Thursday, October 1, 2009

ABC's The Middle fails

While I liked The Middle better than I liked Hank, the show was still pretty bad. There have been comparisons of this show to Malcolm in the Middle. It is a fair comparison in that both are quirky family comedies, but The Middle lacks several key ingredients. The cast isn't as good as a long shot. While Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn come close, the kids on The Middle cannot match up against the ones on Malcolm in the Middle, and which group of kids could? Frankie Muniz adds so much that isn't there on The Middle. The jokes lack the edge of Malcolm in the Middle and while I was amused, I think I laughed only once.

The story actually has direction and purpose unlike in Hank. Heaton's character Frankie ends up in the middle of nowhere, so the episode leads in what happened. It turns out that her really weird son Brick needed her for a presentation, so she dresses up in tights and arrives at his school, except the presentation is next week. Her son is so bizarre that he is funny most of the time, though I was confused whenever he repeated the same word in an undertone. Frankie rushes back to the car dealership where she works to get a desperately needed sale. The customer suggests they just drive off which she does. By then, we can kind of see what will happen. The customer steals the car, leaving her stranded.

The writing was average with typical jokes about a middle-aged mom and her family. I actually think the concept of Hank is better than that of The Middle, so the episode wasn't too terrible. Nevertheless, I'm not touching either show again. Unless of course, one suddenly becomes a megahit.

One thing I would commend The Middle for is the lack of the laugh track which was lame on Hank.

Score: 7.5/10


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