Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Middle: Doing Good

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This episode took half a page from The Simpsons and half a page from 7th Heaven. Much like Homer, Marge, and the kids, the Hecks see an opportunity to do something "fun" and different, thinking it'll be better than what they normally do. So, they take part and have "life-changing moments." But, before the end of the 22 minutes, they've resolved to go back to their typical routine, so things will be pretty much status-quo when the next episode rolls around. Plus, Mike, like Homer, had one thoughtful but short-lived contribution. Like 7th Heaven, however, the family members who decide to enact a different perspective do so whole-hog. Sue's adventure into babysitting reminded me of Lucy trying to find her own niche and doing whatever she needed to in order for it to work. Brick wanting a new bed but settling for a table game at Axl's suggestion was reminiscent of Ruthie and Simon setting out to make something better but getting distracted when something more appealing comes along. Frankie's incessant jumping from idea to idea paralleled Annie's handiness during her pregnancies - from learning plumbing to doing the church's accounting to remodeling the attic, the woman could not stick with a single idea. I doubt that The Middle was trying to model the episode after either show, but on the off-chance that they were, I thought it worked.

The Middle "Get Your Business Done" (S03E20): The family comes home from church fairly dissatisfied - no complaints for Sue or Axl, but Mike thought it was a long service, Brick doesn't like the Sunday School answers, and Frankie felt alone in the pews. So, when one of Mike's friends invites them to his church, they give it a try. It's a high-spirited sing-and-clap
church and the Hecks sit at the front of the room. [Pause to laugh - Axl: "sweet. we can talk at this church." Mike: "not you." haha!] The message is to get your business done before you die. [not the most uplifting, but not bad.] The family enjoyed the service, and everyone takes on the task, albeit some more than others. Mike has a short and simple task in mind: calling his father to thank him for what he did after Mike's mom died. [awww.] Axl just thinks that he should help the underprivileged - like Brick. [interesting enough!] For Brick, Sue, and Frankie, however, the "business" they set for themselves is more complicated.

Brick wants a new bed, so he enlists Axl to help him get one. Only... the boys come back with a 10-in-1 style gametop table instead. Axl beats Brick at all of the games except hockey, where Brick excels by understanding angles. This works out well for him, as Axl is determined to win once and keeps betting Brick until he has nothing left to wager - including his own bed. So, while Brick is bored of winning in one game, Axl is stuck sleeping in a box. [what, exactly, did they DO with Brick's bed?? and, Brick licks guitar picks? that's a tongue twister!]

Sue starts a babysitting service and her first job is to watch an OCD 14-year-old boy, who thinks that he's watching Sue. [hahaha!] She tries to appeal to the kid by acting like she needs to watch positive television and that she wears diapers Pull-Ups to bed. Sue is glad that it's over, but when she's asked to come again, she does. This time, however, the kid puts the moves on her, so she calls Mike. [yay! Daddy saves the day!] Mike comes over, sends Sue home, and doesn't abide by the kid's eccentricities so he freaks out and messes with Mike. [so, now that wrestlerettes are over, will babysitting be Sue's big time-sucker now?]

Frankie isn't sure what to do, honestly. She tries beading, hoping to get on Oprah. But, she realizes that "the whole world" needs her help - so why not build a combination orphanage, pet shelter, and retirement home? Old people love kids and kids love pets and pets love attention! [hahaha! funny idea.] She winds up keeping herself up at night, trying to come up with ideas to save the world. In a trip to buy first aid supplies for soldiers' kids, she gets her arm stuck in a blood pressure machine. [why was she lying down anyway? Everyone else is awake, and Sue is still out babysitting.] The regular reverend runs into Frankie and talks to her about a time where he was stuck... which makes her realize how relaxing his voice is, so they head back to their regular church.
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: