The ability of The Middle to consistently deliver a relevant theme is remarkable. How can the depicted small town of Orson having no significance outside a ten-mile radius present so many moving thoughts? Perhaps it is the producer’s effort to make viewers feel as if they grew up across the street from the Heck family. Maybe it is the glimpse into a more authentic family life than Hollywood tends to illustrate. However accomplished, The Middle certainly invokes thoughts that translate to daily life.
The Middle emphasizes the American family. There are limitless potential messages associated with family life. From watching the show, I believe the primary focus is how crucial families are to happiness. Many of the events portrayed on the show reflect financial struggle and the chaos that ensues with raising three children in middle-class America. In any event, The Middle never fails to show that family comes first. For example, stress from a difficult work day and managing her kids’ activities may frustrate Frankie, but at the end of the day she can’t deny her love for her family. The Heck family may not face ideal circumstances, but they have each other and that’s all they need. This mentality goes on to underscore how happiness is not derived from wealth and status, but from relationships.
There are many instances in which The Middle attempts to present its theme. The most effective, however, is the show’s spot-on description of American families. During one episode Frankie claims, “This is an American family. Yeah, we yell and fight, we eat bad food, we watch too much TV…” The Middle writers do not try to create a false image of a perfect family…like Frankie, they are honest! Because of this, the audience is more likely to embrace reality and recognize those who prosper surround themselves with those they care about.
Despite the many themes that comprise The Middle, I see its promotion of relationships and deterrence from chasing fame as the most significant. With every episode, I am reminded to act humbly during my time at Tech and maintain my family relationships and friendships from home.