Friday, November 13, 2009

BeansTalk's Fashion Friday Bonus!

Heaton Hits Two Home-Runs:

New Series, Sizzling Dress at CMAs

(Today you not only get your Fashion Friday bit, but a TV review, too.)

We don't agree with her politics, but we've interviewed Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton, and she was certainly nice enough. Moreover, we were surprised at just how much we're enjoying her new ABC series "The Middle" (much better than her previous post-Everybody Loves Raymond stint, Back to You, in which she co-starred with a pre-Hank Kelsey Grammer). For the record, we were pretty disappointed in the uninspired Hank.

But even though we initially dismissed "The Middle" as too-much following Malcolm in the Middle, we were soon disavowed of the notion, and the series has grown on us.

Heaton plays Frankie, a put-upon mom-to-three, relegated by economics to selling used cars. Frankie's married to Mike (the consistently good Neil Flynn). The two have a credible and easy chemistry.

In a role that easily would be played shrill by a less-experienced performer, Heaton plays Frankie as anxious, but hopeful. The couple's three children include the surly and appropriately named Axl (Charlie McDermott), a lazy high school football star; Sue (Eden Sher), the optimistically awkward middle-child who can't catch a break, and their youngest, the brilliant, but oddly preternatural Brick (Atticus Shaffer), who the school psychologist has already deemed "special."

On paper, this nuclear family may not sound too different than any other random comedy series clan, but "The Middle" offers up great timing, the aforementioned chemistry, clever one-liners, unexpected scenarios and warmly earnest (in a good way) stories.

Along with ABC's most-excellent "Modern Family," "The Middle" represents some truly enjoyable new comic fare.

Heaton, seen above, wore Pamella Roland’s cranberry caviar encrusted bell sleeve cocktail dress to the 43rd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Wednesday, 1 November 2009.(AP Photo/Peter Kramer). Then she and on-screen husband Flynn presented the award for Vocal Group of the Year.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)