Grade • A-
DVD • “The Middle” is the sitcom equivalent of a middle child. It lives in the shadow of older sibling “Modern Family” (which premiered one week before “The Middle” in 2009). It is often overshadowed by ABC’s younger sitcom siblings. But this remains a consistently funny half hour, and Season 4 was full of change.
Frankie (Patricia Heaton) loses her job and embarks on a new career path. Axel (Charlie McDermoot) gets a girlfriend, and Mike (Neil Flynn) is determined to get Axel a college scholarship. Sue (Eden Sher) tries to get her driver’s license; and Brick (Atticus Shaffer) tries to act more, well, normal.
It’s a sitcom version of reality, but the Hecks ring true — and there are laughs in every one of 24 episodes.