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The Middle: Season 1
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|Genre||Kids & Family, Comedy|
|Format||AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Multiple Formats|
|Contributor||Patricia Heaton, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, Neil Flynn, Atticus Shaffer, Chris Kattan|
|Number Of Discs||3|
Patricia Heaton stars as Frankie Heck in this warm and witty single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations. 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.
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 Fetzer
- Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.75 inches; 0.01 Ounces
- Item model number : 7583990
- Media Format : AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Multiple Formats
- Run time : 8 hours and 48 minutes
- Release date : August 31, 2010
- Actors : Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, Atticus Shaffer
- Dubbed: : Portuguese
- Subtitles: : English, French, Spanish
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
- Studio : Warner Home Video
- ASIN : B002JVWQUU
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 3
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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By J Ruben Espinoza on November 20, 2022
"Modern Family" stole the potential spotlight from "The MIddle." It was the "big city" of TV shows, overshadowing the warmth and message of "The Middle." But that's fine. This "small town" show had a big heart and instead of focusing on hot-button issues or the dramatics of politics, it portrayed the truth of a lot of American homes. Many of us are living in small towns with small jobs, struggling to have kids and survive. Love, friendship, community ... and a lot of humor, are how we get through our days.
As Axl says, we fight dirty. But we get it done.
The writing, acting, and continuity were on point every season. It's a show I'd be cool with most kids watching, too, especially those children who may feel like they're "nerds" or "weird." The Heck kids tackle life with a broad range of obstacles in their paths, but they never, ever give up. "The Middle" didn't give up either. In spite of being overlooked for the barrage of awards it deserved (those kids were amazing actors - and of course Neil Flynn and Patricia Heaton knocked it out of the park) it never stopped delivering a heartfelt, hilarious punch for nine solid seasons.
I still watch this show. The farewell episode still makes me cry. To me, it's "The Office" wrapped up in a more family-friendly package. It's almost perfect. Watch it. Love it. Relate to it. I enjoy "Modern Family," but it's too fancy. It's a house I'd visit, not live in.
I'd live with the Hecks... right smack dab in "The MIddle."
I had the brilliant idea of giving Seasons 1 and 2 of The Middle to my wife for Valentine's earlier this year... and it was a solid gold hit! My wife was thrilled nearly beyond words, and her friends were deeply jealous that all they got was a card and flowers. Take that other husbands! Ha! Anyway, this show is a total hit at our house. In fact, whenever we can we load up our dinner, haul it over by the TV and watch an episode...just one per evening...of The Middle while we eat. My wife rations the episodes out so they last longer...so we can savor them and look forward to them.
Just in case you don't know about The Middle - it's a show about the most average family you can imagine living the most ordinary life you can imagine in the most ordinary place you can imagine. Frankei and Mike, the parents, struggle to make ends meet, Axl, the HS-age jock son, plays the teenager role brilliantly, usually painfully so, Sue is the sweet forgotten middle child who is self-sufficient and self-reliant, and Brick is the youngest, a child who loves NOTHING more than books and reading...to the exclusion of the world around him.
5 stars...and may the series run as long as the magic is there.
I love in this show how the kids are front and center, not tucked away to appear only when convenient to the storyline. There is no getting away from them. And how the parents are fallible human beings who make mistakes, lots of them. This show hits the mark again and again on stuff that we've done, said, or has happened in our household, and it's quite therapeutic to know we are not alone.
The characters and acting are exceptional, the writers are insightful and never seems to run out of material, and the delivery is hilarious. The chemistry between the five main characters (and several minor characters) is great. I love how each episode stands on its own but weaves in plots and happenings from previous shows. There are also cameos of very famous actors playing out of character, e.g., in seasons 1&2 Betty White plays the cruel librarian and Brooke Shields the unkempt white-trashy neighbor hahahaha.
As a major bonus I and my almost 16 year old now have "our show." We have worked our way through Season one (my favorite season) and are two discs into season two. If you like me got onto the Middle bandwagon late in the game you are in for a treat.