First up at 7.30pm is The Middle, which returns for the second half of its third season. The Hecks are back and there are more of life’s ups and down to be negotiated in the middle of America by the calamitous family. At school, Axl (Charlie McDermott) and Sue (Eden Sher) enrol in the same life skills class where the Ax-Man’s mortification is doubled when he is forced to team up with his little sis on a project. Brick (Atticus Shaffer) isn’t faring much better, either, as school therapist Dr Fulton hopes to improve his social skills in an attempt to help him make some friends.
Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn), meanwhile, have a battle with an unreasonable insurance company on their hands after a fallen tree branch breaks the car’s windscreen. The pair may have cut financial, and parental, corners in the past, but when it comes to their car insurance, Mike’s adamant everything is above board:
“Look we’re negligent about plenty of stuff. We vaccinated one kid twice for the same disease and the other one got nothing, but on this we’re square.”
The first episode back after Modern Family’s break, entitled ‘New Year’s Eve’, sees Jay (Ed O’Neill) excited, having planned for the whole family to celebrate New Year’s together at a great hotel in Palm Springs. However, when the hotel turns out to be less than stellar, everyone starts to branch off to do their own thing, leaving Jay dejected – that is, until he runs into the one and only Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars). Back at home, Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Alex (Ariel Winter) watch over the kids, which proves to be quite a challenge.
The fourth season will also introduce Gloria’s family, namely mum Pilar (Elizabeth Pena, La Bamba) and sister Sonia (Stephanie Beatriz, Closer), as well as welcome a new addition to the family.
[Reported by Mike Watkins]