How The Middle Changed 00s Television (Poll)

The Middle is a show on ABC that has been running for nine years and nine seasons. With the ninth season, being the final season of the show this year. With that sad news being told, it is nice to reflect on the inspiration and future of shows like The Middle. This is a show that changed the way we view typical American television in the 00s.

The Middle‘s Legacy

You could conclude that The Middle is one of the greatest shows to come out of the 00s. The show premiered in 2009 and will come to an end in 2017. The show has gone through changes in characters, settings, atmospheres, and relationships.

You have grown with these characters, and it reminds me a lot of 80s/90s shows like Roseanne (the creators of that show actually wrote this show), The Wonder Years, George Lopez, The Golden Girls, and other longstanding shows that had fantastic character development.

The Middle

This show is going to be ranked with legendary shows such as those aforementioned. That is an honor for a show that started in ’09 when TV was barely on the rise with longstanding shows like Scrubs (2001-2010) and Grey’s Anatomy (2005-).

In between shows like this, The Middle was born and lasted nine full years. Each year coming out with a new season, a new adventure, and a new journey to follow this family through. I am talking an awful lot about the show, but in case you have not seen the show or know nothing about it, let’s get into what the show actually is.

The Middle: A Relatable Family

The typical Indianan-American Heck family is original, relatable, and comical. The Heck family consists of: mother Frankie Heck, husband and father Mike Heck, oldest son Axl Heck, the oldest daughter, but younger than Axl, Sue Heck, and the youngest brother, Brick Heck.

The Middle‘s Axl Heck

Throughout each of the characters, you get reoccurring personality traits throughout the nine seasons. Axl Heck usually makes rash decisions; this comes up almost every season. He is lazy, selfish, and sometimes a hermit (especially when he is at home).

While he does show kindness sometimes, it is not very often. However, you do know that he has a kind heart underneath it all. Axl is popular and outgoing, unlike his siblings who are closed-off and not so popular. Axl is unfortunately not as scholarly as Sue and Brick are.

He is two years younger than Sue and the favorite of Mike. By season 8, he has graduated with a business degree from college; he did play football as well. Axl got married and divorced, and also has had his fair share of girlfriends and exes during his duration on the show.

The Middle‘s Sue Heck

Sue Heck is socially awkward and nerdy. The middle daughter of the three Heck children. Her genuine nature, bubbly personality, and persistent sunny optimism make her an object of ridicule (by Axl, usually). Most of her plots are about her being overlooked by peers, teachers, her family, or even her friends.

The Middle
Brick & Sue Heck (L-R)

Sue’s best friends are Carly and Brad. Sue had braces until season 6 of the series, wearing a retainer temporarily during the 3rd season. Sue graduated high school in season 6, and she is two years behind Axl. She tries out for things even despite her being terrible at most of them.

When she is lying her famous words are: “and so on and so forth and what have you.” She gets accepted to the same college as Axl and she, like Axl, has had her fair share of relationships on the show. Becoming engaged to Axl’s friend, Darrin — and, later, breaking it off.

The Middle‘s Brick Heck

Brick Heck has an eidetic memory, or photographic memory, he often repeats things to himself in the series; Brick also has a case of palilalia. He is smarter than most everyone around him, causing him to be quite the outcast like Sue.

The Middle

Brick may be the smartest, but he is quickly distracted and procrastinates a lot which causes him to do poorly. He is a known gephyrophobiac and obsessed with fonts. Brick is five years behind Sue in school, starting 8th grade in the 7th season of The Middle. In season 9, he is a sophomore.

The Middle‘s Frances & Mike Heck

The mother and father, however, are some of the best characters on the show. Often providing the most laughs with how they go about situations with their children. The mother, Frankie or Frances Heck is usually doing the voiceover throughout the series. She is a devoted wife and mother and deems family as the most important thing in her life. Often saying: “You do for family.” 

The Middle

It guides her daily routine, despite all the frustrations she encounters with her husband and three kids. Frances Heck attended college but did not finish. Mike Heck works at Limestone Quarry as the manager, he is known for being serious and straightforward. Some would say he has a “lack of emotion.” Mike is a devoted husband and father, often understanding when hardships come their way as, a family.

A Wonderful Family Ride & The Farewell Season

The Middle is terrific for many reasons. It’s consistent, it’s delightful, and it’s comical and relatable. This is a show where we have become attached to these characters like they are a family of our own. Previously mentioning shows like The Wonder Years and Roseanne are what The Middle reminds me of.

This show is one that will go down in the history of a great family show. I have watched it with my parents, and I am sure families watch it together as well because it’s hilarious. One thing this show does well is the comedy, which I have stated before.

We have seen the kids grow from high school to graduating college. We have seen the parents actually stay together, which is sometimes rare on family shows even. Seeing a great family with their quirks and they love each other regardless is fantastic. 

Thank you, The Middle for creating unique characters that can live in my heart forever. Not just because my family calls me the Sue of my own family — but because every night and every week this show aired I felt like I had consistency. I had an excellent show to watch and a remarkable family to see every week.

You have always given me that. Every episode was a blast to watch, and I can’t wait to buy the boxset. I know I still have The Golgbergs to watch now, but nothing compares to The Middle. So, thank you.

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