The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.



I’d like to start with the clever title.  “Major Anxiety” not only describes the intensity of Axl’s anxiety, but the cause of it as well.  The title had a double meaning.  I applaud whoever came up with it.

This episode of “The Middle” reminded me of the previous episode (S6E2) of “Modern Family.”  In both TV show families, the oldest child is a teenager who is starting his/her second year after high school.  While Axl is in college and Haley is not, both are concerned about their futures.  In this episode of “The Middle,” Axl had to decide on a major.  “Why’d you come to college?” Axl’s roommate asked when Axl revealed the didn’t have a major in mind.  “Because I was with high school.  That’s where you go,” Axl responded.  I loved this line because I think it speaks a lot about how college is viewed nowadays.  Axl was struggling with “deciding what he’s doing the rest of his life,” in his words.  I liked Axl’s storyline similarly to how I liked Haley’s storyline in last week’s “Modern Family.”  Both are relatable.  While the characters feel disheartened, their stories are encouraging and realistic.  No, not everyone has his/her life figured out (in fact, most people don’t), but that’s ok.  I’m glad that the writing team chose this storyline for Axl.

I love the “Cinderella” reference in Brick’s storyline.  In this episode, Brick went to his first school dance.  “Cinderella” didn’t even cross my mind when Brick left the dance without his shoe.  It wasn’t until the girl showed up to the Heck’s door the next day when I realized what the creators were implying.  It was subtle and clever.  Great job!

I don’t know why the thought of Sue on caffeine has never crossed my mind until this episode.  She’s already hyper enough, but add coffee and she’s like a rabid rabbit.  Once again, Sue’s storyline was very funny.  Great choice by the writers.

Finally!  Darrin is in an episode, but hang on, did he or Sue even acknowledge each other?  Darrin went to the Heck’s house to hang out with Axl, but not Sue.  Did the writers forget that Darrin and Sue are boyfriend and girlfriend?  I thought that since they got back together there would be more of a focus on their relationship this season and their relationship would become more serious.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case, and now I’m just confused.  Hopefully episode 4 will clear this up for me.

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