The Middle

You may remember me dismissing this show a while ago as somewhat average. For whatever reason, I decided to check it out again, perhaps simply because I was procrastinating on watching the shows that required a full recap (don’t worry, I will get to Gossip Girl and Lost today). I think it was also because of a random episode I caught on TV about Brick in a spelling bee. Spelling Bees are always good for a laugh (and are a surprisingly good way to get kids involved–at camp we had nerd night where everyone had to dress up as a stereotypical nerd and compete in a spelling bee and even the “cool kids” got into it.)

Anyway, I was surprised to find myself really enjoying the show. Maybe it was just that the pilot was not the best representation of the show or maybe I just needed to get to know the characters, but there is something oddly lovable about them all. The mom, played by Patricia Heaton is the typical mother who tries very hard but can’t quite seem to make anything work but just wants her family to be happy and loving. The dad is the tough guy, he doesn’t like emotions and he prefers drinking beer and watching TV to really paying attention to his kids (but not in a mean way). There’s Axl the angsty teenage son who always whines, wanders around in only his boxers and is the stereotypical dumb jock. Next is Sue, the middle child who no one can ever remember and who is so untalented that no matter what she tries out for she doesn’t make it. Finally there is Brick, the socially awkward son who loves nothing more than reading and has the strange habit of occasionally repeating himself in a whisper.

I’ve really grown to enjoy this family, the Hecks, and I think it is because they are a relate-able sort of disfunctional. The kids fight all the time and though the mom tries to force them to get along she can’t, the dad hates emotion but is secretly a bit of a sap himself. Brick is adorable though I can understand kids his own age being creeped out by him. Sue is just so sad you don’t know whether to feel bad for her or laugh. And Axl, though perhaps the most annoying kid of the group, kind of reminds me of my own brother in some ways, thereby making him lovable even though he annoys me.

So, I’ve changed my mind. I like this series and I’m glad it has been renewed for a second season. I would also like to add that Patricia Heaton impresses me because while in Everybody Loves Raymond she was in a comedy where she was surrounded by funniness but wasn’t particularly funny, in this show she is the center of the comedy and still manages to hold her own. Let’s be honest though, Brick really steals the show.


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