The Middle: The Complete First Season (DVD)

Conventional wisdom would dictate that The Middle would be nothing more than standard sitcom fare meant to pander to the lowest common denominator. The show is set in Indiana, a part of the country studio executives know absolutely nothing about; The series’ title doesn’t even pretend to be subtle in kissing up to the flyover states; the show is made up of a collection of safe sitcom vets Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, Back to You) and Neil Flynn (Scrubs); and most telling of all, Chris Kattan, one of the least funny members to ever appear on SNL, has a supporting role in the series.
Given all that, The Middle has managed to knock aside convention and be both surprisingly funny and original. Coming off like a more appealing, updated version of Roseanne, The Middle has found a niche making jokes out of the middle class barely getting by, without pandering or relying on predictable set ups. The show centers around Frankie Heck (Heaton), her husband Mike (Flynn) and her three quirky kids.
The fact that the show uses Kattan’s character more as an afterthought than a true supporting character shows that the writers clearly know what they’re doing.
The Middle: The Complete First Season/Warner Bros/3 DVDs/518 Mins./www.themiddledvd.com

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