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The Middle vs. Modern Family

March 12, 2010 - Kim Collette

If you haven't yet watched these two ABC need to!  They are absolutely terrific!  8:30 to 9:30 on Wednesday night has become laugh-out-loud funny at my house!  Let me tell you about the premises of "The M shows" and then why I find them so hilarious.

The Middle:  A fictitious small town, Orson,Indian, is the place the Heck family calls home.  Frankie and Mike have live their whole lives in Orson and are now raising their 3 kids there.  Axl, the Heck's oldest, was conceived with Guns-N-Roses playing a significant role.  He is your typical rebelious teenager, but atypical in the fact that he spends most of his time in his boxer shorts.  Sue is the Heck's awkward teenage daughter.  She is always trying out for something (tennis, swimming, name it she has tried out for it) yet hasn't quite made anything.  Then there is the youngest, Brick.  A 7 year old who is incredibly smart, but also incredibly a loner.  The Middle is basically a show about a mom and her semi-dysfunctional family and their attempts to survive life in general.

Modern Family:  This show follows the families of Jay, his daughter Claire, and his son Mitchell.  Here's why they are considered a "modern" family.  Jay, the patriarch, is married to a much younger woman (Gloria) and is raising a pre-teen stepson.  Claire is married to Phil and is raising 3 children.  This is the "traditional" family of the bunch.  Mitchell is in a relationship with Cameron.  They are a gay couple who have adopted a Vietmanese baby.  The show is shot documentary style and follows the families adventures as they deal with the events of a particular day.

So why do I find these shows entertaining?  One of the main reasons is they have rejuvenated the 30 minute comedy.  There really haven'tt been any comedies worth talking about since Everybody Loves Raymond ended its run.  I was longing for a show that I could just sit back and laugh with.  And Modern Family and The Middle both fit that bill! 

But the main reasons to watch these shows are the actual characters.  I think my favorite of either show is Brick on The Middle.  This little boy has a (shall we say) quirk?  He sometimes repeats what he says in a whisper while looking down at his chest.  In a recent episode this "quirk" got him eliminated from a Spelling Bee.  Why? He finished his word correctly and then repeated the last letter (due to his quirk).  Absolutely hilarious when you actually watch it!  Another character that cracks me up is Cameron on Modern Family.  He is a larger than life type of character.  His overly flamboyant antics are acted perfectly.  He dresses the baby in "costume garb", dances at Mommy and Me class and has a football player background.   That's not to slight the rest of the casts of either show.   Patricia Heaton plays Frankie Heck and does a "heck" of a job.  The Middle also features some other familiar faces:  Chris Kattan, Brian Doyle Murray and Neil Flynn.  Modern Family is no slouch either in the casting department. This show features the likes of Ed O'neil, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

So which show do I prefer?  It's a toss up.  But.....Brick and The Heck's win out by a smidge.  I do think if you tune in next Wednesday, you won't be disappointed with either show.....and laugh.....a lot!!!

Until next time friends!


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The cast of ABC's The Middle.