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Middle, The: S2 (DVD)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Work. Kids. Bills. Comedy. It’s how the middle half lives. The Heck family returns for Season Two, bringing with them 24 episodes of offbeat fun with one foot in reality and the other on a greasy wrapper from Burgerworld. Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn star as Frankie and Mike Heck, frazzled parents trying to stretch their patience and paychecks around three brilliantly true-to-life kids: Axl, whose latest dream girl has tattoos, body piercings and pink hair; Sue, who’s thrilled to come in eighth (out of eight) in Square Dancing with the Stars; and Brick, the only kid who has his birthday party at the public library.

Amazon.com

The most realistic depiction of family life since Roseanne returns! The Middle captures the weirdness underneath the façade of what people think lower-middle-class life should be--at least what Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) thinks her family life should be. Frankie desperately wants her gawky teenage daughter Sue (Eden Sher, delightfully awkward) to fit in, her eccentric youngest son Brick (Atticus Shaffer) to make a friend, and her truculent oldest son Axl (Charlie McDermott) to do anything remotely helpful or responsible. Her husband Mike (Neil Flynn) is a solid guy who's pretty much given up trying to make their life anything other than the chaotic mess that it is, but he gamely does what he can to support Frankie's schemes and struggles. (On the periphery floats Chris Kattan as a coworker of Frankie's; the writers still haven't figured out what to do with him.) The Middle's second season follows the progress of a year, with episodes built around holidays and major school events, like prom or sports meets. It's a bit formulaic, but the scripts and cast rise above expectations, even though everything's a little less subtle than before--Heaton, who was wonderfully sly in the first season, plays everything more broadly this time around. Even so, Frankie is an engaging character, full of comic contradictions and suppressed emotions just aching to be released. Flynn is the standout this season; Mike's stolid, unruffled presence has become an even stronger foil for Frankie's floundering. And some satirical bits hit home: Mike's construction-site workers would almost rather have free pretzels than health insurance and Sue's attempts to join a higher-ranking table in the school cafeteria makes a clean but not overstated comment about yearning for status. The Middle: The Complete Second Season is a solid follow-up to the first season. Extras are meager, just a few deleted scenes and a gag reel. --Bret Fetzer

Middle, The: S2 (DVD)

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