As Axl caricatures teens to absurdity and Frankie surprises with a refreshing portrayal of a harried working mother, this interesting sitcom about a middle class working family touches numerous chords. The best feature of this show is that it represents average people with funny ticks and problems that all of us can relate with, for they represent scenes from our own lives. Culture gap notwithstanding, we see ourselves in this hassled family and ultimately laugh at ourselves.
All of us have experienced bouts of social awkwardness, compulsive cynicism and strange behaviour over the course of our lives. Is that why Sue, Axl and Brick connect so well? They create hilarious situations and witty remarks out of the challenges of life which not only sparks laughter but also inspires us to do the same when traffic jams, social interaction, power cuts and need for academic success face us.
Beneath all the antics of the family lies the most powerful of human emotions that unites us-love. From squabbles to humiliating scenarios, everything is treated with a dose of love. This makes us believe that being somewhere in the middle in the rat-race of today’s world is not so bad as long as we have someone to love and care for.
Frankie’s pushiness and constant efforts to help her children succeed can be seen in many mothers trying to do the same out of worry for their loved ones. Her exasperation and irritability while dealing with her kids’ diverse interests makes us pity her. As far as Mike is concerned, is emotional stability and no-nonsense approach imparts much needed balance to this crazy family. A devoted father and hard taskmaster, he exudes both comfort and discipline.
Axl’s sarcasm and lazy nature, forcing him to roam around half-naked and spout mocking remarks, contrasts with Sue’s bubbly optimism, despite being unsuccessful in most of her ventures. Even though he is self-centred and narcissistic, he has a large heart, evident in his constant sacrifices with weird Ashley. On the other hand, one can’t help but feel happy seeing Sue’s bizarre behaviour and social awkwardness which she always takes in her stride.
Brick, the adorable younger brother, possesses an eidetic memory and exceptional intelligence but does not become extraordinarily good at studies. He is constantly distracted and tends to procrastinate, both flaws making him a part of the middle. The smartest of the three, he often attempts to help his elder siblings only to lead to comical conclusions.
The Middle is the story of a normal family in normal circumstances overcoming the troubles of daily living with amusing solutions. And that is why this show appeals to us.