The Middle is a very enjoyable family-friendly situation comedy starring Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Neil Flynn as the middle class parents of three kids in the middle of the country, Orson, Indiana. The Hecks are a rarity on prime time TV as they are a functional, nuclear family. Of course, the comedy comes from the daily challenges the Hecks face either individually or as a family. Most of the time, this makes for very entertaining TV. The Middle The Complete Third Season features 24 episodes on 3 DVD with deleted scenes and a decent 4-minute gag reel.
Season 3 of The Middle opens with the Hecks trying to find a vacation they can afford. This means camping though the last time Hecks went camping it was Frankie and Mike's honeymoon. There follows the usual camping mishaps but the episode stands out for a cameo by Ray Romano who hits a couple of times at Debra and Raymond.
Some of the better episodes of this sitcom include Back to School where Sue now has to deal with a whole new environment and The Test in which Axl shows how creative he can be about being too sick for school but well enough to go out that night (both on DVD 1).
Though the Halloween show is not that interesting, the Thanksgiving episodes makes up for it. The Christmas show features the bible a lot more than what you usually get on TV. The New Year's show is quite good with the Heck making a resolution another family member has to keep. DVD 2
The third disc opens with a very good episode where the kids sit the parents down and the parents stop parenting so much. The one where Brick gets a paper route for his parents is pretty good too.
If there is one drawback to The Middle is that the Hecks really do not evolve. Yes, this is television so what do you expect but Axl, Sue, and Brick are very unidimensional. Although they sometimes do change such as the one episode where Sue stops dressing as a third grader, that change is a one-off.
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