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April 16, 2014

The Middle: The Floating Anniversary

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 15th 2009 5:03AM
The Middle, Patricia Heaton & Chris Kattan(S01E03) We already know that Sue Heck has no discernible talent, but a ton of enthusiasm. This week we learned that her cluelessness goes even beyond physical activities. She's as earnest in her social endeavors as ever. Unfortunately, she's also as oblivious to the reality of her actions and their consequences. I love everything about it.

The moral of this episode, I guess, is that a mother is never allowed even fifteen minutes of time alone. Granted, it appears that Frankie's fifteen minutes happened to coincide with the worst chain of events possible, but the moral remains the same. A mother's job is never done, and she's never off the clock. At least she has the love of her husband to help her when the time comes, and he came through in a big way for her.

I've seen mixed reports of Chris Kattan either being a recurring guest star or a series regular, but I kind of like him as a regular. I wouldn't even mind him getting a little more involved in the Heck family life. It was made pretty clear that he's in dire need of some sort of family structure. Or at least that he's longing for it.

And the Hecks can use all the help they can get. The sad truth in Frankie's realization that as your children start to gain independence, your elders start to lose it was actually poignant in the midst of all the crazy comedy. But then the old dog got emphysema, being pulled around in a wagon so it could poop in its diaper outside and ... you just sit there watching it and wondering how things got so crazy so quickly.

And all of this on the 16th/17th anniversary of Frankie and Mike. They were so busy trying to figure out how to squeeze in some alone time together while juggling everything that both of them dropped the ball on giving Sue reasonable advice on how to impress a boy. I loved the t-shirt Frankie "agreed" was a good idea. But that was trumped by Mike's "grand gesture" idea.

This is where Sue just blew me away. She truly believed that singing a heartfelt song to a boy she was crushing on over the school's intercom system would work. How could that backfire? She was baffled that everyone was laughing, but that's how Sue operates. It's the same mentality that saw her terrible swimming last week, and will see her continue to fumble through the rest of this season.

And I'm looking forward to every misstep. Every member of this family is battling their own craziness, and I love them already for it. I was so glad when Brick whispered "radio" in the car while on that random test drive. Keeping these personality quirks consistent, even if they're not explained in each episode, keeps the Hecks real. Or surreal as the case may be, but they're consistent and they're ours.

[Did you know you can find clips and full episodes of The Middle over at SlashControl?]

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Gary

A trip to the carpet remnant store...why didn't I think of that. Patty's showing what a great actress she is by remaking herself, unlike other actors in the past who basically went from show to show as the same character. Of course ,it's over the top, but we love these guys even if at times you feel that aggravation from all the endless disasters....I think the writers want you to feel that and it's actually part of what makes the show work, like the effect of Marie Barone. I agree that Kattan has been brilliant so far,as well. I just wish they'd quit spying on me ,though.

October 17 2009 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gary's comment
Gary

Boy...my punctuation sucks.

October 17 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

Lamination Club.

Hilarious.

October 15 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott

radio

October 15 2009 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scott's comment
lauren

hahah i was going to post that. i love that kid!

October 15 2009 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fgsweetdog

I LOVE this show, and Patricia Heaton is even better than she was on "ELR." And I thought THAT family was disfunctional!

October 15 2009 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

I think this is shaping up to be a really good series. I will say I thought the dog stole the show tonight.

October 15 2009 at 6:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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