Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Middle: Brick Goes to Chicago, Sue and Darrin Go for Fro-Yo

Somehow, this has become the show I look forward to second-most every week. The first being Switched at Birth, of course. I've bragged about the realism of this series before, and it just keeps getting better and better. I have no doubts that it will get renewed for a fifth season, but I don't think it could sustain more than six seasons (after which Sue would graduate from high school), and for that I'm already a bit bummed. But, let's live in the moment! The Middle AND The Neighbors both promoted the Academy Awards The Oscars this week, an event which doesn't have a long history of being marketed via family comedies. I liked that Frankie gave the awards show the same amount of attention that she gave The Royal Wedding, and that Sue and Darrin will always be able to link them to their first night as a couple. Speaking of which, I really liked Mike's lecture... he wants the best for his daughter and knows that his son's friend might not be it, but he's willing to let the relationship run its course... at least for now. Similarly, Frankie really thought that Brick going on a three-day class trip was a terrible idea (I was stunned that she was willing to chaperone!), but in the end she accepted it. And, aside from Brick wandering off on his own to Wrigley Field, everything worked out just fine. Who knew?

The Middle "Winners and Losers" (S04E16): Brick is going to Chicago for three days on his fifth-grade class trip, but Frankie is very worried that he'll get lost. Apparently, she hasn't paid attention all year, so she goes to the final meeting to learn more and volunteer to chaperone. [didn't she have to sign a permission slip and write a check at some point??] But, there are tons of volunteers so they draw names. Frankie tries to rig the drawing, then acts like it was rigged to pick others, and accidentally admits to cheating. She tries to convince Brick to stay home and go to a book fair in Terra Haute instead, but she winds up letting him go to Chicago. She does the best she can, packing only orange clothes so he'll be easy to spot, trying to request he get a "responsible buddy like a girl," and refusing to allow him to bring any books so he won't be distracted and get lost. [without books, I'm crazy curious to know what he did on that bus!] Brick has a great time and Frankie winds up completely forgetting to pick him up. [why did Nancy Donahue just give him a ride? why not call the Heck house to see what's going on?]
Sue isn't sure what the status is of her relationship with Darrin, and when she tries to talk to him at school, Axl chases Sue out of the "senior hall." [I've never understood the meaning of that phrase...] She hopes to get his attention at home by interrupting Axl's garage band's practice by dressing up and doing her hair... which must have worked to a certain extent because Darrin writes a song about the magical moment, which only Sue understands. Later, Darrin comes over to the Heck house spontaneously, deciding to ignore Axl and watch The Oscars with Sue and Frankie, who has decorated the house for the occasion. [seriously? a strip of red carpet?] When Axl sees Sue and Darrin holding hands, however, he freaks out, sending Sue to her room before yelling at Darrin. [why did Sue listen to him??] He then calls for a conference with Frankie and Mike, and Mike worries that Darrin is too old and dumb for Sue, though Frankie thinks he's sweet and comes from a good family. [I hate that saying, for the record...]
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