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#2071

OpieTaylor

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:15 PM

ANOTHER rerun tonight? What is The Middle doing?? It seemed like it was building a following and now there's only been one new episode in weeks. As a result, a huge fan like me is learning to live without it - meaning it's no longer appointment TV. :(
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#2072

The Bullpen

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:21 PM

New episodes return next week.
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#2073

stonehaven

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

Eden Sher was on GMA and The View this morning...Great promotion for The Middle with Whoopi Goldberg.
I love was Eden said about Sue.."It's not that she loves herself so much ,it's that she loves herself unconditionally". I love that about her...

Apparently, next week Eden and Charlie start a film together...I would love to see that.
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#2074

MsSweatpants

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 4:16 PM

The 80s was full of "very special episodes" and ALL sitcoms did this....Roseanne did it as well, that was the climate and topics for sitcoms in the 80s.


Roseanne was different, though. Unlike other sitcoms, the issues on Roseanne weren't usually just a one-off. Darlene battled depression, and it was a major part of that entire season. Jackie and Roseanne's dad cheated on their mom for many years, and had also beaten his daughters; those facts were part of show canon and mentioned fairly often. Becky and Mark had sex; Roseanne knew about it and got her on birth control. It was something that was brought up in multiple episodes. The social issues on that show were the basis for many of the story arcs, unlike other 80s sitcoms, which dealt with petty problems like the death of a goldfish or lost homework until A Very Special Episode aired during sweeps.

I think The Middle and Roseanne are a lot alike in many ways-- blue-collar, Midwestern, middle-class families, with parents trying to give their kids a better, more privileged life than they had. But the tone of both shows are vastly different.

YMMV, of course.
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#2075

stonehaven

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 9:22 PM

"More push..than up"..Oh Brick I love you.

It wasn't non-stop funny but it was entertaining. Goldberg played her part well...and I love how her advice really was the type that counselors would give.

"I'm trying not to be mean because we just had the anti-bullying seminar..

I also thought it was funny at the end when they said "promotional consideration provided by Subway".

Was that Jo-An Worley as "Su-ki's" teacher?
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#2076

Cejaye

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 9:23 PM

You know, I don't know if it's laziness, or just bad parenting, but stuff like Sue being forgot about so much they don't even put her in the yearbook, or whatever should result in Frankie doing something, anything, and not expecting Sue to deal with it by herself, when no one at the school listens to her anyway (except the Sue Like Guidance Counselor, who despite working there 17 years is somehow unknown by the entire staff.)

And just because the frame sucked, doesn't mean there was no reason Frankie and Mike couldn't have kept the mattress, but hey, at least Brick gets his own bed now, I guess.


I dunno if it was the hiatus, or what, but I'm starting to find Frankie & Mike as terrible parents, and Sue pathetic and I'm just not liking this show much anymore.
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#2077

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 7:04 AM

And just because the frame sucked, doesn't mean there was no reason Frankie and Mike couldn't have kept the mattress, but hey, at least Brick gets his own bed now, I guess.


I thought the same thing. It was just the frame they didn't like, at least the mattress didn't have a huge dip in it like their old one. I know it is only a TV show but I find it hard to get past obvious details like this. Heh. I guess that's my own issue.

I generally am not a huge Whoopi fan but I really liked her Sue-esque guidance counselor role. She is right- high school is no place for unique people like herself and Sue.

I thought the Suki bit was pretty funny, especially when Whoopi was sanitizing her hands as Sue explains she is Suki and there is no avian flu type thing going around.

I also liked Brick's Presidential Fitness Challenge storyline, especially calling the president himself. Gah, I hated that too when I was a kid. During the challenge when I was in school (I'm in my mid-30s, so 1980s-90s) they even used calipers to determine our body fat percentages in front of the whole PE class. I was a skinny kid so I can imagine the horrors that overweight kids faced during the fitness challenge.
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#2078

MsTaken

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 7:43 AM

I'm a fan of the show and have gushed about this season being the best one yet, but I thought this episode was a clunker.

I did like the basic points behind the Mike/Frankie bed debacle (the debate over whether it's best to strive for 'improvement' or, like Mike, always remain satisfied with life as is; the way Frankie and Mike have to accept each other's differences rather than trying to change each other (gee, ya think?!); and even the theory that married couples need to fight in part because marriage is so long that, if they didn't argue, they'd run out of things to talk about!) The execution, though, fell oddly flat for me.

