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The Middle - Season 1 [DVD] 
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Frankie Heck is a superhero. Well, no, not an actual superhero--but sometimes it seems to Frankie as though getting her kids out the door for school every morning is a superheroic act. Middle aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country, this harried wife and working mother of three uses her wry wit and sense of humor to try to get her family through each day intact. Frankie has a job (not a career) selling cars at the town's only surviving car dealer; her husband, Mike, is a manager at the local quarry. In between juggling shifts and picking up fast food dinners eaten in front of the TV, Frankie and Mike raise their kids with love and solid Midwestern practicality. Axl is the oldest, a teenage jock who is eating the family out of house and home and walks around in his underwear. Then there's Sue, their extraordinarily ordinary pre-teen daughter who fails at everything with great gusto. Brick, the youngest son, is an odd kid whose best friend is his backpack. Together, they're putting The Middle on the map.
- Featurette: Raising a Sitcom Family
- Featurette: Sue's Best Shots
- Gag reel
- Deleted scenes
The Middle is the most honest--and, for that reason, the funniest--sitcom about middle class family life since Roseanne. Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond) wearily runs a cluttered, chaotic household with her husband Mike (Neil Flynn, Scrubs) and three unruly kids: sullen teen jock Axl (Charlie McDermott), hopeless klutz Sue (Eden Sher), and smart but socially awkward Brick (Atticus Shaffer). The plots revolve around the kind of mild crises that make domestic life so difficult: Frankie and Mike can't find time to be alone together; debts force difficult choices; the kids spend more time watching television than talking to each other. Again and again, Frankie longs to teach her kids good values but realizes she isn't living up to those values herself--and her reluctant efforts to muster virtue within herself can be achingly funny. Frankie is superbly well realized, a perfect match of writing and performer. Heaton portrays her contradictory impulses (virtue vs. convenience, open-heartedness vs. a hunger for just a little time alone) with wonderful subtlety; the wary look in her eyes flickers between sincerity and cynicism.
The supporting cast is every bit as strong. These kids actually look and act like kids, in all their obnoxious, oblivious, naive glory, not like glossy supermodels in training. Flynn pulls his own deft balancing act, making husband Mike blunt and a little insensitive without seeming like a jerk or a caricature. The show is still working out some kinks--Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) plays a hapless coworker of Frankie's; the character has possibilities and Kattan seems game for anything, but the writers don't quite know what to do with him yet. A host of guest stars--including Brooke Shields as a white trash neighbor and Betty White as an imperious librarian--fit nicely into the show's world, rather than sticking out like stunt casting. The Middle treats middle America with compassion, intelligence, and genuine appreciation. --Bret FetzerSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Patricia Heaton (Frankie Heck - Mother/Used Car Saleswoman) of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' fame may be reprising the role of an unappreciated wife, but this time she's different, she's let off the leash and has real bark as well as bite. She also narrates during the show which is a kinda cool. The Peter Griffin of the family Mike Heck (Neil Flynn) a Quarry Manager that's a little too laid-back for Frankie but she doesn't bang on about it.
At 15 the eldest son is Axl is a typical teenager who wants to be a rock star or playboy to the stars. Of course he's completely deluded, as he has zero talent and only average looks - but what he does have going for him is his sporting prowess. He appears to be in all the sports teams, so he's happy most of the time. Occasionally he proves his loyalty to his family, but it's very subtle, you have to watch to see what I mean. A funny observation: he never seems to be decent (fully dressed) when he's at home.
Sue Heck is the nearest thing to Meg Griffin in real TV. Continually in a state neurotic insecurity and anonymity; Sue repeatedly fails to make ANY after school activity - she literally tries-out for everything! Yet, Sue struggles on with incredible tenacity, a quality that's quite inspiring to see.Read more ›