Four seasons in and I still think The Middle is a situation comedy that deserves more attention than it is getting. Starring Patrician Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Frankie, the show tells the story of the Heck family from Orson, Indiana. Frankie and her husband Mike are ordinary lower middle-class parents with three just odd enough for TV kids: Axl, Sue, and Brick. Season 4 features 23 episodes on 3 DVD and is really fun to watch.
The show opens with two episodes telling the story of Fankie Heck's quest for the perfect summer for the family. The Halloween show is low on the scary factor but features an interesting development for Brick.
DVD 2 includes a decent Christmas episode, One Kid at a Time where Frankie and Mike give each kids a special day, and The Smile where Sue tries to prove smiling is contagious.
Also really fun to watch is the episode on DVD 3 where the kids decide to lie about who broke a window and stick together no matter what Frankie and Mike do until ….
Episode 21 is both funny and sad. Frankie wants a particular gift for Mother's Day and Axl goes to the prom where life catches up with him. The season finale is excellent
There are a couple of quite forgettable episodes in season four of The Middle. One is Thanksgiving IV where Frankie invites two marines over and her parents fight all the time. But that's just two out of twenty-three so, you know.
Special features include a few deleted scenes and a rather disappointing 3-minute gag reel.
Something I appreciate about this sictom DVD set is it includes a booklet with a synopsis of each episode. It makes it easy to go back to watch a personal favorite.
Look for Brooke Shields, Dave Foley, Marsha Mason, Gerry Van Dyke, Norm MacDonald, Marion Ross of Happy Days in the last episode, and French Stewart.