Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Middle: A New Bed & A Yearbook Photo

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I liked this episode. I didn't love it. I thought that Brick's plotline was belittled - they could have done so much more than a whopping four minutes on the President's Fitness Challenge! I liked the idea behind Franki and Mike's bed storyline, and particularly liked that the climax was that they didn't like the headboard, but the title cards cutting in with "the three big fights" took away a little bit of the episode for me. Sue's scenes, however, were pure gold. LOVE THAT GIRL! The fact that nobody believes that the Wrestlerettes are a thing was sad but believable, and the yearbook coordinator pawning her off on the guidance counselor was funny. It was a bit odd, however, that NOBODY ELSE knows who the guidance counselor is, but let's skip over that. Also, Whoopi in that role was AMAZING. The kindred spirit between her and Sue was great, and I think she really inspired Sue in a new way. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'd want Suki around for the long-term, but Sue's getting there!

The Middle "The Guidance Counselor" (S03E21): Franki wants a new bed but Mike doesn't think that they can afford it. They liken this to the customary most-common fight ever, that " she always wants to change things and he wants everything to stay the same." [which I disagree with, but will leave alone.] The go test out some mattresses, where they wind up having common-fight #2, where "she shares everything and he shares nothing." [this I'll absolutely agree with. I'm quite guilty of being an over-sharer.] They decide to buy the bed but decline delivery and assembly for $50, so it takes them a few days to get it together. [that sucks.] This leads to common-fight #3, "he won't ask for help and she won't shut up about it," when Franki wants to call customer service and Mike doesn't want her to. Well, despite the wait time being almost 7 hours, Mike still don't talk to the guy, despite the fact that he forgot to put in a bracket somewhere. [I don't see why the customer service representative needed the backstory on buying the bed. ridiculous!] The new headboard doesn't really jive with their sitting positions, and Mike wishes they had kept the old bed, so after a short common-fight #6 ("He compares her to her mother. She makes him wish he hadn't."), they go back to their old bed and give Axl the new one. [I hope they kept the new mattress at least!] 

It's the Presidential Fitness Challenge at the elementary school and Brick isn't happy. He calls the President but sits on hold, just being transferred around. Axl tries to tell him it's no big deal and goes to demonstrate a pull-up, only for his fingers to get caught in the door. Brick gets through the week with laughter. [meh.]

Sue talks to a couple cheerleaders about team pictures, wondering about getting a group shot of the Wrestlerettes in the yearbook. But, the girls don't believe the Wrestlerettes are real. [haha!] So, Sue talks to the yearbook coordinator about it, but she doesn't care, simply sending Sue to the guidance counselor. Turns out, nobody ever goes to see the guidance counselor (who has been the same woman for 17 years, though she's down to two days a week because of budget cuts), so she's thrilled to help Sue.
Sue decides to change her image - going by "Suki," using her right hand, and parting her hair on the side. A short discussion over dinner has Axl making fun of her new name and wanting to be called, "RockStar," while Franki and Mike don't care all that much. At school, Suki asks her teachers to change what they call her, but she's mistaken for a foreign-exchange student instead. [haha, love that part. fits in so well with the idea that nobody ever notice Sue!] Some cheerleaders think she "has suki" and report the outbreak to the nurse. [which, for whatever reason, is believed. eye roll.] Sue returns to the guidance counselor, who promises to get Sue into the yearbook, even if it has gone to print. The two storm into the Faculty Lounge, where we learn that everybody overlooks the guidance counselor, too. [super sad!] Sue does indeed get in the yearbook, though... on the "In Memoriam" page! [bets on how this will factor into the remaining episodes this season? or even the premiere of the next one?]
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