ABC’s family sitcom ‘The Middle’ has successfully bought all families and teens glued to the screen. With money struggles and quilts in the oven, creators; Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline have created a relatable TV series, in which has been a hit throughout America (and Britain, from where I speak). Four wins and 10 nominations, I do hope ‘The Middle’ doesn’t plan to disappear.
The sitcom follows the story of a normal yet very different family, The Hecks. Filled with five strange but lovable family members whom share their daily lives and issues wrapped within to us. Living in Orson, Indianna, the Hecks go through tough economic and social struggles involving parenthood, growing up and other comedic family tales.
The Middle successfully captures all the right material, in order to make this gripping show insightful. A family, which has ordinary struggles and dysfunctional relationships, definitely makes it relatable to literally all the families out there. Several plots consisting of school problems, sports events, financial corruptions and even eating takeaways everyday, makes this programme somewhat different and deserving of awards.
The character development is brilliant. Patricia Heaton from ‘Everybody loves Raymond’ stars as Frankie Heck, the undeniable Mother of four kids; Axl, Sue and Brick. The story is narrated by Frankie, who begins with telling us her problems and beautifully ends with a perfect solution. Working as car sales assistant, Frankie dreams of having this perfect family, where her expectations lead somewhere else.
Mike heck, the ultimate father, played by Neil Flynn delivers this reserved, stoic persona. I have to admit that both parents Mike and Frankie are not very good at parenting, though they still have sparks of loving moments and proud sensations. Yet, I spoke to soon. These moments only last a while; depending on which child they’re applauding (very rare in this case).
Each kid is presented with a ‘teenage-like’ persona and lets just say ‘unique’ skills. Eden Sher as Sue Heck, the brace-face, a stereotypical teenager whom wonderfully captures the pure essence of being a teen. Her actions, gestures and ways of speaking is so natural, in which her character feels so real. Her dedication to cross country and try outs to several (and I mean several) clubs is epic, where can’t help but sympathise towards her, yet at the same time really want her to quit!
With mysterious ‘whoops’ and *Repeats ‘whoop’ but in a whisper* habits, Brick the bookworm is truly one heck of a character. Pun-intended. His weirdness and genius mind is absolutely unforgettable. The way he portrays this anti-sociable character, in a non-human way, sometimes makes me question whether Atticus Shaffer is like that in real life? Not complaining, Brick’s character is fun to watch and incredibly portrayed.
Last but not least, Axl Heck. Yes the Captain of the Football team and the guy who sits naked in his house drinking cartons of milk. Charlie McDermott again proposes a very well played out teenage kid experiencing adolescence. Times where he can vote, show affection to his family members and actually pass an exam, gives us some hope for Axl. Though, the stupidy and slapstick comedy pulled through his character, leaves us in laughter every time. We laugh at his stupidness, randomness and simply Axl-ness (Yes it sounded different in my head).
Overall, The middle has a great story, with an impeccable screenplay in which fully comes through on screen. Of course, with the help of brilliant actors who are perfectly casted to suit each role. We have a beautiful family, in which is relatable and covers all areas of issues. One of my favourite sitcoms of the year, with yet to come a promising series three. A must-watch if you haven’t already!
Written by: Meera Darji
My Rating: 9/10