TV Review: ABC's 'The Middle'

ABC’s The Middle debuts Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“Imagine Malcolm in the Middle told from the mom’s point of view. That’s ABC’s The Middle, a funny, fast-moving celebration of harried family life in middle America.

–Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“In short, The Middle is cute and family-friendly, if a bit too familiar, retreading ground that we’ve seen in countless sitcoms before, particularly Malcolm in the Middle. Nevertheless, it does it well, and never underestimate the power of the familiar.”

–Hanh Nguyen, Zap2it

“ABC may be on to something with The Middle, a perfectly timed, down-to-earth comedy that calls to mind Roseanne and Home Improvement (with a little of Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle thrown in).”

–Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Seeking to tap into the customary fears that parents harbor, the single-camera pilot is neither distinctive nor consistently funny enough to stand apart from the ranks of TV’s great unwashed, despite Heaton’s game efforts.”

–Brian Lowry, Daily Variety

“Until watching The Middle, I would have said it was time the sitcom concept of the madcap mom trying to balance kiddies and career got a decent burial, complete with a stake through the heart. But Heaton and producers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline (who both worked on a long string of successful sitcoms including Murphy Brown and How I Met Your Mother) give the idea new life.”

–Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald

“I am not yet ready to say The Middle…is a great sitcom, but it sure seems in synch with the mood of middle America today. And what a difference from the sunny optimism of the 1980s and Ronald Reagan.

David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun