THE MIDDLE - PILOT


ACT I 
Frankie: Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Oh, damn it.
Come on! Can you hear me? - Some people call this the middle of nowhere - Can you hear me? Hello? Hello? You know, one of those places you fly over on your way from somewhere to somewhere else, but you wouldn't live here.
Flight attendant: Folks, right now we're flying over the great state of indiana, if you'd like to take a look.
Frankie: Well, look down next time, and you'll see us down here in the middle-- Orson, Indiana, heart of the heartland, proud home of little betty snack cakes, the demolition derby for the homeless and the world's largest polyurethane cow.
So how'd I end up in the middle of the road in this getup? Here? No.
Bars! I got bars.
Guess it all started a couple of weeks ago, and no, I'm not an actual superhero, not unless you count getting my kids out the door for school every morning.
Frankie: I made breakfast! Come on, we're late! Let's go, let's go! That's my youngest--Brick.
You know how you think giving a kid a cool name will make him cool? it doesn't.
Okay, now listen.
Today at recess, I don't want you wandering around alone on the perimeter.
All right? Makes you an easy target, you know? Like--like the gazelle that gets separated from the pack.
You've gotta find yourself a group of kids and just stand near them.
Brick: You know you're my hero, right, mom? Thank you, honey.
Frankie: Eat your pancake.
Brick: It's still frozen.
Frankie: Well, lick it. It'll last longer.
Frankie: Hey, mike, have you seen that envelope with my driver's licence from the D.M.V.? I need it for work.
Why is this place such a mess? That one over there would be Axel.
Since he hit 15, he hibernates in his room and only comes out to paw through our food and shoot off sarcastic comments.
Axel: Oh, we're out of chips.
Nice job, mom.
Frankie: Yeah, I can't hear you if you don't have pants on.
Brick: Mom, where's my homework? Okay.
Frankie: When did this happen? Mike, look at this. Look at this.
This is--I haven't had my driver's license picture taken in seven years, okay? Here's the old one. Look at this. What happened to me? 
Mike: Uh, well, back then you were all young and shiny and wondering what your life's gonna be. And now, well, now you know.
Sue: Mom! Hey, come in here if you want to talk to me.
Frankie: Axel, put some pants on. Here.
Okay, maybe it was just a bad picture. I mean, yikes.
Mike, does it ever bum you out that I'm not young and shiny anymore? Well, sure, honey.
Mike: It's a huge bummer, but what are you gonna do? Oh, shoot! I wanted chips for my lunch.
Axel: She didn't buy any.
Frankie: Sue, grab a pancake. We're late.
That's Sue.
She's been going through a bit of an awkward stage for the past 13 years.
Sue: Mom, the dryer ate my leg warmers again.
Frankie: I told you, you can't put wet things in the dryer anymore.
Sue: Well, I need 'em, 'cause guess what? I'm trying out for show choir this week.
Frankie: I know, I know-- that's not an expression parents should have on their faces when their daughter tells them she's trying out for something.
But see, Sue had a long history of things she tried out for-- a long and painful history.
Mike: Show choir. Wow, super. That--that should be fun to try out for.
Frankie: Now listen, dad's gonna fix the dryer again, but right now I just need everybody to go.
Let's get out the door.
Come on. Let's go. Let's go! 
Brick: Mom.
Frankie: That driver's license picture was a big wake-up call from the D.M.V.
Somehow the life had been sucked right out of me.
But who or what had sucked it? 
Sue: Mom! 
Axel: Mom! Mom! Mom! " 
Sue: Mom, he's not giving my bag back! 
Sue: Mom! 
Axel: Mom! Mom! Mom! 
Frankie: We did teach 'em the word "dad, " didn't we? 
We're a 2-job family.
Mike manages a bunch of boneheads down at the quarry.
Mike: Oh, for cryin' out loud.
Frankie: And my latest job I'm too smart for is selling cars at Orson's last surviving car dealership.
Pete: What a month, huh? 
Bob: Frankie, don't let him intimidate you.
He may be the king of sales around here, but he's been rejected by the Elks Lodge twice. I'm not gonna say by who. It was me.
Frankie: Really? 
Bob: I told them that he's a pedophile.
Frankie: No.
Bob: Yeah. He's not. He's not a pedophile. He's not.
Frankie: Wait, bob.

;

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