2 items from 2015
A warm but never schmaltzy, perfectly formed family sitcom with no weak links in its cast, here's why you should watch The Middle...
Family sitcoms aren’t exactly thin on the ground, so finding a new spin on the format is always going to take some work. Originally intended as a vehicle for Ricki Lake, The Middle is a case in point. After several years in development, it finally aired in autumn 2009 with a new lead: Patricia Heaton, one of the stars of hugely popular show Everybody Loves Raymond. Writers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline had previously been responsible for Roseanne, so the track records of all involved boded well for the series’ prospects. Six seasons later – with a seventh confirmed in May – expectations have well and truly been proved correct.
The Middle is a warm, beautifully performed and acutely observed portrait of a family struggling to cope with the »
Everyone loves second-hand bookshops, don’t they? The satisfaction of leafing through some dusty volume of antiquarian musings, the rich scent of aged leather bindings, redolent of the past… Add to all that the opportunity to indulge in some intellectual posing and impress the philosophy student lounging in the corner, and you’ve got yourself a full Saturday afternoon’s entertainment.
That is, of course, unless you happen to find yourself in one particular Bloomsbury establishment, presided over by a certain Bernard Black. Make no mistake: our Bernard (Dylan Moran) may have an aesthete’s tousled pallor, but there’s nothing remotely poetic about his attitude to running a shop. Only dimly familiar with the concept of customer service, he rules his domain with a rod of iron. »
2 items from 2015
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