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Tag Archives: The Middle

The Middle 2.20 “Royal Wedding” Quick Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s offering of The Middle. “Royal Wedding” sees Sue (Eden Sher) try for the school news anchor role and Mike (Neil Flynn) has trouble at the quarry when he cuts the pretzel budget. The main story is the biggest highlight; Frankie’s (Patricia Heaton) excitement for the royal wedding. I mean she’s more excited then some of the Brits I know. Frankie goes to some great lengths before the wedding takes place. She buys a commemorative plate and cup and a new TV. The Hecks aren’t exactly loaded with money so Frankie takes a card out in Axl’s (Charlie McDermott) name. It’s not exactly the most parental thing to do and it reminds me of Frank from Shameless racking up a list of credit cards in his children’s names.

Brick (Atticus Shaffer) tries to help Sue for her anchor audition. Despite him constantly telling her not to do it, he gives her so many coaching tips that she ends up looking like a crazy person on air. You have to love Sue’s effort for trying and not giving up. Even though she’s disastrous at everything, her spirit stops her from quitting.

“Royal Wedding” has one of my favorite performances from Heaton this season. Her rant of how important the wedding is for her is hilarious as is her actions leading up to the wedding. All her efforts lead to Mike having to describe what’s going on as Frankie ends up having pink-eye. My favorite line is the description of scones “They’re supposed to be stale and dry, they’re British.”

THE MIDDLE 2.13 “Super Sunday” Review

Air Date: Wednesday January 19, 2011 | Grade: B+

The Super Bowl approaches in “Super Sunday” but not everyone in the Heck household is watching it. Frankie and Sue are otherwise engaged as Brick takes a surprising interest in football.

Sue (Eden Sher) is asked to partner her ex-boyfriend Brad (J. Brock Ciarlelli) in the school’s annual Square Dancing with the Stars. Sue isn’t the most coordinated person and I only have to think back to when she tried out for the swimming team as an example of this. One of the best scenes is Sue free styling; pulling moves from different dances like the robot and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Sue’s continuing naivety over Brad hasn’t got old yet. I’m not sure what signs she sees to make her think Brad wants to get back together as he’s not shown any interest.

Brad and Sue at Square Dancing with the Stars

Frankie (Patricia Heaton) is picked by Mr. Ehlert (Brian Doyle-Murray) for a seminar. Frankie isn’t the most productive seller so like she and Mike, I initially questioned why she is chosen. Bob (Chris Kattan) tries to stand up for her to their colleague Pete (Peter Breitmayer) as he thinks there’s something going on between Frankie and Mr. Ehlert. As Bob defends Frankie, he says one of my favorite lines, “Stop it Pete. We all know there’s nothing sexual about Frankie.” I’m surprised and a bit disappointed that a reaction to the line wasn’t written; Frankie ignores it like it was never said. It’s no surprise to learn there’s no seminar; Mr. Ehlert just needs someone to drive him back from a colonoscopy. Though Mr. Ehlert now has some insight as to how Frankie feels about being used for things like this, I’m sure he’ll continue to ask her to get his coffee as he seems to be stuck in another century.

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THE MIDDLE 2.12 “The Big Chill” Review

Air Date: Wednesday January 12, 2011 | Grade: A-

There’s nothing like a mistake to get the viewers laughing and this is what “The Big Chill” does to me. Frankie pays the price for not shopping with her glasses on; Brick and Sue make a hole that keeps getting bigger, while Axl’s parenting skills are put to the test.

While in a hurry and thinking it was $20, Frankie (Patricia Heaton) makes the mistake of paying $200 for a tiny container of eye cream. Despite Frankie telling Bob (Chris Kattan) not to say anything to Mike (Neil Flynn), he ignores her wishes and doesn’t help the situation. Frankie thinks Mike’s lack of response is because he’s upset with her. It turns out he’s upset by the situation they’re in, that they can’t afford to make financial mistakes. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that within the comedy, there’s a family struggling financially – thankfully, The Middle manages to still have fun with it.

