Review: The Middle - Siblings
by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 3rd 2009 10:44AM
(S01E09) Every parent wants their kids to get along. It makes things more peaceful in the house, and you can feel like you must be doing something right. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. The Heck children are so vastly different in personalities that the three of them bonding naturally is virtually impossible.
Sue is a bit of a dork, Axl is the cool kid and, as mentioned, Brick is ... Brick.
But that's not going to stop Frankie from trying, and dragging Mike along to support her. I'm glad to see Mike's honesty trait remaining strong as he supports his wife while admitting to his kids he has no idea what she's doing or why. And while her efforts didn't necessarily work at first, Mike found a way to bring the kids together. Too bad it was exhausting for the parents.
My mother forced my siblings and I to bond by sending us outside, so we bonded over football in the street as well. I've even used the "Car!" ploy to sneak one past the defense. Only there was no way in hell my parents were going to come out and throw the ball around with us, much less play touch football. I'll give it to Mike and Frankie, they lasted almost a week of doing this nightly.
There were so many little moments throughout this episode that made me laugh. The whole opening sequence when Frankie showed up last and got volunteered to head up the wreath-giving, followed by the explanation of how it was going to be so wonderful, it would ruin her life and home for months to come. Super mom showing up the next day because some parents were concerned they hadn't gotten their wreaths yet was the icing on that particular cake.
I found myself expecting Supermom's kids to be revealed as imperfect as the Heck kids, but I'm kind of glad they didn't go with what might be expected. Instead, Frankie got to pay it forward when another mother, who witnessed only those games of touch football, asked Frankie how she got her kids so close. I like to think Supermom was lying about working hard to achieve this goal with her kids, and Frankie just paid it forward.
The family dinner was hilarious because I grew up with friends who would have been just as confused at the prospect of not watching TV at the dinner table. My mother forbade us to watch TV on school nights, so dinner at the table was commonplace. In fact, we were freaks at school for not only having no idea what happened on such and such show, but having many times never even heard of it. Ironic what I'm doing now, huh?
"My lowest moment is [discovering] that my family never bought me a chair." Atticus Shaffer continues getting some of the best lines on the show. It was perfect, too, that it was cheap take-out burgers and fries that the family was eating for this monumental moment of togetherness. I think an actual home-cooked meal might have sent them all into shock.
The situation at the quarry was almost more tragic, though Aunt Edie managed to milk some laughs of her obviously growing senility. The official press release said that "Mike contemplates firing Aunt Edie," but I think it could have more accurately read that Mike tries to fire Aunt Edie. She's just not getting it.
I'm starting to enjoy the aunts, and even Mike's dad, as recurring extended family members. When Aunt Edie was plugging in Aunt Ginny, outside the trailer where Mike has his office, I was loving them even more. What a goofy pairing they are. Ginny didn't do much of anything this week, but the way things are developing with Edie, it may be soon that neither of them are going to be doing much. Are they working toward putting them both in a home ... maybe the Heck home?