Some of you might remember from my previous rants that I truly hate and worry about the avalanche of television violence thrown at American every day. I know there are some well done individual series, but between all the Law & Orders, CSI's and other procedural, Americans get a daily dose of creative ways to murder, decapitate, sexually violate, rape and torture another human being. A&E, once a respected channel for Arts should be ashamed of thier 24 hour a day Criminal Minds marathons. Minds is not only one of the sickest of the genre, it plays many days all morning and evening, the perfect bay sitter for our unattended children and youth.
Somewhere within this group of human mutilation shows, I know there is some quality. The sites and sounds required to find it however, don't seem worth the journey. I don't object to violence within art whatsoever, it is the uncreative and mass copycatting of the genre, especially now, being shoved down society's throats that I find repulsive. You can bet most if those 'citizens' calling the FCC about a nipple or butt crack flash on prime time, put down the phone, pick up their chips and chomp them down enjoying a good ole bloody killing on TV, especially if the victim is a sexy half naked blonde beauty queen.
Just before closing my eyes and heading off to dreamland, it is not a child abduction, rape and murder I want to be the last things my eyes capture and memorize. I have gotten into the habit of needing a good sitcom to help wipe away the stresses of the day. Over the last couple of years I have run through most of my favorites and thought I was almost done. For awhile it was repeats of Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and Modern Family. Although I liked (not loved) Big Bang on first airing, I don't find it nearly good enough to qualify for second viewings.
Thankfully, one of the superstations is now airing two episodes of The Middle each night. I had seen episodes before, but until my new nightly viewings, had not realized what a truly great show it is. The writing is top notch, as is the acting. It is funny how much I enjoy Patricia Heaton. Even though she annoys me in person and on talk shows, and her political leanings are polar opposite to mine, she has given men hours of laughs between Raymond and The Middle and I thank her for that.
All three Heck children are great characters and wonderfully portrayed but Charlie McDermott's Axel is my favorite. It is not just the obvious, adorable and often shirtless, I love Sue and Brick as well, but McDermott's Axel has grown over shows runs, his younger siblings still seem to be repeating story arcs over and over. McDermott is a skilled actor, annoying the shit out of you for his stupidity or uncaring attitude one minute, then winning you over with his vulnerability before the 30 minutes are up. The 24 year old actor has grown along with his character and one part of the many reasons spending a little time each night in The Middle is a nice way to end a day.