The Middle 6×23 ‘Mother’s Day Reservations’ : Tea for six

Rule number one of parenthood? Never give your children an excuse to criticize you. Well, that’s my number one anyway, but not Frankie’s, it would seem. She asks the kids how she rates as a parent, and is unprepared for the answers. Meanwhile, Mike faces down the Internet, and the children continue to be awful at finding presents.

So, can we all agree that Frankie shouldn’t ask the kids to tell her what kind of parent she is? No one should ask their kids that, it’s just a recipe for disaster. Bottle that stuff up, talk about it in therapy in a few years, but definitely do not talk about it right before Mother’s Day.

Mike struggling to book a reservation online was funny, but there was nothing laugh out loud worthy. Also, I found it hard to believe that Frankie would want to visit a fancy teahouse. She just doesn’t seem the type. But that’s just nitpicking.

The kids really should just save up, pool their resources, and give Frankie cash. On birthdays, and all holidays where presents are required. But that wouldn’t be as amusing, so no, they shouldn’t. Their struggle to buy a perfect (I mean not completely awful) gift had its moments, but that particular joke is getting old. Yes, we know, they suck at giving presents; we’ve known that for five Mother’s Day episodes before this.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

The first half of the show didn’t do much for me. But there are some great recurring guest stars in this cast, including Frankie’s mom. Things are always better when she’s around. Well, usually worse for Frankie, but better for the audience. I loved her line about how her husband wasn’t with her because that’s what she wanted for Mom’s Day. Also, the family stuck in this crappy tea place with barely any food. And when the women started crying and the men retreated? Highlight of the show. Though I do wish we’d gotten to see the girls quit bawling and make up with each other, rather than just hearing about it from Brick.

Frankie finding out that the kids really did put thought and effort into her gift, but returning it anyway? Golden. Going out for very booze-filled drinks with mom? Also golden.

This one, like the last few, was hit and miss. It had its bright spots (Frankie’s mom), but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Or in this case, write a fabulous review of. After six years, it’s not surprising that the show is losing steam. It’s a half hour family comedy; you can’t exactly throw in a murder or a zombie apocalypse to shake things up.  Still, it’s sad to watch this staple of Wednesday nights slip downhill.

Nicolette Schneider

is a lit geek, a comic geek, and a certified TV fanatic. She often prefers fictional people over real ones. When she does make friends with regular humans, she likes the ones who give her access to their Netflix accounts. She loves words and hopes to one day make money stringing them together. Until then, read those words for free on

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