Review: The Middle - The Neighbor Episode 12

It's a good thing The Middle had another episode air tonight, as something went wrong in the writing room when they tried to figure out how to work guest star Brooke Shields into the Hecks' life. Not only was it an abrupt intrusion of what we'd come to understand about the family and their neighborhood, it was a departure from the sense of realism the show had won me over with.

Slightly over the top for comedic effect is one thing, but things were taken to the point of absurdism by the time we were done learning about neighbor Rita Glossner (Shields) and her four hellacious children. It's as if the writers came up with an intriguing concept of what to do with Shields, and then weren't really sure how to write for it.

They particularly dropped the ball with her final moments in the episode. Still, it did introduce us to one of Sue's friends, who I thought was just perfectly suited to her, and their concept of a fight. I don't know if the actual "fight" was funnier, or Sue's attempts to explain to her parents about the music and the choreography she and her friend had developed for it.

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