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THE MIDDLE 2.11 “Taking Back the House” Review

Air Date: Wednesday January 5, 2011 | Grade: B-

The Middle is back for the New Year in an episode that sees Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) put their foot down in regards to their children. Being at their beck and call is too much for them and they decide to regain control of the household. I’m not a parent but my mother has had to put her foot down with me – sometimes she still does.

Chris Kattan makes a brief re-appearance as Frankie’s co-worker Bob. He’s the key to all this as its Frankie’s conversation with him that prompts what she calls “The Revolution.” Frankie and Mike get a couple of their friends to also join, making time for themselves, to enjoy a night out.

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THE MIDDLE 2.10 “A Simple Christmas” Review

Air Date: Wednesday December 8, 2010 | Grade: B-

This year, for the Hecks, Christmas means a family visit. I look forward to episodes where a character’s family, outside the main characters, is introduced. It helps the viewers understand why a character acts a certain way and provides some insight into their background. Thanksgiving saw Mike’s (Neil Flynn) father and brother spend the holidays with them and now it’s Frankie’s (Patricia Heaton) parents, Pat (Marsha Mason) and Tag (Jerry Van Dyke), who visit. Unfortunately for Mike, the visit lasts twelve days – I know, that’s a long time to handle family at the holidays, even for me.

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THE MIDDLE 2.09 “Thanksgiving II” Review

Air Date: Wednesday November 24, 2010 | Grade: B

It’s Thanksgiving in the Heck household and Frankie (Patricia Heaton) is upset because her mother isn’t coming. Mike (Neil Flynn) is the total opposite, being reluctant to invite his father.

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THE MIDDLE 2.08 “Errand Boy” Review

Air Date: Wednesday November 17, 2010 | Grade: C+

The latest episode sees Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) trying to protect Brick (Atticus Shaffer) and Sue (Eden Sher) in various ways.

“Errand Boy” might be the title of this episode, but it isn’t exactly as it seems. Brick is tired of having to accompany Frankie when she runs her errands. Like Brick, I hated being taken to every single shop and market on a Saturday morning instead of doing something fun like watch cartoons or play with my friends.

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Review: THE MIDDLE season 2, episode 7 “A Birthday Story”

In some families, some children constantly hear their birth story, but in Brick’s (Atticus Shaffer) case, it is the opposite. Other than a party, all he wants for his birthday is to hear about the day he was born. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) have told Axl (Charlie McDermott) and Sue’s (Eden Sher) stories in the past, but never Brick’s. They’ve spent years avoiding it; even Axl and Sue have been keeping it secret. The fact they’ve all avoided talking about it makes it even more interesting to hear.

Check out the rest at The Voice of TV.

Review: THE MIDDLE season 2, episode 6 “Halloween”

It’s Halloween and the Hecks try to enjoy the night separately. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) is excited they’ve been invited to the neighborhood party but Mike (Neil Flynn) doesn’t want to dress up. Axl (Charlie McDermott) and his friends attempt to go to a haunted house party; Brick (Atticus Shaffer) goes trick-or-treating while Sue (Eden Sher) goes to a Halloween church event instead of her school dance.

Frankie’s excitement is counterbalanced by the unenthusiastic Mike. His reluctance to do anything fun really frustrates Frankie. They’ve been together for 17 years and she still wants to have fun with him, but you get the feeling the two of them don’t get to spend much time alone. Until she points that out, Mike is reluctant to let himself go. His style of dancing consists of not moving from one spot. It’s awkward and funny especially with Frankie dancing around him.

Read the rest at The Voice of TV

Review: THE MIDDLE season 2, episode 5 “Foreign Exchange”

The Hecks are their usual dysfunctional selves in this hilarious episode. “Foreign Exchange” sees Frankie (Patricia Heaton) sign the family up for the foreign exchange program, thinking they can gain some cultural experiences from the visiting student.

When the family goes to pick up Japanese student, Takayuki (Matthew Moy) I thought he would be the wrong student. I’ve seen this kind of situation on other shows so I thought this episode would follow the same route. Though this didn’t happen, some great scenes came instead.

Read the rest at The Voice of TV