The Middle Season 1 , Episode 3: The Floating Anniversary - Review

We already know that Sue Heck has no discernible talent, but a ton of enthusiasm. This week we learned that her cluelessness goes even beyond physical activities. She's as earnest in her social endeavors as ever. Unfortunately, she's also as oblivious to the reality of her actions and their consequences. I love everything about it.

The moral of this episode, I guess, is that a mother is never allowed even fifteen minutes of time alone. Granted, it appears that Frankie's fifteen minutes happened to coincide with the worst chain of events possible, but the moral remains the same. A mother's job is never done, and she's never off the clock. At least she has the love of her husband to help her when the time comes, and he came through in a big way for her.

I've seen mixed reports of Chris Kattan either being a recurring guest star or a series regular, but I kind of like him as a regular. I wouldn't even mind him getting a little more involved in the Heck family life. It was made pretty clear that he's in dire need of some sort of family structure. Or at least that he's longing for it.

And the Hecks can use all the help they can get. The sad truth in Frankie's realization that as your children start to gain independence, your elders start to lose it was actually poignant in the midst of all the crazy comedy. But then the old dog got emphysema, being pulled around in a wagon so it could poop in its diaper outside and ... you just sit there watching it and wondering how things got so crazy so quickly.

And all of this on the 16th/17th anniversary of Frankie and Mike. They were so busy trying to figure out how to squeeze in some alone time together while juggling everything that both of them dropped the ball on giving Sue reasonable advice on how to impress a boy. I loved the t-shirt Frankie "agreed" was a good idea. But that was trumped by Mike's "grand gesture" idea.

This is where Sue just blew me away. She truly believed that singing a heartfelt song to a boy she was crushing on over the school's intercom system would work. How could that backfire? She was baffled that everyone was laughing, but that's how Sue operates. It's the same mentality that saw her terrible swimming last week, and will see her continue to fumble through the rest of this season.

And I'm looking forward to every misstep. Every member of this family is battling their own craziness, and I love them already for it. I was so glad when Brick whispered "radio" in the car while on that random test drive. Keeping these personality quirks consistent, even if they're not explained in each episode, keeps the Hecks real. Or surreal as the case may be, but they're consistent and they're ours.

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