The Middle (vs. Hank)

April 16, 2010

Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer both left very popular shows earlier this decade (RIP Frasier 2004 and Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005) and have since moved on to other projects.  They starred together in the failed sitcom Back to You, and both tried again with new sitcoms in the fall of 2009 on ABC.  Kelsey Grammer, unfortunately, starred in Hank, yet another failed sitcom.  But Patricia Heaton got it right with The Middle.  And if you watched both of these shows from the start, you probably saw it coming.

Both shows were about a rather down-on-their-luck family.  But The Middle had the perfect blend of good writing and chemistry among its characters (and you just can’t write good chemistry).  I just never felt that with the characters on Hank.

My husband says The  Middle is just another Everybody Loves Raymond, complete with Patricia Heaton yelling all the time.  And yes, she is a mother, she does get frustrated, but that’s where the similarities end.  And The Middle has something that Everybody Loves Raymond did not: hilarious children.  Axl never wearing a shirt, Sue failing at everything, Brick whispering under his breath, put it all together for some great comedy!  My husband even has to admit that Brick is pretty funny… funny.  (That last part was supposed to be a whisper, but I guess it doesn’t really come out in writing.)

So if you’re not watching The Middle, start watching it!  Congratulations to Patricia Heaton for getting it right again!  And don’t feel too badly for Kelsey Grammer.  In two days (April 18), he’ll be making his Broadway musical debut in La Cage aux Folles.

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