The Middle 6.03 Review: “Major Anxiety”

the middle major anxiety

The few family sitcoms that survive to see their sixth season often start to show their age with tired and slightly recycled storylines.  That’s not the case with The Middle.  If anything, this season is fresher than ever with the Hecks facing lots of change in their lives.

Perhaps the most welcome change is in the form of Brick’s identity crisis of sorts.  He’s always been different and labeled as weird by everyone, including his family.  Starting middle school this year really inspired him to want to fit in with his classmates in an effort to make friends.  He had that silly C-storyline where he tried out all different types of bags to replace his old backpack, and I was glad to see that continuity when he walked home from school with a pizza delivery bag almost as big as him.

Now though, he wants to go to a dance — by himself.  He acknowledges his lack of social skills when he surprisingly asked Frankie and Mike for any tips to help him become popular.  Frankie tries to help him with the basic concepts of eye contact and small talk, but she’s still worried about him.  So much so that she and Mike stay out in the car the length of the dance just in case Brick wants to leave at any point.  Mike remains the voice of reason in this marriage when he says, “I think it’s safe to say we could have done more, but Brick is who he is.  Maybe he’s just always gonna be a quirky kid.”

As it turns out, Brick didn’t have the best time at the dance.  His reply that he “didn’t want to talk about it” in the car ride home broke my heart a little because we’ve all been there, right?  I was immediately reminded of that scene from Parenthood when Max breaks down in the car with his parents because he just can’t understand why kids in school were making fun of him.  Mike and Frankie’s acceptance of Brick is one step closer to him accepting his quirks himself.  I think he’s on his way to even making friends when an equally awkward girl from the dance returns his lost shoe Cinderella-style at the end.

Axl’s stressing over the deadline to declare a major by the end of the week.  After considering Buddhist studies and engineering, he hit a new level of desperation that he actually consults Sue for help.  Relegating Sue to a supporting role really worked in this episode.  She had been teasing Axl that she’s considering applying to his college, and that comes back to bite her when he said he would steal her idea to be a psychology major.  All this happened as she’s literally hanging off the edge of their roof.  Her physical comedy bits are always the best!

Mike solves Axl’s problem so easily by telling him to major in business.  That’s really the most flexible and logical major for him at this point.  Maybe in the future he’ll really be inspired by a new found passion and change his major once or twice.

What was your favorite part of the episode?

[Photo via ABC]

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