Since it premiered in 2009, I have watched every episode of The Middle on ABC. I have laughed, cried and, when the truths about parenting hit a little too close to home, squirmed uncomfortably. Mike and Frankie Heck of Orson, Indiana represent the Everyfamily of modern America with their foibles and follies raising three children, Axl, Sue and Brick. They take imperfect parenting and turn it into classic comedy TV. Hilarious stuff, each and every week.
But I think the latest episode, “Cutting the Cord,” will always hold a special place in my heart for youngest child Brick’s impromptu pep rally dance as the new school “mascot,” Bernie the Bookmark. For those of you who’ve never seen The Middle (and if not, you better start binge-watching on Netflix now), a brief word of explanation: Brick, played by Atticus Shaffer, is the socially-awkward, but yet self-assured, nerd who would always rather be reading a book than dressing out for gym class (as he tells his brother Axl: “I don’t play sports. I don’t exactly have a ton of friends. I have books.”). He’s full of ticks (I call him “the Lap Whisperer”) and will defend his right to read to the death (“I’ve decided from now on, I want to spend every moment I can with the things I cherish most. So, I’ll be in my room with my books. Try not to bother me.”). But he may have reached his apex in Season 7, Episode 2 this week. Take a look and I think you’ll agree when I say, “Everybody read now!” is the new earworm for library lovers.
Apologies for the poor sound and video quality--I just grabbed this off my computer this morning; if you’re a Hulu subscriber, you can see the full episode here.