The Middle: Season 1 (2009 - 2010)

SEASON:

Season 1
The Middle

Critics Consensus

The Middle is a smart and engaging sitcom, able to exaggerate everyday situations to great comedic effect.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 21

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 90

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 30, 2009

In the premiere of this slapstick sitcom about a working-class family in the U.S. heartland, frazzled mom Frankie (Patricia Heaton) tries to improve her sales---from zero---at the car dealership while making repeated trips to school for her youngest son, Brick, whose unusual behavior makes him an outcast among his peers.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2009

Frankie organizes a publicity stunt featuring a car full of jelly beans; Sue doesn't make the swim team and learns she needs glasses; and Brick develops an alternative reading program. Mr. Ehlert: Brian Doyle-Murray.

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Air date: Oct 14, 2009

Frankie and Mike's romantic anniversary plans are sidetracked by complications including Brick's illness, Sue's heartbreak, Axl and his learner's permit, and a diaper-clad dog.

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Air date: Oct 21, 2009

Sue sells sausage and cheese for a school fund-raiser to win a trip to the state capital, but she isn't recognized for her efforts. Meanwhile, Brick's first girlfriend turns out to be a bit bossy. Mr. Ehlert: Brian Doyle-Murray.

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Air date: Oct 28, 2009

Brick is tested at school and rated "socially challenged," and Mike hopes basketball will bring him out of his shell. But when a lawn-mower contest is held at the neighborhood block party, it's Brick's talent for souping up engines that helps him fit in. Meanwhile, Frankie helps raise money for Axl's football team.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2009

Axl accidentally breaks down the front door and Mike insists that he repair it, which may leave the house open for days. Meanwhile, it's time for Sue's school picture, and she's not exactly photogenic.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2009

A frantic cleanup at the Heck house leads to a minor injury to Brick and a run-in with a social worker, and Bob helps a reluctant Mr. Ehlert shoot a commercial for the car lot.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2009

Mr. Ehlert forces the staff to work on Thanksgiving, throwing a wrench in the Hecks' plans for a festive family feast. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike approve of Sue's first boyfriend, who's a safer choicer than even Sue knows; and Axl loses Brick in a corn maze.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2009

Frankie is determined to promote harmony among her children after observing what she thinks is a perfect, loving family. Also, Aunt Edie (Jeanette Miller) makes a big mistake at the quarry. Will Mike fire her for it?

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Air date: Dec 9, 2009

Frankie rehearses for a choir solo for her church's Christmas midnight mass, and Mike's handling of the family yuletide preparations makes her jealous. Meanwhile, Brick has a problem, and Frankie and Mike try to help him overcome it and get into the holiday spirit.

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The Middle: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Family life in the American Midwest town of Orson, Indiana, is portrayed with hilarious and heartwarming brilliance in a sitcom starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn as Frances (Frankie) and Mike Heck. As narrator, Frankie opens each episode with "Out here in the middle...," before delving into the latest trials and tribulations of her three kids: Axl (Charlie McDermott), an academically-challenged, girl-obsessed high-school jock; Sue (Eden Sher), an awkward-yet-endlessly optimistic adolescent; and the brilliant Brick (Atticus Shaffer), an elementary-school bookworm with more than a few quirks. Brick's under-his-breath repeating of words quickly becomes a signature show moment, while Mike (calmly, practically) and Frankie (frantically, emotionally) deal with the swirling issues in and out of their modest household. Scenes always seem to come back to the living room sofa, which becomes a very different place when Frankie drops cable in a typical attempt to save money. Also introduced in the opening series are Sue's boyfriend Brad (Brock Ciarlelli), whom everyone but Sue thinks is gay; Nancy Donahue (Jen Ray), of the perfect family next door; and Mr. Elhert (Brian Doyle-Murray) and Bob (Chris Kattan), Frankie's boss and co-worker, respectively, at a local car dealership.

