. . . another slap in the face. After NBC’s awful Parks and Recreation—what’s really surprising is that a show can copy The Office so closely and still avoid any redeeming qualities—ABC gives us The Middle. It will premiere sometime this fall, in the made-up town of Orson, Indiana. It will star the ever-attractive Patricia Heaton. And, based on the trailer, it will suck.
I could give this show the same treatment I gave Parks and Recreation—arguing that, in fictionalizing the town, it blows any chance at authenticity or at helping out a real Hoosier community—but I don’t think The Middle will be worth even my underemployed time.
[UPDATE, 2013: For reason only Google understands, this throwaway post keeps getting tons of hits. That’s regrettable because this post sucks. Parks and Rec was pretty awful in its first season, but it’s amazing now — one of the few shows I watch live every week. Also, I’ve never watched The Middle, but I hear good things, largely from angry commenters on this post. My only point back in 2009 was that both shows looked like they were going to rely on lazy stereotypes. Seems like both of them have managed to transcend this concern — I know Parks and Rec has. Regardless, if you all want to keep filleting me in the comments, go for it. I deserve it. I got this one way wrong.]