Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
ListsAn error has ocurred. Please try again
The Middle: Cutting the Cord (2015)
Meet Bernie the Bookmark
This will always be remembered as the episode of The Middle that introduced Bernie the Bookmark.
One of the things I like about this sitcom is that all five lead characters -- Frankie, Mike, Axl, Sue and Brick -- can carry a comedic premise or even an entire episode.
This episode's main storyline is about Sue's rough adjustment to college life at East Indiana State, but just when it seemed like the writers were neglecting Brick as much as his parents, magic happened at the Orson High pep rally.
The scene where Brick hijacks the rally was the episode's funniest moment. Every school needs a giant human bookmark to bring a little long-overdue pep to the library.
The main plot led to a sweet ending between the other four Hecks that was as sentimental as a Modern Family resolution. But we all know who the star was: Nobody puts Bernie in a corner!
An Episode Built on a Bizarre Decision by Olivia
This entire episode spins out of a decision by Benson I think no one in her position would ever make. After finding out that the biological father of her adoptive son Noah is a murderous psychopath sex trafficking pimp her squad just arrested, she chooses to disclose this fact on his birth certificate.
DA Barba tries to talk her out of this, believing quite correctly it will lead to nowhere good, but she thinks it might be filed in court and never noticed by the psychopath or his lawyer.
Cut to the next scene, where it has been noticed by the psychopath and his lawyer.
Things spin out of control after this and the lawyer uses Benson's conflict of interest to give his evil client a decent chance of acquittal -- and a chance to assert his parental rights and damage Noah's life for years. Only a last-minute courtroom shootout saves the day.
This episode writes out the character of Nick Amaro, which is a shame since Danny Pino is a welcome presence on any cop show.
At the end, it was weird to hear Benson talking about Stabler after all these years and compare him so unfavorably to Amaro. I know she and Stabler were close, but I fail to see how he stood in the way of her establishing her own family.
The Hunky Quincy is a Dud
I wanted to like Rosewood because Morris Chestnut is an actor who could carry a breezy police procedural, but this pilot was a drudge. A charming character telling people he's charming all the time isn't actually charming. Rosewood's love affair with himself, which included multiple times where he pointed to his own image on a gigantic billboard, left me feeling like the grumpy-pants cop played by Anthony Michael Hall.
I know pilots always lay it on thick when introducing the main characters, but Rosewood and Jaina Lee Ortiz's Detective Villa laid out their entire life stories to each other with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
The crime solved in this episode was exceptionally bland for a pilot. The way that Rosewood got a drop on the villain at the end was like an SNL skit of bad cop dramas. He wielded a syringe as a weapon!
Sue Sue Heck is Kickin' It College Style
There weren't a lot of big laughs in this episode, but I loved that Sue Heck had her dorm room completely decorated with positive- thinking posters before her new roommate even walked in the door.
If there's even an ounce of cynicism in that roommate, who we didn't meet in this episode, the prospect of looking at the posters "No Negative Thoughts Allowed," "I Can and I Will" and an entire "Motivation Wall" all semester long may drive the girl to drugs.
Sue's Jan Brady-like middle child meltdown was amusing. Even when Sue is mad, Eden Sher manages to make her seem like the nicest child in sitcom history.
Charlie McDermott (Axl) had a lead role on the CBS pilot Super Clyde this season and would've left The Middle if the network had ordered the series. I don't think this show works without Axl, especially now that Sue has joined him at East Indiana State.
I won't spoil the best joke, which involved Frankie and Mike sitting on the couch at home after Sue was moved in.
Life in Pieces (2015)
Too Many Pieces, Too Few Laughs
I didn't like the pilot. The short story format made the madcap hijinks seem unearned. There was no build -- see Phil and Claire experience the hilarity of birth! See Jay fake his death for a party! See Mitchell date! See Claire freak out when Alex visits college!
A sitcom's only 22 minutes long, sans commercials. That's not long enough to tell four independent stories.
There's a funny sitcom episode in a guy taking his hot new girlfriend home to meet her live-in former fiancé. But it only got a couple minutes.
I don't think the Pieces format will last an entire season, assuming the show survives long enough to be able to make changes.
Lydia, Oh, Lydia, Say Have You Met Lydia, Oh, Lydia, the Tattooed Lady
The premise is hokey and the pilot was so-so, but I liked Sullivan Stapleton enough on Strike Back to give this at least one more chance. He had some nice buddy cop chemistry with Jaimie Alexander. The story and tone felt like Black List, but without James Spader's digressions on food, drink and travel experiences it's not enough fun.
I hope there's always an argument between Stapleton and Lydia the Tattooed Lady where he orders her to stay behind, she pleads to come with him and he finally sighs and relents.
When she got shot, I was worried that it might damage a tattoo.
If there's a clue for each episode's big bad on her body, do they save the naughtiest regions for sweeps?