Cast

Patricia Heaton
as Frankie Heck
Neil Flynn
as Mike Heck
Eden Sher
as Sue Heck
Atticus Shaffer
as Brick Heck
Brian Doyle-Murray
as Mr. Ehlert
Frances Bay
as Aunt Ginny
Krista Braun
as Mrs. Tompkins
Jen Ray
as Nancy
Brock Ciarlelli
as Brad Bottig
Kiva Jump
as Teacher
Dierk Torsek
as Reverand
Thomas F. Duffy
as Jack Meenahan
Will Matthews
as Mr. Seifried
Paul Hipp
as Reverend TimTom
Betty White
as Mrs. Nethercott
Monica Udovich
as Ellen Craig
Jeffrey Wallace
as Six-year-old Axl
Joseph Whipp
as Mike's Boss
Brooke Shields
as Rita Glossner
Andy Milder
as Mr. Sholin
Vicki Lewis
as Ms. Barry
Daniel Lewk
as Security guard
Mandy McMillian
as Henry's mom
Derek Waters
as Owen Ehlert
John Cullum
as Big Make
Rick Hall
as Officer McCoy
Gabriel Basso
as Rodney Glossner
Greg Cromer
as Coach Emerson
Mary-Pat Green
as Mrs. Larimer
David Chandler
as Derrick Glossner
Steve Byrne
as Charles F. Barnes
Mary Passeri
as Mrs. Seabrook
Sarah Rush
as Sally Meenahan
Adilah Barnes
as Receptionist
Joel McCrary
as Doug Morton
Phillip Wilburn
as Paramedic
Parker James Bolek
as Wade Glossner
Susan Harmon
as Mrs. Wilkinson
Scott Ward
as Conservatively dressed man
Keith Gerchak
as Announcer
Van Epperson
as Cafeteria worker
Larell VanBuren
as Ken Fickner
Margarita Franco
as Anesthesiologist
Francis Bay
as Aunt Ginny
Julianne Buescher
as Woman customer
Riley B. Smith
as Three-year-old Axl
Gibson Sjobeck
as Four-year-old Glossner
Andy Kreiss
as Choir Director
Ping Wu
as Mr. Yamamoto
Azim Rizk
as Teen boy
Maurice G. Smith
as Neighbor Guy #1
Mike Randleman
as Flight Attendant
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Critic Reviews for The Middle Season 1

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (17)

This solid comedy hits its stride.

Sep 14, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The characters feel like more contrived versions of other characters we've been meeting in sitcoms for years.

Oct 8, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It has the potential to blossom into a sweet if small celebration of a family of oddballs living distinctly unhip lives.

Oct 8, 2009 | Full Review…

It's just a semi-traditional family comedy (no laugh track, but some obligatory warmth).

Oct 8, 2009 | Full Review…

Not a single line here feels like a dead ball. The characters, too, arrive fully formed and believable.

Oct 8, 2009 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

It may improve as it finds its feet, but at the moment, it's a very middling kind of deal.

Sep 17, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Middle could be 200% better than it is right now if it got rid of the voiceover, which doesn't provide any extra information about the plot or characters and is neither witty nor whimsical.

Oct 8, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

"The Middle" resides somewhere in the nondescript middle of the pack of new fall comedies.

Oct 8, 2009 | Full Review…

The single-camera pilot is neither distinctive nor consistently funny enough to stand apart from the ranks of TV's great unwashed.

Oct 8, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

"The Middle," appropriately enough, is not nearly as good as "Modern Family," nor is it nearly as bad as the other show that bookends it, "Hank." It's somewhere in the middle.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

The Middle wasn't tremendously funny, but the family dynamic felt like a healthy mixture of real and sitcom-y, all with a big dose of heart at the end.

Sep 17, 2013 | Full Review…

A funny, fast-moving celebration of harried family life in middle America.

Oct 8, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Middle: Season 1

  • Sep 12, 2020
    Some jokes that don't pay off the best, but still a lot of laughs and a fun and funny watch for the family.
  • Mar 01, 2017
    I can't get enough of this show, all the characters are hillarious
  • Jul 23, 2014
    7/10 after a slow start, it was good. especially the little one, ffs, this mf is hilarious
  • Apr 01, 2014
    I originally brushed this show off as a cheap imitation of other shows, but after going back and starting from season one, I was pleasantly surprised to find uncommon depth and heart within the somewhat standard family set up. All the characters are perfectly cast and played and the seasons get more confident with each passing year. One of the slightly under-looked gems on television.
  • Feb 16, 2014
    This TV show is pretty much true on life like the kids messing up on things and the mother as to fix it all up.
  • Nov 15, 2013
    Full review coming soon

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