Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Truly the Middle (Premiere Review)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 1, 2009

What does ABC’s new sitcom The Middle represent? Middle America, set in Indiana? (how random, by the way, that two sitcoms are set in the Hoosier state this year) Middle class, which is what the starring family is? Or middling comedy, that could be fun to watch but isn’t really a DVR stopper?

Yes to all of the above! Maybe it was because of the slipshod Hank or maybe it was my giddy anticipation of Modern Family (which, yes, this show is in the middle of), but I actually kind of enjoyed The Middle. It’s hard to go wrong with a dynamic duo like Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn. They play an incredibly believable pair of parents. So often during this I was thinking “That’s exactly what my mom/dad would say/do!” So right off the bat it’s a better Midwestern middle class sitcom than either Roseanne or Married…with Children. The jokes aren’t forced, the characters are fairly unique, and the circumstances make you chuckle.

Not laugh-out-loud like Modern Family. But what the face? It’s has some charm that we could use to kick off our evening TV viewing. The youngest kid, Brick, is cute as a button and the middle child is a socially awkward but generally happy girl. You don’t see that character very often. Usually the girl of the family is a little princess or the rebellious teen. So right away, I like that creative decision. And I like the way it’s shot. Realistic sets, no laugh tracks and clever drop-ins (all three the opposite of Hank).

And yes, it’s a bit like a certain show minus Malcolm in. Except the focus is more on the mother and less on the hijinx.

Grade: B

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One Response to “Truly the Middle (Premiere Review)”

  1. CJ Cregg said

    Really Feeny? Really? I thought Hank was waaaaay funnier than The Middle. This show was so not funny nor charming. Patricia Heaton’s voiceover as the Mom is so annoying. (Is it year of the voiceover or something?) Also, she’s just kind of annoying. Give me the contrived nature of Hank any day, at least the characters are actually funny.

    Grade: D-

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