Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Middle: Smiling, an iPad, and a College Acceptance Email

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Not my favorite episode, but not bad. Frankie and Mike's lackadaisical attitude toward parenting is pretty annoying sometimes... especially when they are really involved with one kid (Axl, in this case) but not with another (Brick). Surely the iPad will quickly be destroyed in the Heck house, so that should lead to some interesting episode... perhaps a whodunit? Meanwhile, this was another episode where I really felt bad for Sue. The girl tries and hopes for the best but the world just won't throw her a bone. This time, all she wanted was for a few people to reciprocate a smile. She's no Cindy Crawford, but her enthusiasm is so bright, why does this face keep getting ignored?
The Middle "The Smile" (S04E14): To back up, Sue's science teacher scolds her for using multiple ink colors and putting hearts over every "i" in her papers. [I think I stopped that in eighth or ninth grade, too.] For her science project, Sue decides to investigate whether smiling is contagious, a hypothesis at which her instructor laughs. The first person she tests is Brad, who can't stop smiling anyway. She moves on to strangers, but most everyone ignores her as usual. [awww that even the waitress didn't smile back at Sue! and her crying smile is horrendous.] However, when the teacher reads her final paper, where Sue writes about how she won't give up, the teacher smiles at her and she smiles back. [it kinda sounds sweeter than it was, though.]

Axl begins to get nervous when his friends seem to have been accepted to various colleges and trade schools. Frankie and Mike also begin to panic that Axl hasn't heard anything yet, but he winds up receiving an acceptance email to East Indiana State. [why didn't Mike stop Frankie from harassing the mail carrier?] Axl wants to tell the family over dinner at Red Lobster, but all of the surrounding tables have bigger news so he waits until they get home. [poor kid just kept getting interrupted when it was SO CLEAR that he wanted the family to share his happiness!] The next day he starts working on the senior prank, but his friend forgets the paint they were going to use to change the ORSON water tower to SNORSON. [is it a prank if it's not at the school? then it's just a statement, like the Beverly Hills, 90210 kids pulled with the Hollywood sign.] The guys realize that their time together is limited and relive some old memories. 

Brick bugs his parents for an iPad for a month, playing them against one another. [Brick is up at 10:30pm??] Frankie and Mike discuss how the whole family could use it and how it would stop them from having to drive Brick to the library all the time, plus a refurbished one is under $100. [hope the local library there has a good digital lending program! the waiting lists in my area are TERRIBLE. I'm still waiting on a virtual guidebook of Austria. My trip was last August!] They get him one, even though they know it's not good parenting. Before a month is over, it appears to be lost.
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