Huh. The Middle. Is there a Malcolm in out there somewhere?
Actually, hold it right there. I was going to go into a big long comparison between this and Malcolm and the Middle, but then I realised this starred Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond and Back To You, not Jane Kaczmarek from Malcolm in the Middle. So it all fell apart.
Putting that slight issue to one side, there are some obvious comparisons. We have a slight loser mom married to a regular type, loser dad (Neil Flynn from Scrubs). They have three kids. The youngest kid is a bit strange and looks very much like the youngest kid in Malcolm in the Middle. It's all about the chaos of family life
You see? It would have worked so much better with Jane Kaczmarek. Why isn't she in this to make my life easier?
Actually, The Middle (a reference to Indiana, middle America and the middle class not child) is not quite the same as Malcolm in the Middle, even if the tone is the same. Here the focus is very much on the far more regular parents, doing their level best not to cock up in rearing their children - and the rest of their lives - and failing hopelessly, just as their children are.
How much you enjoy this will therefore depend on whether you have kids - and whether you feel like you're failing in life.
There are plenty of reasons to sorry for Kelsey Grammer. Let's confine ourselves to the TV ones, though.
He's been in two of the most popular and best sitcoms in history: Cheers and Frasier. So, everything since has been something of a comedown.
He's been involved in some truly awful drek since, including Back To You. You've got to feel sorry for him for that.
And whatever he's been in, he's played a character you're not exactly supposed to love. In fact, he always plays some pompous twat who has to experience major humiliation with almost every episode.
Now we have Hank, in which Grammer becomes a human piñata for America's viewing pleasure: a former CEO ousted from his company and forced to downsize in the country. He gets a crap house, a family bitter with him for never being there, and an everyman brother-in-law who takes great pleasure in seeing the misery that Hank now has to endure.
Here in the jolly old UK, we have a programme called Casualty. It's set in a busy A&E department (aka ER) and has been running for over two decades, yet is even more formulaic than House*.
Basically, each episode starts with a load of normal everyday people going about their business. Nothing seems out of the ordinary, and then something really ridiculous happens (car flips over while stationary, man swallows Amazonian tree frog while walking a dog, woman attacked by TB-crazed badger in the middle of a cinema) that results in horrific and terrible wounds, requiring the immediate arrival of an ambulance full of brave paramedics - who then spend most of the time agonising about their soap opera-like relationships.
Trouble is Casualty is very badly written, very badly acted and looks appalling since the budget's about £2.50 a week.
Well, hey ho and away we go, America has its own version of Casualty with two big differences to ours:
The cast is hotter
The production values are better
But that's it's. Otherwise, they're the same "dumb as a box of hammers" show.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.