Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Middle: Brick "Works," Sue's Dumped, Axl's Nice

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Wow... that Matt kid was short-lived, huh? Between her relationship ending and Wrestlerettes being over for the season, I wonder what we'll see going on for Sue over the next few episodes? Hopefully something that doesn't scream "Frankie and Mike don't deserve a daughter as good as Sue," because that's getting really old. You know what else is getting old? Their bad parenting. Most of the time, they're just lazy... but this episode, they make several bad moves, especially when it comes to Brick. With Sue, they just let her be naive and do dumb things, so while I could fault them, I won't, since they are letting her learn her own lessons. With Axl, they don't yell at him for faking them out with his pitches and don't thank him for including his sister, but neither are big offenses. Allowing your child to have a job but doing it for him (repeatedly), however, just doesn't cut it. They could have at least made it funny, like when Brad struggles with his first paper route on Home Improvement!

The Middle "The Paper Route" (S03E19): Brick wants night-vision goggles, but Mike tells him that he needs to come up with the money himself. [good parenting.] He gets a job delivering papers, and while Frankie doesn't think that it's a good idea, Mike tells them that he can do it if he takes it seriously. [still good parenting.] Well, Brick misses an entire day of school to do 2/3 of a single day's route, so Mike decides to help him out a little. [no problems yet...] Driving Brick and the papers should be faster, but because Brick can't throw more than six feet, it's not helping too much. [well, he IS a bit young for such a job anyway...] Day 3 has Mike and Frankie taking over because Brick is vomiting. [not bad parenting.] By Day 4, they don't even wake up Brick, it's quicker without him. [the bad parenting begins.]  After a rainy day, however, the Hecks tell Brick that he's done. [some good parenting there.] When Mike and Frankie turn in the newspaper bag, however, they receive a lecture from the paper owner, who says that they're raising a quitter. [now, why not make Brick return the bag himself? Bad parenting. Though that might have gotten them into even worse trouble, really.] They leave the office, having agreed to keep the route. They take Brick with them as they deliver the papers. [um... I'm gonna call it bad parenting because they should have put down a foot and not agreed to keep doing this!]

Matt tells Sue that he's moving because of his father's new job. Not only will the kid be leaving THE NEXT DAY, but Sue is further bummed out when she goes in to have her braces taken off, only to learn that her mouth is over-corrected and she now needs to wear headgear. [I can't get over how upset I'd be if these things happened
to me on the same day!!] They decide to have a long-distance relationship, and although Axl tries to talk her out of it (because Frankie and Mike won't), they spend a lot of time on the phone for about a week. [I was surprised that Axl took the time to talk to Sue about it, tho yelling at his parents did seem quite in-character.] At that point, Matt begins dating Shari, a girl who was showing him around school/town. While everyone else saw it coming, Sue did not, so she's beyond heartbroken over being dumped. [where are Brad and Carly this episode? Surely Sue would have them to console her, no?] Axl invites Sue to come to his baseball game so that she doesn't do something stupid like send lyrics to Matt. [look at Axl, all mature and stuff!] He's been working on a surprise pitch, but it's so bad that he ends up hitting Sue, who was IN THE STANDS. [amazingly, she's cheery through the injury, figuring that it would have hurt more if her headgear hadn't deflected it - "how lucky am I to have head gear, huh?" though, I'm surprised the swelling wasn't worse!]

Frankie finds batteries in one of Mike's drawers and asks him why he didn't say something when they needed batteries for a flashlight. He says that he hoards his personal batteries, and has had his own stash for TEN YEARS. [keeping a few for yourself is one thing, but it seems as if Mike has dozens! what for??] Frankie is upset that they can't share batteries, because married people "share everything." [haha! I learned early in marriage that if you can't share something, it's fine to have your own. like toothpastes.] Frankie hopes that she might have made Mike sway a little, but when Brick needs AA batteries for his goggles, Mike keeps mum and Frankie goes to buy some. And, by some, apparently she bought 40,to hoard with her hidden frosting in the garage.[ooookkk...]
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