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October 13, 2015

My Big Bang theory: The Middle's Brick is another Sheldon

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 31st 2009 10:00AM
Like a stray dog that works his way into your heart, I think I've fallen in love with The Middle. I didn't want to get so attached, because -- quite frankly -- ABC's track record for sticking with quality shows isn't so great. I'm still mourning Pushing Daisies. But The Middle is nothing like Pushing Daisies, nor does it fall into the quirky, clever mode of other shows that ABC has been promulgating for years. Ugly Betty is quirky. Better off Ted is quirky. Dirty Sexy Money was quirky. Quirky's the word.

The Middle is far from quirky. It's down to earth. It's blue collar. It's rug remnants and swim team tryouts. It's not about overachieving. It's about getting by. I'm not the first to say that The Middle is reminiscent of Roseanne, albeit without Roseanne's sharp tongue and social conscience (good and bad).

But in this era of few family comedies, The Middle is a throwback to the traditional nuclear family -- two parents, still married, plus 2.5 kids. Yes, I count Brick as a .5, because he is a half-pint. He's also the breakout kid star of 2009.

I love Brick. He's unusual and odd and endearing. You can't take your eyes off him, but unlike other mini-kid sensations -- Webster, Arnold -- Brick is not a joke machine. He doesn't have one-liners or "what you talkin' about" gags.

Brick does have an affectation; he whispers to himself. It's not done over and over again, and it worries his parents. They don't understand it. Neither do the viewers. But it's kind of funny the way actor Attitcus Shaffer does it.

Here's how much regard I have for the Brick Heck character. I think he's like a young Sheldon Cooper. Like that Big Bang Theory character, imagine that Brick is a genius in training. We just found out that Brick can remember every word he's ever read.

Like Sheldon, who is quick to point out that that is not a photographic memory but an eidetic memory, Brick's got a gift. Will in blossom in Orson, Indiana? Who knows. Sheldon's back story is that nobody understood him when he was growing up in Galveston, but they recognized that he was a child prodigy.

Now that the school has given Brick the $500 standardized test that determined he had trouble making friends, maybe they'll identify he has hidden talents.

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I too have fallen for this show and little Brick, I swear sometimes he could be my kid, always with his nose in a book, not interested in socializing just to say he did it...that little Atticus boy is so adorable and so loveable without being as you say the joke!
Actually I think the whole cast is pretty great and while going through hard times ourselves with the current recession, it's nice not to be reminded of what we don't have: big houses, fancy cars, expensive clothes, but instead of what we do have--the really important things, like family, a roof over our heads, food, clothes, and most importantly hope and a strong will to "make it." Even if making for the day is all we can guarantee!

October 31 2009 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

Isn't Brick just a clone of Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle, with maybe a touch more quirkiness?

October 31 2009 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joel Keller's comment


..I'm also having trouble whenever I see Neil Flynn in anything now... I just can't stop seeing him as 'The Janitor' (and now that i know him, he's keeps popping up in a lot of TV and Movies)

October 31 2009 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@dkaarma: i'm rewatching Arrested Development, and i'm having a hard time seeing Will Arnett as GOB, he's now in my head as Devon Banks (30 Rock).
Michael Cera is now stuck in my head as Paulie Bleeker (Juno).

I don't know how i didn't notice it the first time, but now rewatching Better Off Ted, I keep seeing Veronica (Portia de Rossi) as Lindsay Funke.

(oh, and when watching Chuck, I couldn't get Tony Hale's character name right, so i just mentally called him "Buster". same goes with the main character in White Collar - he's "Bryce Larkin")

November 01 2009 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brick reminds me of Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), the youngest brother from Malcolm in the Middle. Actually the whole show kinda reminds me a little of Malcolm in the Middle but I like it.

October 31 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Brick is like Rainman or Kim Peek (the person Rainman is based on) He also had the amazing ability of remembering everything he has read.

October 31 2009 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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