. In his 2003 DVD commentary for the episode "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying", Daniels reflected, "in season two, because of the way animation works, there was a big overlap. The episodes from season one were coming back and requiring producing and music and editing while we were writing season two. So, during the first season we had a very pure experience of just writing them without any distractions, and in the second season it suddenly got a lot harder because you'd be trying to write, and something would come in requiring attention." Daniels added that, "this was part of the time I kept having a lot of car accidents, because we were so tired." Early in the production of the season, Pamela Adlon couldn't come in for table reads due to the birth of her first daughter.
A July 1997 article from USA Today revealed that the upcoming season would include guest appearances from Troy Aikman, Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Chris Rock, Green Day and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The article also mentioned that the Hill family would make a guest cameo as in-universe characters on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons (the episode, titled "Bart Star", aired on Fox in November 1997). The crossover featured the voice of Mike Judge, with Daniels (an ex-Simpsons writer) explaining to USA Today that, "In the world of King of the Hill, The Simpsons exists only in that Bobby has a Bart doll. They exist as a TV show."
The Christmas episode "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" originated from an idea that was jotted down on an index card, which sat alongside dozens of other story ideas on a conference-room wall, until executive story editor Paul Lieberstein decided to take the story further. It featured a sex scene between Hank's mother and her new boyfriend, which Daniels viewed as risque. On the night before the episode's table read, the writers spent until 5 a.m. reworking the script of this episode, changing the sex scene and the personality of the boyfriend character, as Daniels deemed him as too plain. Regarding the sex scene, Daniels remarked at the time, "we [needed] to find a way to have adults know what's going on but have kids see something else."
In the episode "Traffic Jam", the comedian character guest voiced by Chris Rock was originally called "Busta Nut" in the script. The Fox Standards & Practices department objected, claiming that "Bust a nut" was slang for masturbation. His name was then changed to "Booty Sack" and finally "Booda Sack."
In his September 1997 review of "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying", Chris Vognar of the Orlando Sentinel wrote that. "King of the Hill continues to hit the funny bone because it's more real and touching than any non-animated comedy on the air." He went on to write, "the show looks to have more of an edge this year; one future episode finds Hank and Dale mistaking crack for fishing bait, and the humor in week one is already carrying a more subversive tone without losing its human touch." In his 2004 review of the DVD release, IGN's Tal Blevins gave the season a positive review, writing, "while the characters were still coming into their own in season one, the second season is where the show really gelled, and the characters were molded into how we know them today."
When Hank and Kahn collide with each other's cars, they are both forced to attend traffic school courses taught by a raunchy black comedian (Chris Rock) named Roger "Buddha" Sack, who irritates Hank but becomes an eager Bobby's comedy mentor--which becomes a fraught situation when Bobby misinterprets Buddha's advice and finds inspiration from neo-Nazi websites.
The season was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. "The Company Man" was released on the Season 1 DVD due to its production code. It is presented as a season two episode on Hulu and most syndicated packages (barring Cartoon Network's Adult Swim).
There may be no such thing as a perfect sitcom, but the best episodes of Malcolm in the Middle definitely come close to this definition. Malcolm in the Middle released a total of 151 episodes from 2000 to 2006 - with every single one being a tightly-written, fast-paced, darkly comedic assault on sitcom traditions - a feat matched only by comparable shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family. Malcolm in the Middle followed the lower-middle class lives of boy genius Malcolm Wilkerson (Frankie Muniz), his mother Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), his father Hal (Bryan Cranston), and Malcolm's brothers Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson), Reese (Justin Berfield), and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan).
Though Malcolm in the Middle is told mainly from the perspective of its titular protagonist, the show's sheer absurdity took it well beyond conventional 2000s sitcom storytelling. Even what can be considered "throwaway" episodes, like Jessica Stays Over, Evacuation, and Kicked Out, remain burned into the minds of audiences. Today, Malcolm in the Middle fan theories continue to spread online, and audiences still clamor for a modern reboot of the show - especially since Bryan Cranston, "the dad from Malcolm in the Middle," rose to fame as Breaking Bad's Walter White. Whether a reboot is in the cards, there's nothing like the original - here are the 15 best Malcolm in the Middle episodes, ever.
Malcolm's genius-level IQ means getting assigned to the special "Krelboyne" class, starting his problems with fitting in - a recurring theme throughout the show. It is soon made clear that, although Malcolm is the protagonist, the seemingly overbearing Lois is the only counterbalance to the prevailing predominantly male and chaotic energy in the Wilkerson household. Apart from introducing the Malcolm in the Middle main cast, the pilot episode's kitchen scene is widely regarded as one of the most captivating moments in Bryan Cranston's entire acting career. 59ce067264