The 'Sue (er, Sukie?!) meets the adult version of her' storyline is another idea that sounded better in theory than in execution to me. I usually adore this character and her storylines, but I'm weary of the 'joke' about no one knowing Sue's name or even vaguely remembering she exists from one day to the next. It's just kind of clunky, exaggerated and stale to me by now. There are, IMO, far subtler, more relatable/realistic and funny ways to show that Sue doesn't fit in. And while Whoopi didn't bother me here like she often does, she didn't add all that much for me either.

Overall, there just wasn't as much humor or well-earned heart as I've come to expect from this show.

Edited by MsTaken, May 3, 2012 @ 7:44 AM.

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#2079

HickoryColt

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

I thought the same thing. It was just the frame they didn't like, at least the mattress didn't have a huge dip in it like their old one. I know it is only a TV show but I find it hard to get past obvious details like this. Heh. I guess that's my own issue


I thought the same thing, and I think that may even be what they did at the end. Just kept the old frame and the new matress. They didn't really say. Maybe they just gave the new frame to Axl and he kept his matress.
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#2080

PattyorSelma

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

Axl smashing his fingers in the door was hilarious.
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#2081

andyllina

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:09 AM

I think that may even be what they did at the end. Just kept the old frame and the new matress. They didn't really say. Maybe they just gave the new frame to Axl and he kept his matress.

I'm almost positive they did keep the new mattress, and their old headboard. I looked at it closely and the mattress didn't appear to be caved in.

Edited by andyllina, May 8, 2012 @ 8:12 PM.

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#2082

Watt DeFark

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 11:46 AM

Thanks a lot, Hecks. I laughed like hell at the bed storyline as I've been trying to convince my DH that we need a new mattress and that it would be nice to have a bookcase headboard...Mike and Frankie attempting to lean against that headboard pretty much convinced him that we will NEVER have one. But crack addicts indeed do have nicer mattresses than ours.

I liked Whoopi in this role, and telling Sue that HS is not the place for unique people like them was lovely

Was that Jo-An Worley as "Su-ki's" teacher?


yup
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#2083

needschocolate

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 11:51 AM

I rewinded and the parents were definitely on the new mattress. The mattress that Axl was on appearred to be sunken int he middle, but the messy sheets made it hard to tell.

I couldn't understand why, since they are so strapped for cash that Brick had to sleep in a box/toddler-bed, that they had to buy the headboard. Why not just buy a new mattress and use the old headboard? But then what would they have done to fill up about 10 minutes of the show? They wouldn't have to put a mattress together. And, while I am ranting anyway, no one, especially not Mike, would take apart the entire bed because they had a piece left over.

Was that Jo-An Worley as "Su-ki's" teacher?

I thought so. IMdB doesn't list her in the cast and it is not listed on her page either. Maybe it is too soon. She was born in 1937 - I thought she looked pretty good.
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#2084

Inquisitionist

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Not a huge Whoopi fan, but I thought she did a fabulous job with this role, and Eden Sher really held her own in their scenes together.
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#2085

PattyorSelma

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 12:36 PM

I didn't watch this show when it first came on but one day the kids were on "The View" and Whoopi made it a point to tell Eden that she was very funny and her character was a true original. They showed the clip of Sue and her friend preparing to fight the bullies by playing "Kung Fu Fighting" in the street. Whoopi thought that scene was the funniest thing ever. Her endorsement of the show along with the kids being absolutely charming and funny on "The View" made me tune in that week. I am so glad I did!!

Also on that show, the guy who plays Axl said he was meant to play Patricia Heaton's son because so many people had told him he looked like he really was her son.

I caught Jo-An Worley's name on the credits since I was wondering the same thing and made a extra effort to see the names.

Edited by PattyorSelma, May 3, 2012 @ 12:38 PM.

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#2086

OpieTaylor

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 12:38 PM

I agree with a lot of what has already been said, although I did think the Mike-Frankie bickering was pretty well done - I certainly identified with it! As for why they got the bookcase headboard when all they really needed was a new mattress set - Frankie had her heart set on making their room a sanctuary and she saw that headboard as part of it. I LOL'd at Mike's line about what did they need to display - that band-aid that's been laying on Frankie's side table since October? And I, too, figured they ended up keeping the new mattress set and gave Axl the headboard.

I thought Axl was the funniest again with his lines about Sue changing her name to Suki. He called her Sucky and Pukey, and then dubbed himself Rock Star, his mom "blah blah blah" and then got intimidated by his Dad and called him Dad. I/we have said it before - the Axl actor has become so good in that role!

