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"The Middle"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Middle" More at IMDbPro »

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76 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

Best new show of the season

10/10
Author: horrorfilmx from United States
14 October 2009

I had no particular hopes for this show. Of all the sitcoms on ABC's new "Wednesday Comedy Night" this is the one I expected to like the least, so it came as quite a surprise how funny and entertaining the pilot episode was. It moves along nicely and the cast is excellent. I always thought Heaton was talented but could never really enjoy her on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND because her character was, quite frankly, an unendurable bitch. Here she has a chance to project a little more warmth and likability and really shines. The real charmer in the cast is Eden Sher as the teenage daughter, a marvel of gawky authenticity. I fear THE MIDDLE may be just a shade too subtle for audiences who tastes run to fart joke and similar crudity, but more discriminating viewers should definitely check it out.

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70 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Heaton hits a home run

9/10
Author: Bernnard_Black from Greensboro, NC
11 October 2009

Often times an actor or actress gets associated with an iconic role, a role they basically continue to play over and over, no matter what show or movie they're in. Happily, this is not the case for Patricia Heaton in her new show "The Middle". Her new character, while still a wife and mother of three, is much different than Debra Barone, the character she played for 9 years in "Everybody Loves Raymond."

In Debra, Heaton developed a character identified by her sharp, sarcastic wit, razor-sharp tongue, explosive temper, sexy appearance and a love-hate relationship with her husband and his family. Debra's problems were dealing with her passive-aggressive mother-in-law and her over-the-top intrusiveness, or the little "moral superiority" battles with Raymond. Because of this limited source for trouble and tension, the problems they had, while funny,were not down-to-earth, day-to-day problems most average families worry about.

In Frankie, Heaton has created a character who is more of a mother than a wife, and is on the same level as her husband instead of above him. That makes a huge difference in the tone of the show, and it's quite refreshing. The problems this family faces are problems most families can identify with, from struggling with bills and worrying about work to having a kid who just can't seem to get it together and find his or her place in the world. Frankie doesn't have time to worry about who didn't put up a suitcase or to fake a boob job to prove some minor point; she has to work together with her whole family just to get by. They face each crisis together, and sometimes have to settle for a less than optimal solution. But at the end of the day, they love and support each other in sweet, often surprisingly tender ways.

While not laugh out loud funny, the show has a sweetness and reality to it I find enjoyable. It has the same feel as old classic sitcoms from the 70's and early 80's, an era many consider to be the Golden Age of sitcom television. I think the biggest draw for me, though, is that I LIKE this family; I'd like to live next door to them, and get to know them. And really, can you say anything better about a show than that, that it makes a family so real and so genuine that you'd be happy to have them as neighbors? I hope the show continues and only gets better.

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60 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully original, entertaining, and satisfying new comedy!

Author: LeonardOsborneKael from United States
2 October 2009

Supernaturally talented Patricia Heaton may be doomed to playing the long suffering wife now, as far as television goes -- but she is SO good at it. After who knows how many seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond she appears to have completely mastered the role. And who's complaining? I would never have thought there was so much fertile ground left for family comedy but the writers seem to have tapped a whole new vein. Patricia Heaton being one of the most talented humans ever, your expectations are high on anything new from this lady. No disappointments here! Great story - great imagery - sizzling dialog - wonderful character work from a top-notch cast. Where are all these brilliant new kid actors coming from? Atticus Shaffer is simply miraculous in his role as the ... "unusual child". There was so much entertaining content in this half-hour (or about 22 minutes, I guess, minus the commercials) that I felt like I'd watched a class A feature film comedy. It's not going to be easy to maintain this level of excellence but if they even get close, I'll be a huge fan. Can't wait to see the next episode!

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45 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Finally, a show I can watch with my family.

8/10
Author: bglynch_99 from United States
15 October 2009

I'm guessing the family portrayed in 'The Middle' is not the norm but they certainly are closer to 'real' people than most sitcom characters or, for that matter, most 'reality' show contestants. The children are not perfect nor are they drug addicted or sex-crazed or alcoholic or parent-hating brats. The oldest son hanging out in boxer shorts? My son did that. The middle child, the daughter, trying to find her place in the school social order but often coming up short? Who hasn't failed at something in life? And the youngest child, the little boy who often repeats things in a whisper, is sweet and loves his parents. These kids make you laugh both from their unintentional humor and from recognition. And I especially like the fact that each episode ends on an upbeat note. The family members, no matter what crazy circumstances they may find themselves in, love each other and accept their lot in life without bitterness and anger. Far removed from the pop culture norms we've been fed lately, people living in 'The Middle' may actually exist after all.

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35 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Real and Funny

9/10
Author: mareller-1 from United States
5 November 2009

You'd want to see this show because of the household names, Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Chris Kattan, Brian Doyle Murray, and you'd be pleasantly surprised by the writing. We all "know" the harried mom, laid back dad, "under achiever" kids, but within a twenty minute episode I realize how really well the writers capture the frustration and absurdity that goes with life in "the middle". This program doesn't fit the "oh poor hapless daddy" sitcoms, the kind Bob Newhart would NEVER do, and that's why I've been watching it. Because they have a real mess of a home and wear clothes you do see in the newspaper insert ads, these are some real people dealing with some way out there kinds of characters in situations which are hilarious and sometimes heartwarming, without being mushy. This is one show I look forward to each week!!

