Friday, January 6, 2012

The Middle: Someone Else's Resolution

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

There's something really funny about forgetting your child someplace. Yes, it became really overdone sometime around 1995, as everyone kept saying "Home Alone already did it," but it's been long enough now that it seems fitting once again. And, in this episode, it happens in two different ways. The obvious one, of course, being that Frankie left poor Brick at the car dealership after bringing him to work with her for the day. The fact that Frankie got pulled over for speeding as the family went to retrieve him added just the right (Heck) touch. The slightly-less-obvious one being that Frankie just plain forgets about Brick. The week or so that is covered in this episode shows a bunch of instances where Frankie forgets about Brick being around, even though her New Year's resolution is to spend more time with him! Maybe it's just me, but the episode elicited quite a few giggles from me whenever Frankie realizes that she forgot about Brick once again.

The Middle "Year of the Hecks" (S03E12): The episode begins on New Year's Eve, with the family on the couch. Sue and Frankie count down to midnight while everyone else just sits there [why isn't Axl out at a party?] After the stroke of midnight, only Sue and Frankie are excited about talking resolutions for 2012. [I wouldn't have expected Mike or Axl to be into that, but maybe Brick would come up with some sort of book list for a resolution?] Frankie decides that everyone should anonymously choose a resolution for someone else, like a Secret Santa. If everyone can stick to their resolutions for a week, the family will go out to eat at a buffet in the mall. [I guess that's a good prize?] Axl has to clean his room. [looks like a pretty easy one.] Brick has to stop reading all the time. [define "all the time." how often is he allowed to read?] Sue is supposed to stop trying out for things she'll never make. [oh goodness. Does she really try out for something EVERY WEEK? I guess I hadn't realized that's what we're supposed to believe. yikes! ] Mike has to smile more. [...okay.] Frankie has to spend more time with Brick. [this is the most realistic resolution of the bunch, if you ask me!] Frankie acts excited about her new goal, but later tells Mike that she must be a bad mom if that's what Brick wanted. [assuming that Brick chose that resolution for her... hmmm...]

School starts right back up, and it seems that Brad has made the wrestling team. [haha at costumes and rehearsals instead of uniforms and practices.] Sue's constant optimism is amazing... she takes her resolution as a need to make her own opportunity... so she comes up with the idea of wrestlerettes, like cheerleaders, but for wrestling. Sue asks the coach about it, and he goes for it immediately. [and, by that, I mean he couldn't care less either way.] The first meet is Friday, so she has little time, no uniforms, and no budget. She holds try-outs, and four girls show up, one of whom might get cut. [I'm surprised even four showed up! and it was amusing to see WeirdAshley again.] Sue doesn't know how to cut one person, so she lets all four join. But, one doesn't even show up the next day, two more would rather watch Phineas and Ferb than practice, and the remaining girl tells Sue that her religion doesn't allow her to wear short skirts. [wow. talk about a losing scenario!] Sue goes after Ashley (one of the Phineas & Ferb folks) and convinces her to come back, telling her that they'll practice at Sue's house, where Axl will be. She manages to make things work and they are there at the first meet!

Axl starts to clean up and finds an old essay that he never turned in to his 5th grade teacher. If he had, he might have gotten an A on his report card, and thus been treated to a giant cookie at the mall by his parents. Well, he decides to take the paper to his old teacher, who tests him on his usage of there/they're/their, with which Axl struggles. He manages to snag an A, which he brings home to Frankie. [I'm astounded at the level of work Axl was willing to do, five years after the fact. Maybe he's starting to turn his life around?]

Mike tries to smile at work but the guys are weirded out by it. He's really not enjoying smiling, but it ends up working in one instance (just hang in there!).

Brick is in book detox and it isn't going well. He is making random outbursts at just about anything. [great acting on Atticus Shaffer's part!] Frankie is trying to include Brick by asking him to help her set out ant traps and scoop the laundry powder. He's kinda let-down by it, but then she invites him to come to work with her on Friday.
That works out pretty well, as Brick is really easy to entertain with things like playing with an office chair, sitting in a sports car, and mimicking the wavy wind man. [aka the image to the right.] Frankie even says that she had a nice time with Brick. Hilariously, however, she left him at work, and the family races down there. When Frankie gets pulled over for speeding, Mike smiles and gets things sorted out. [awww. glad that the smiling thing did something.]    

The family does go to the buffet restaurant, and we learn who wrote which resolution, which could have gone horribly wrong, but really worked out for the best. Axl wrote Frankie's resolution, Brick wrote Axl's, Sue wrote Bricks, Mike wrote Sue's, and Frankie wrote Mike's. [made me wish I had guessed who wrote which! LoL.]
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