Re: Whoopie the counselor saying that high school is no place for unique people like her and Sue - yet she gets a job in a high school? But, yeah, Whoopie did a decent job with this role. She even had a silly sweater on, similar to Sue's clothes.
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#2087

HickoryColt

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

I couldn't understand why, since they are so strapped for cash that Brick had to sleep in a box/toddler-bed, that they had to buy the headboard. Why not just buy a new mattress and use the old headboard? But then what would they have done to fill up about 10 minutes of the show? They wouldn't have to put a mattress together. And, while I am ranting anyway, no one, especially not Mike, would take apart the entire bed because they had a piece left over


I assumed that was part of Frankie's idea that needed some sort of slumber sanctuary, or whatever she called it, so that required a new headboard.
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#2088

Maxbird

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 4:03 PM

I assumed that was part of Frankie's idea that needed some sort of slumber sanctuary, or whatever she called it, so that required a new headboard.


Yes, she wanted the bookcase headboard to "display their things" and "create a sanctuary". I enjoyed this episode, not as much as some but for me it wasn't a clunker. I'm getting a little tired of the invisible Sue schtick too, since she actually had several good things happen this year. Let's move on - there's plenty of fun things to do with her other than that.

Poor Brick - I hated those things too. I was skinny and little and not a bit athletic and hated being forced to attempt to do stuff like that in front of anyone.

I can see where Sue gets part of her personality. Frankie always gets real upbeat thinking her newest idea is going to be a major hit and make everything wonderful. She and Whoopie were great as allied unique people.
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#2089

possibilities

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 4:14 PM

Whoopie the counselor saying that high school is no place for unique people like her and Sue - yet she gets a job in a high school?

I thought she wanted to be there to make a difference for kids like Sue. I loved that from the very first introduction, she remembered Sue's name, and that she did advocate for her, instead of just telling her to wait til she's older and it will all get better by the time she's 30. "It'll be better someday" is really not what you want to hear when you're 16. It makes the adults look lazy and apathetic, especially when you're supposed to be grateful for their lack of support.

For the same reason, I liked that the adults in the faculty lounge were treating Whoopie the same way they had treated Sue. It underscored even more how the faculty perpetuates the problem, and how if the adults acted otherwise, the kids would be different, too. I think too often TV gives the adults an out with the whole "it will get better once you're older" idea, as though the adults weren't part of the problem (couldn't make it better now, if they were invested in doing so).

Having the school counselor feel helpless until she started to advocate for one of the kids also seemed realistic to me. A lot of people won't fight for themselves but will fight for someone else. And those are exactly the people who get left out and feel like outsiders in a place that follows the typical high school stereotype of conformity and blending in vs being unique.

ETA: Is it really true that bookcase headboards lack a place to lean against?

Edited by possibilities, May 3, 2012 @ 4:25 PM.

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#2090

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 4:38 PM

ETA: Is it really true that bookcase headboards lack a place to lean against?


It is true. I have one.

I liked the ep for the most part, but I definitely agree that Mike Heck would not take apart an entire bedframe because one piece was left off.
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#2091

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 8:05 PM

I couldn't understand why, since they are so strapped for cash that Brick had to sleep in a box/toddler-bed, that they had to buy the headboard. Why not just buy a new mattress and use the old headboard?

I assume it was one of those package deals where the bed and the mattress are One Low Price!

And yes, bookcase headboards suck. We used to have one and I would stuff an extra pillow into the cubby so I could rest my regular pillow against that. Pain in the ass, we got rid of it.

JoAnne Worley, Doris Roberts. What is with this show having teachers who are 75 years old? No one in real life teaches at that age; most don't let the door hit them when they turn 60 so they can retire and collect their fat pensions (at least around here).

I'm not sure how helpful it is for Sue to see that teen oddballs like her turn into adult oddballs like guidance counsellor Whoopi, and she's still not remembered or respected. Doesn't give Sue much hope.

I did like Sue's hair parted on the side; it made her look a thousand times better.
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#2092

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 9:02 PM

I'm not sure how helpful it is for Sue to see that teen oddballs like her turn into adult oddballs like guidance counselor Whoopi, and she's still not remembered or respected. Doesn't give Sue much hope.


Yes, but Sue always makes lemonade and you could see she admired Whoopi, then Whoopi stood up for all the oddballs, won a quasi-victory, so Sue was a happy camper.

