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'The Middle' recap: October filled with love

Season 6 | Episode 4 | “The Table” | Aired Oct 22, 2014

For an episode that aired in October, this one had a Valentine’s Day feel to it. Everyone in the Heck house was high on love and happiness—and no one is feeling the love more than Sue.

Sue may have deemed this the “Year of Sue,” but her loving boyfriend Darrin thinks the middle Heck needs her own week also. The “Week of Sue” during the “Year of Sue.” It’s a Sue-ception. The Week of Sue is chock-full of wonderful things like Darrin carrying her everywhere she needs to go and a necklace with a key on it to symbolize her holding the key to his heart. Adorbs!

The problem arises when Sue decides she needs to repay Darrin’s kindness by giving him a gift of his own. The gift, a blanket with their picture on it (seriously, who wouldn’t love that?), requires Sue to steal Darrin’s phone to obtain a proper picture. Apparently, no one has ever told Sue to NEVER go through her boyfriend’s phone. It always ends badly. You always find pictures you don’t want to see. Like a picture of your boyfriend with his ex-girlfriend. And that ex-girlfriend is wearing the same necklace your boyfriend just gave you. So maybe this episode isn’t so full of love after all?

At least Frankie and Mike are feeling the love. It is their anniversary! They’ve been married a whole 20-something years. And they’re celebrating by working. Womp. At least Mike is taking a page out of Darrin’s book by also showering Frankie with gifts. He bought her a new dining room table! Despite the fact both Frankie and Mike are working two jobs to save money for Sue’s college, Mike decides it’s OK to splurge just this once. As he so lovingly muses “next time we splurge on something made of wood, it’ll probably be our coffins.” Aw, how romantic.

Sure, the table might not be perfect, but how many things in the world of Heck are? Plus, it’s really going to add space to the dining room. Like they say, it’s the little things in life. At least Mike and Frankie can have a nice anniversary meal around the table together.

Brick is sharing his love with the world. His love of fonts. He’s started a podcast—or rather, a “fontcast”—where he shares his love of fonts with the masses. Or, at least with his one fan. Hey, it’s OK to fall in love with fonts. Except for Comic Sans. Never fall in love with Comic Sans.

The episode of love wouldn’t be complete without Axl, who is in a real love affair with college. And college life, which includes partying and girls and not enough money to pay for the house he’s living in with his roommate, Hutch. They’ve devised a plan to start a fraternity/sorority, so they can have more roommates to pay the bills. Plus, they can have parties every night of the week. If there’s anything a Axl truly loves, it’s partying and ignoring the fact that he’s actually in college and supposed to be learning.

The Middle airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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