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30 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Really enjoyable comedy

9/10
Author: Jim from United States
15 December 2009

There's a number of shows that I record every week and this is one of them. Whenever I go to catch up on watching shows that were recorded, there are some that are starting to feel like a chore to watch, but I always looks forward to watching this one.

I was never a fan of "Everyone Loves Raymond" so I never saw too much of Patricia Heaton, but she's really very good in this show. I think most of the characters in this show are really well cast. I think Eden Sher as the daughter "Sue" is terrific. She's such a lovable nerd. Neil Flynn who plays the husband "Mike" is funny and believable. Atticus Shaffer as the youngest son "Brick" is pretty bizarre, but somehow I find myself laughing at him, especially when he repeats to himself in a whisper, the last word of his sentences. I can't explain why, but it's funny to me every time he does it.

I hope the show doesn't get old for me. I've watched the first 9 episodes so far and haven't been disappointed yet.

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27 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A Home Run

10/10
Author: barbadosdagny from Barbados
9 April 2010

Thank you, ABC, for putting a great group of comedy writers together to support this all star cast. Barbara Heaton as the used car saleslady mom and the janitor from Scrubs as the dad are the best parents I've seen on t.v. in a long time. The 3 children are given meaty characterizations to play and I hope they will win many awards. The kids and the other supporting cast (including Chris Kattan and the car lot boss) couldn't have been cast better. Every show gives me old fashioned belly laughs and inspiration that, like this family struggling to survive in the middle class (the reason for its name, not named for the middle of the country in which it takes place) we can all learn a lesson in what makes families strong.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Very underrated, innocent family comedy

10/10
Author: crazydude1989 from Irondequoit, NY
2 September 2012

I really wish ABC would promote this show more, and give the actors credit for their work. They have been robbed of Emmy nominations twice. I honestly enjoy Modern Family but I don't get why that show gets a million Emmy nods every year. Anyway, I've been watching since day 1 and have loved it since. Frankie Heck is the harried car-saleslady mother of 3 kids, living in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana. She is always trying to get the kids to bond, while trying to get by herself, as she and her husband Mike don't make a lot of money and their house is always a mess. Axl, the oldest, is a typical lazy, sarcastic teenager who is almost always making fun of his sister Sue, the middle teen daughter. She is very optimistic and bubbly, but nobody really knows she exists, and can never make anything out of herself, especially at school. Finally we have little Brick, who's nose is always stuck in a book and doesn't really have any friends, but if he does make a friend, they're even quirkier than he is. And they are always trying to compete with their practically perfect neighbors, the Donahues. I think we can all relate to this show in some way--the house is always a mess, the mom doesn't always feel like cooking so she brings home fast food, there's those neighbors who are like the perfect family that you've always wanted to be, and the kids don't always get along. It's not laugh out loud funny but I still tune in every Wednesday. And it is NOT a ripoff of Malcolm. That show was about 4 brothers, one of them being a genius. And they lived in California whereas the Hecks live in the MID-west. And they're middle-income, and this show is focused on the mom, trying to do her best to support her family. This show also has more positive vibes. If it didn't have the word "Middle" in the title, people probably wouldn't say a word, right? 8/10.

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29 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

jimmy eat this show

Author: joelseeman from United States
1 October 2009

just got done watching ''the middle'and in all seriousness. i thought it was great a funny show from a mothers point of view. think ''Malcolm in the Middle'' but instead of his point of view the moms. i thought the kids were funny the daughter especially. me personally i thought this show works on many levels and would be surprised if it doesn't get picked up for a second season.i mean there is always crappy shows that get picked up. this one this one has potential with patricia heaton as the lead role is great. personally i thought raymond was a terrible show but she was good and is more realistic in this role. whats that we have more the janitor of one of my all time favorite shows scrubs. yes the funny witty hilarious janitor from scrubs plays the role of the father in this show. he's likable as the dad who doesn't really care about much but means well. so all and all i liked in 9/10.

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28 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Patricia Heaton rises up as the star of her own show!

Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
2 October 2009

Emmy winner Patricia Heaton plays a mom, Frances, better known as Frankie in the Middle of the country in Indiana. She has three children with her husband. They both work jobs. She's a car salesman and he works in an office. They have a daughter who tries to achieve or win but always loses. An awkward youngest son who she uses an actual sale to pick him up from school because she or her husband forgot to pick him up. Her oldest son, Axel, doesn't wear his shirt around the house and only comes down to eat. I could relate to this story. I think her role of Frankie is far more interesting than her other roles. Her home is not in order physically and the family lives in the middle of the country. The show starts off with Frankie wearing a superwoman costume because her youngest son, Brick, has said that his mom is his hero. It's not a bad show but you should all watch it if you have families or live outside Hollywood as most of us do. I like seeing her back on the air. She is the star and expect to see her name next year for an Emmy. She's got another shot at it. This show is funny, witty, and off-beat enough for Emmy voters.

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