Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Middle: Family Dysfunction

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Talk about some clever writing! I thought that the music and "recipe cards" fit along with this episode very well. I thought that some of the action seemed forced, especially the Mike-Axl storyline. I also thought that there wasn't much point to the gossip-at-the-table circle into which Sue was initiated... we only saw it for a mere minute. The Janet-Frankie rivalry was great, and I thoroughly enjoyed Brick being a detective, but I wouldn't say that this Thanksgiving episode tops the previous ones for this series. Perhaps because last year's was pretty darn amusing.

The Middle "Thanksgiving III" (S03E10): The Hecks head to Frankie's parents' for Thanksgiving, and they'll be staying a few days. [they don't live particularly far away, so it's unclear why they're staying more than one night...] Frankie sister was supposed to arrive the following day, but Axl didn't relay a message about an earlier arrival time, so they hightail it to get there first and secure the "good bed." [so very Heck!] Unfortunately, Janet & Family are already there and settled into the guest room, leaving the Hecks to sprawl out on the living room floor with some air mattresses.

They wake up Wednesday morning and Frankie's mom talks about how everything is already made and just needs to be reheated. In fact, some things were made back in July. [I totally support making thing in advance, but four months in advance is obscene. to me. I mean, that's a bit over-the-top, don't you think?] Sue joins the ladies in family gossip. Nobody wants to play with Lucy, a young cousin. [I did love Brick's "Wanna play librarian? I'll read, and in six hours you can tell me the library's closing." hahahahaha!] The television isn't working, so when Lucy wants pink marshmallows, Mike and Axl offer to leave in order to get out of the house. [love it!] Axl tries to flirt with the cashier at the mini-mart, but he's very awkward and it doesn't go well. [are we really supposed to believe that he's THAT awkward? I mean, he tends to pick up average girls in school, right?] Mike saw the whole thing and offers some advice.

Brick plays with Lucy but when she repeatedly loses in games, she cries. It doesn't help that Frankie's sister parents in a much different way, causing tension all around. [I was totally ready to slap her! and are we really supposed to believe that Janet's husband is "working in the guest room" this ENTIRE TIME??] After playing outside in the snow, Lucy realizes that she lost a toy in the yard, so everyone digs around until it's found. Lucy claims that Brick left the toy outside, and Janet tells Frankie she needs to spend the $60 to replace it. [I'm not going to get into this, because I'd tear apart this whole parenting shenanigan!]

Thursday morning, butter is needed, so Mike and Axl head out again. At the store, Mike chats up the cashier but it gets slightly inappropriate when he asks her if she wore skirts to her Catholic school. [well, yeah. That's totally inappropriate.] They come back empty-handed, so Frankie's father decides to go back with them. At the store, Frankie's dad demonstrates how to pick up a lady... unfortunately, he's just as awkward. [what is with this family sometimes? He's not even a blood relative to Mike!] Meanwhile, Frankie tells her mom about Janet wanting the new bear, and then Janet tells her mom that Frankie should pay for it. [this whole scene was unnecessary, too. What was the point? Just to show that the family gossips? That they drink? That you change your allegiance depending on who you need on your side?] Frankie tries to nap, but Janet comes in to ask about the corn. It escalates to the two of them complaining about how tiring motherhood is. [well, duh. moving on...] All day long, Brick is acting like a detective to figure out who left the toy bear in the snow, but never solves the mystery. The episode ends with Frankie and Janet resolving that they just don't see each other often enough throughout the year. [well that can't be the answer, LoL! Also, no Black Friday shopping?? That was a big thing for the family in the past... End note: I really enjoyed "Add a pinch of amnesia and repeat next year." hahahahaha!]

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