As to the bed, I'm sure it was a "one time good deal" to get the bed and mattress together and I don't think it was extravagant, since Frankie's been shown to have a bad back and these folks work hard and need to sleep. Amen on those bookcase headboards - they are horrid if you want to sit up and read or watch tv or anything other than sleep.
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#2093

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 10:27 PM

The Middle is one of my favorite shows, but the whole Sue is forgotten storyline just rang so false to me (A teacher and mom here). First off, Sue would absolutely be on top of when pictures would be taken and she could surely look at the website of the school if she forgot. Also, guidance counselors are pretty respected at the school's I know about and wouldn't be hidden in the basement and forgotten. I also really hated the Sue in memorium picture in the yearbook and I would be horrified if that was my child.

The Frankie and Mike stuff was pretty funny though.

Edited by Maddingcrowd, May 3, 2012 @ 10:28 PM.

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#2094

MsSweatpants

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:02 AM

JoAnne Worley, Doris Roberts. What is with this show having teachers who are 75 years old? No one in real life teaches at that age; most don't let the door hit them when they turn 60 so they can retire and collect their fat pensions (at least around here).


Indiana pensions aren't huge, I can say from experience. I taught at a high school in the fine Hoosier state for a number of years, and while most teachers tended to get out by age 65 or so, a few held on longer than that.

It seemed more common for women than men, but many of the ones I knew sort of "paused" their careers in order to raise children. When they return, they end up teaching into their later years to "make up" for the years they spent at home.
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#2095

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:11 AM

JoAnne Worley, Doris Roberts. What is with this show having teachers who are 75 years old? No one in real life teaches at that age; most don't let the door hit them when they turn 60 so they can retire and collect their fat pensions (at least around here).


In many states pensions are almost a joke. I had a few teachers in their seventies when I was a kid. And, as said above, you need to put your time in. If you didn't start teaching right away or took time off your pension won't be worth as much.

Edited by Cherith, May 4, 2012 @ 10:13 AM.

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#2096

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

Whoopie the counselor saying that high school is no place for unique people like her and Sue - yet she gets a job in a high school? But, yeah, Whoopie did a decent job with this role. She even had a silly sweater on, similar to Sue's clothes.


I forget how long she said she'd been there, but it had been like 15 years I think. I could see her, like young Sue Heck, going into it to make a difference for all the kids like her and then just getting beaten down by all the years of the same exact thing happening to her as an adult.

For the same reason, I liked that the adults in the faculty lounge were treating Whoopie the same way they had treated Sue. It underscored even more how the faculty perpetuates the problem, and how if the adults acted otherwise, the kids would be different, too. I think too often TV gives the adults an out with the whole "it will get better once you're older" idea, as though the adults weren't part of the problem


I found it somewhat realistic. As a kid you think oh, when I'm an adult everything will be better because we'll all be adults, then you get a job in the real world and discover that in some jobs, it is just like high school with the pettyness and backstabbing.

Also, guidance counselors are pretty respected at the school's I know about and wouldn't be hidden in the basement and forgotten.


I wonder if that wasn't part of the 'joke.' Since Whoopie was the guidance counselor and she spent her youth ignored that is a continuation of that.
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#2097

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

Been out of town all week, and am catching up on my tv viewing. I'm a little surprised by some of the lukewarm responses this episode has received. I thought it was one of the best ones they've done. I can usually take or leave Whoopi Goldberg, but I thought she was great. My wife and I have the same sunken mattress, so we both got a kick out of that, along with the b&w storyboards about the typical husband-wife arguments (and we've had every one of them). But the best part of the episode was Axl attempting the pull-up on the bedroom door. Biggest LOL moment of the season for me.
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#2098

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:33 AM

Frankie and Mike fighting was the best part for me, especially after he called her by her mother's name, and then she really went off (in black & white).

Frankie: "We never get anything new!"
Mike: "We just got a new dishwasher."
Frankie: "So that means we can't get something else for another 20 years!?!"

Surprised Frankie didn't reference Oprah regarding wanting a 'sanctuary', which she does on occasion. Oprah is known for saying, "Your house should rise up to meet you."

The bookcase headboard doesn't bother me. I must be in the 1% of people who use the bed for sleep and sex only, so I never have to prop the pillows up to sit up. No TV-watching, no reading, no work, etc.

Sue's hair did look nice parted on the side.

Sue getting into the yearbook via the "In Memoriam" page was too much. Loved her and Whoopi dancing at the end.
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#2099

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 8:07 PM

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned, but why does Brick sometimes say something, then put his head down & whisper the last word he said? Is it something he learned in his social group?
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#2100

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 7:45 PM

I really liked this episode. I really liked how Axl was just there for weird Ashley and Sue and Axl's friend was pretty awesome too. I loved how their outfits matched.
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