As you may have figured out by now, The Middle is one of my favorite shows of all time and there are many reasons why. So with the show’s series finale coming up this week I just had to write down at least 10 of them.
1. The Amazing Cast
With Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn you already have a great duo of actors who have proven their greatness in their previous shows (respectively Everybody Loves Raymond and Scrubs). Not only that, they manage to play completely different characters in The Middle than they’ve played before. And they do that so well that you don’t even realize that Debra Barone and Frankie Heck or the Janitor and Mike Heck are played by the same person. Throw in the kids played by Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer and you’ve created a fantastic cast. I think all three have grown a lot in acting throughout the series. They all have their own unique acting skills and I hope we get to see them back on TV soon.
2. The Fantastic Writing
From the start the writers have written interesting storylines for the characters they’ve created. The jokes, the (continuing) storylines and especially the character development are amazing throughout the seasons. The writers have come up with amazing characters that are unique and have so many layers that they just feel real when you watch them on TV. They’ve especially done an exceptional job with the kids, which includes growing up, going to college and getting into relationships. And even after 9 years, the stories about the whole family never feel stale. Not every episode can be great, but even episodes that weren’t, are better than a lot of shows currently on TV.
3. The Individual Characters
The writers have created great individual characters and especially as we got to know them better, they developed just like people do in real life. Besides that, these are all characters that you root for, you want them to succeed in life. Everybody feels sad when the Hecks’ sink falls through the counter top or when Sue once again doesn’t make anything. But you get a smile on your face with small victories, like Axl getting a job or when Brick wins back his girlfriend. You’ll be happy when they get a win, and get sad when they don’t.
4. The Heck Family
Not only are the members of the Heck family great individual characters, they also work very well together on screen. They feel like a real family and that’s important because this is essentially what the show is about: a family just trying to get through life the best they can. Some of the best scenes are the ones with the family all together, in the car, at dinner or in front of the TV. But also scenes between Mike and Frankie just work, as well as the kids’ scenes with each other. But it gets even better when the kids have scenes with the parents. Emotional plotlines between the almost always stoic Mike and one of his kids have created some of my favorite scenes of the entire show.
5. The Recurring Characters
I’ve talked about the Heck family, but another very strong part of the show are its recurring characters. Not only the extended family, like the grandparents, the aunts, Doris the dog and Rusty (who’s probably my favorite recurring character), also the neighbors like the Donahues, the Norwoods and the Glossners are a big part of the Heck’s lives. Then we have the friends of the Heck kids: Brad, Carly, Sean and Darrin just to name a few, but let’s not forget Cindy, Troy, Lexie, Hutch and Kenny who came on the show later. And how about Bob, Mr. Ehlert, Dr. Goodwin and the quarry guys and last but not least of course Reverend TimTom. All of these characters were well developed with their own personal stories and are used very well on the show. They never really take away any of the attention from the Heck family, but just add to the story.
6. The Relatability
Everybody from all over the world will relate to this show in some way. It may be one of the family members, the family as a whole, the financial situation or some specific storylines. The Hecks could easily be your neighbors, your friends or even your family. This show will always somehow remind you of your own life.
7. The Rewatch Factor
Take it from me. I’ve seen every episode more than 15 times, and I still enjoy them when I watch the episodes again and again. By now I know almost every episode by heart and I have memorized a lot of the great lines. But even now, there are always new things to see or new jokes to catch and even when there aren’t, the episodes are still a lot of fun to watch.
8. The Callbacks
The Middle’s writers have found a way to perfectly balance new jokes with callbacks and references to old episodes. The Middle integrates these callbacks into the show, without making it feel forced. Who doesn’t remember Frankie’s inflatable foot bath from season 1, or Limestone, Mike’s quarry cat or the story of Brick’s birth. The writers bring a lot of these small things back and it makes the show feel much more like real life.
9. The Jokes
Of course The Middle is a comedy, which means it has to be funny. And that it is, for sure. Funny situations or character quirks, great facial expressions, but most of all hilarious lines make for a lot of laugh out loud moments. The Middle may not have been the comedy with the edgiest jokes, but it always delivered, without having to resort to hurtful comments of overly sexual lines.
10. The Heart
The Middle doesn’t only make you laugh, it can also make you cry. Most episodes end with a nice heartfelt message or an emotional scene that will tug at your heartstrings. Scenes like this help give the characters more depth and make you want to root for them. The Middle found the perfect balance between funny lines and emotional scenes.
I could’ve listed many more reasons of why more people should watch this show because besides it just being hilarious, it has brought me much more than that.
First of all, I would not have been watching a lot of other great TV shows if I wouldn’t have watched The Middle. So thanks for making me a TV junkie, The Middle…..
Besides that, The Middle is why I started writing for TV Series Hub, which has given me a nice opportunity to write about my thoughts. This is something I never thought I would do, but I’m very happy that I can.
And last but not least, I would not have known all these amazing friends on social media if it weren’t for The Middle. It all started with live tweeting the show on Wednesdays at 2 in the morning (timezones suck), which got me to connect to some great people with the same crazy obsession about TV as I do.
So once again, to everybody involved in The Middle: thank you for 9 seasons and 215 amazing episodes of this great show!
I also want to thank you all for reading my reviews over the past few years. I really appreciate it.
Catch The Middle’s hour-long series finale Tuesday night, May 22nd, at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.
If you want to know how much of a mess I’ll be after the series finale of The Middle, check this out:
— SeriesFreak (@seriesfreak12) May 20, 2018