Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Middle: Tutors, Tests, Turnover Troubles

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Do you remember how much television the family watched on Roseanne? Well, The Hecks must be the Conners of 2012, because Sue and Brick certainly demonstrated a thorough knowledge of useless reality programming! Those jokes aside, I found this episode to be truly delightful. I'm honestly surprised at how much I like this show sometimes... it's such a simple concept with characters who could seem pretty obnoxious if they weren't also so endearing. I particularly loved the scene where Mike talks about getting Frankie out of college and Axl into college. The addition of those two taking Tylenol PM to help with their headaches had me laughing pretty hard. The one thing that didn't add up for me this time (ignoring the idea that Axl could fall for someone like Cassidy) is that I'd imagine Frankie would ask for the change from Brick's snack fairly quickly... not allow days to go by before realizing that she hadn't gotten that money from the kids. 

The Middle "The Safe" (S04E07): Axl has been doing mean things to Sue, like giving her maple syrup in place of shampoo. [so gross!] Mike is worried about Axl's scholarship situation, so he and Frankie ask Axl get a tutor and work more diligently on his studies. He doesn't get off to a great start with Cassidy, who will be attending Vassar next year. [so she can't last all that long on this show.] When he doesn't do work for a couple of sessions, he kisses her to show her how fun high school can be, but she leaves the room, saying she has a boyfriend. [I did like that the one time Axl asks Frankie for help studying, she's really not available to assist.] 

Frankie is consistently late to dental assisting school, so the instructor uses Frankie as an example of poor oral care. She's also the only one taking notes on paper instead of a laptop. [I don't know that she'd even want to try doing so on a computer, thought!] Later, she's caught with notes on her arm when she needs to take blood pressure for an exam. [yet she isn't kicked out... no honor code there?]
Brick has to bring in a healthy snack for his social skills group but Frankie doesn't have time, so Sue volunteers to handle it. Frankie gives her forty dollars and expects change, but as Sue heads home, she stops at a garage sale to try and find a treasure. Sue sells a doorknocker to a pawn shop for forty bucks and wants to quit while she's ahead. [yeah, I definitely would. Though I probably wouldn't have been gutsy enough to buy it from the garage sale in the first place!] Brick, however, thinks that they should buy a safe and bet on there being $40,000 inside. [hahahahaha!] Brick tries to crack it, but eventually they just launch it across the room, creating a large hole in the wall. [figures! it's been fixed for less than a year!] Inside, there are a few maps and an old rental car receipt, which may have Gerald Ford's signature from the 1970s. The pawnshop guy offers them $20, but they don't take it, thinking it's worth more. [I think that, even at 15, I'd know that the best place to sell an autograph is not a pawn shop!] But, upon looking at it more closely, it looks more like Gerard Furd, so they return to the pawn shop, only to sell it for just $7 because they held out too long. And, instead of heading home, they go to another garage sale. [I don't see this trend continuing, though!]
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