Friday, February 10, 2012

The Middle: Love is in the Air

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

If you watch much of The Middle, you probably have realized that Mike and Frankie Heck tend to not make big deals out of things. This is only the show's third season and we've already witnessed them skim past anniversaries, their children's sporting events, several birthdays, and even an Easter. So, the fact that they might not do anything at all for Valentine's Day is pretty much expected. While they may not come off as the most romantic parents, young Brick is still able to realize that his parents love each other in their own special ways. [remember how much Cliff seemed to love Clair on The Cosby Show? or Eric and Annie on 7th Heaven? yeah, the Hecks are not the Huxtables or Camdens, LoL.] While my biggest gripe about the episode was the cop-out Axl used for his life-changing project, the most disturbing thing was the fact that Sue thought "french kissing" was kissing done under rainbows. I'm really curious as to how she came up with that conclusion. I mean, it's worse than some lingo that floated around my high school about how "making love" meant kissing, "special love" was french kissing, and "magic love" was actually having intercourse. But, I digress. Let's take a look at the whole episode...

The Middle "Valentine's Day III" (S03E15): In true Heck fashion, Mike and Frankie take down the Christmas tree in time for Valentine's Day. [see, I feel like this is a chore that they could assign to Sue - she could get the ornaments off and packed away just fine. I wouldn't trust her not to kill herself breaking apart the tree, but she could have probably gotten it to the backyard at least.] Brick comes home, upset that he was assigned to write a paper on love at only ten years old. [I remember feeling awkward being assigned to write a love limerick TO A CLASSMATE when I was eleven. we drew names, but still.] Axl is similarly upset at the idea of having to write a speech or do a video on a life-changing event, since Axl doesn't think that he's had one. [flashback to my own seventh grade where we had to do an illustrated timeline of the ten biggest moments in our lifetimes... I was stretching for ten things then, and at that point thought that "moving across the country" was my biggest life-changing event.] Axl's friends talk about using stories of being trapped ice, delivering baby sisters, and being dead for two minutes, which only stresses Axl more. He prepares a speech about how a girl turned him down, but after practicing it on the family, they all agree that it doesn't fit the assignment. They suggest he write about helping out at a homeless shelter or with Aunt Edy, working with his grandfather, or even thinking about a book that might have changed his life (that one is Brick's suggestion, of course). But, Axl decides to try and fake a moment - forcing Brick to act as a terminally ill brother for the video. Frankie yells at Axl, who ends up modeling his speech after Brick's paper... which is about the little things Frankie and Mike do for one another. [weak!]

Frankie and Mike weren't planning on doing anything special for the holiday - just eating a bucket of chicken at home (in separate rooms so they could watch their respective programs). But,when Frankie runs into some neighborhood women at the drugstore, they decide to go on a triple-date since one woman has a phenomenal coupon. When Frankie pulls the new plan out on Mike, he worries at first, but then is fine with it. The six enjoy their Valentine's Day meal, but when Mike doesn't buy Frankie a rose like the other guys at the table do for their wives, she is bothered. [I have mixed opinions on this. Yes, it would have been nice to see all the ladies get flowers, but at the same time you know they're expensive to buy individually...] She waits until they're home to confront him. [I wasn't impressed with their exchange afterwards. I think that they could have done better, but maybe it was a time issue at that point.]

Sue and Carly are selling carnations at school and are happy that they both have boyfriends this year. [no mention of what Axl does for Valentine's Day... weird. Especially when we see a scene at school...] Matt french-kisses Sue for the first time, and she's shocked that he put his tongue in her mouth. [whoa. they watch a lot of tv in this house, so how does she not know what french kissing is? I think Full House taught me, LoL.] Sue looks up on the computer how to talk to Matt about "his bad kissing," and even asks Brick his opinion. [whenever Sue teams up with Brick for something, I have to question everything about it... there's like a five-year age difference, guys.] After taking her out to an Italian restaurant for dinner, Sue
tries to get out of kissing Matt by chowing down on her leftovers at the door, but it doesn't work. [very funny attempt, tho! see right.] Frankie has to explain what french kissing is, and a shocked Sue bravely tells Matt that she doesn't like it. Turns out, neither does he! [haha. only someone Sue would date would end up feeling this way. Though the whole situation really reiterated Sue's innocence a bit too much.]
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