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'The Middle' recap: A sinkhole in your house is better than your house in a sinkhole

Season 6 | Episode 6 | “The Sinkhole” | Aired Nov 12, 2014

In The Middle‘s six seasons, the Heck family has had many, many “uh-oh” moments—probably more than any other sitcom family currently on television. Remember when they once drove to the completely wrong coast to the completely wrong Disneyland? Uh-oh. And this episode is the culmination of many, many more uh-oh moments in the land of Heck.

How many things have been broken on the Hecks’ watch? The dishwasher, the washing machine, the window and television, to name a few. But none of these things caused a huge gaping sinkhole in the middle of the kitchen. Yeah, literally a hole where the sink is supposed to be. And in typical Heck fashion, instead of trying to fix it, they just decide to let it stay that way and work around it. It makes doing the dishes a little more difficult, but Frankie knows a thing or two about getting away with not doing dishes.

Did you forget that this is the Year of Sue? She is on the verge of graduating from high school! Well, she would be if she weren’t a credit short. Turns out that all of those Wrestlerette practices didn’t count for a gym credit like she originally thought. Uh-oh. So now she has to take, and pass, gym class in order to graduate on time. Now, when I took gym in high school, we did archery, and as long as you didn’t accidentally put an arrow in anyone else’s arm, you passed. But apparently things are a little more serious at Orson Senior High, because not only does Sue have to learn an insanely difficult dance called tinikling, but if she doesn’t do it perfectly, she fails. And, let’s just say, this tinikling dance is much, much harder than any Wrestlerette routine.

The biggest uh-oh moment this week comes courtesy of Brick, who, in an attempt to do something romantic for his new girlfriend, kinda sorta broke his dad’s lawn mower. He wanted to drive it in front of her house like in Easy A and that other ’80s movie, but one thing led to another and somehow all sorts of kitchen utensils and bookmarks are now stuck in the motor. Uh-oh.

Now, even though we know Brick is incredibly smart, he does something not too bright in order to fix his problem: he gets help from Axl. Axl, whose bright ideas to get out trouble always seem to get him in even bigger trouble. Axl’s bright idea for Brick? Steal Mike’s wallet. That way the excitement of getting his wallet back will make him forget his lawn mower is broken.

That plan could work except—uh-oh—now Mike’s wallet is really missing. And his car keys are also missing. Also, did I mention there’s a giant sinkhole in the kitchen? This is quite an uh-oh couple of days in the Heck household.

But If anyone can turn an uh-oh into a “oh yeah!” with ease, it’s the Hecks. It just takes a little intuitiveness, teamwork, and a roomy bathroom to make sure the dishes get done, Sue passes gym class, and no one accidentally falls in the sinkhole. We’ll just ignore the fact that the lawn mower is still broken.

The Middle airs 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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