The Middle is an American Sitcom that airs ABC. It debuted on September 30, 2009 and since then aired 168 episodes in its first seven seasons. Originally part of ABC’s Wednesday comedy block, its eight season will see the show anchor the new Tuesday comedy block by airing at 8/7c.
The Middle chronicles the daily life of the Hecks. The family is middle-class living in Middle America specifically in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana. The parents, Frankie and Mike, are both middle-aged earning average incomes. They are the parents of three children, Axl, Sue and Brick.
Frances or Frankie is played by Patricia Heaton. During the pilot episode, she lost her job at a Dentist’s Office that closed down due to the recession but then finds one in Ehlert Motors as a saleswoman. She’s usually in the brink of getting fired because she can’t sell a car. She also steals office supplies, toilet papers and even the coffee maker from her employer. At the end of Season 4, she completed dental assisting school and is now a Dentist’s Assistant. Frankie provides the voice-over narration and is the central character of the show.
Neil Flynn plays Michael or Mike, Frankie’s husband and the family’s model for emotional stability. He became the manager of the Quarry he works at after the former manager loses his arm in an accident. He is straightforward, thoughtful and laid back. His favourite film is Reservoir Dogs.
Axl, the oldest of the three children is played by Charlie McDermott. When he’s at home, he only wears boxers. He is also athletic and plays Football, Basketball and Baseball. He is sarcastic, lazy, selfish and dim-witted. He displayed kindness to his siblings a couple of times as the show progressed.
Sue, the socially awkward middle child is played by Eden Sher. She is a leap year baby and is two years younger than Axl. She is optimistic, cheerful and always trying out for things she can’t get in. Her middle name is also “Sue”, as it was written down twice in her birth certificate by mistake.
Atticus Shaffer is the youngest child, Brick. He loves to read and is a very unusual boy. He has a habit of repeating words after his previous sentence to himself in a whisper. He is easily distracted despite his exceptional intelligence. He is also fascinated with fonts.
The Middle is one of my favorite family sitcoms. The chemistry between the five actors is really incomparable. The show realistically portrays the life of a middle class family who tries to make both ends meet in an economy that is still being restored. Its plot per episode is always for the whole family. When the show is doing heartfelt moments it really hits the mark. It’s not awkward to say the least. The acting and writing have been consistent for the past seven seasons. The actors are really funny and their portrayal is believable. The Heck children are really likable compared to the Dunphys of Modern Family.
The Middle is underrated. It’s always funny and heartfelt but is always in the shadow of another ABC comedy, Modern Family, which I also enjoy watching. To this day, I just hope that more people will discover how great this show is.
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