Wednesday Must Watch: ABC Premieres THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, REVENGE

If there’s one night of TV that is designed to get me to stay home, it’s Wednesday nights on ABC.  Starting with THE MIDDLE, followed (next week) by one of my new favorite comedies SUBURGATORY.  MODERN FAMILY, followed (next week) by one of the BEST shows on TV, HAPPY ENDINGS.  The night is rounded out by new favorite drama, REVENGE, starring the lovely and perfectly icy Emily Van Camp.  THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, and REVENGE  have their big premieres tonight – here are some thoughts!

THE MIDDLE – When the Heck family spends any time together, it’s easily some of the brights moments of my week.  Whether they’re sitting around a dinner table, Brick on his outdoor furniture, and Frankie proud of her home-cooked McDonald’s meal, or on a road trip, they never fail to make me laugh with the littlest things like Axel just flat out burning, I’m sorry, AX-ing Sue over something ridiculous.  This week, after Frankie and Mike realize that there is only one weekend left of their summer vacation to actually HAVE a summer vacation, the Hecks head out on a camping trip.  Between their arguments in the car, and their arguments at the campsite, we are treated to flashbacks to Frankie and Mike’s honeymoon.  A honeymoon spent camping with Frankie’s hubby from another universe, the incomparable Ray Romano, playing an old high school “friend” of Mike’s (Note – I was never a RAYMOND fan when it was airing, but having recently caught up on it in reruns, I’m sorry I missed it.  Ray and Debra were amazing).  This hour long episode had me smiling from beginning to end, and laughing out loud during a particularly AMAZING board game that Frankie brought along for the trip.  Do yourself a favor, and go camping with the Hecks – you will not regret it.

MODERN FAMILY – This year’s recipient of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series is sure to not disappoint fans with two back to back episodes airing tonight after THE MIDDLE.  In the first half hour, the Pritchett/Dunphy/Tucker family head out to a dude ranch, complete with cowboys, dirt, horses, Dylan, and this guy.  The official description of the episode mentions horse back riding, skeet shooting, cattle herding, a big surprise, some big firsts, and a face off between Jay and his new nemesis.  This guy.  The second episode focuses on Cameron and Mitchell getting ready to take the next step towards bringing another baby into the house, and Claire and Phil arguing with each other just for the sake of arguing and proving a point.  I’m so excited to have this show back – it’s easily one of funniest shows on TV (um, hello, Emmy?), but it’s always one of the most heartwarming, and I think this needs a spot on your DVR, permanently!

REVENGE – Emily Van Camp stars as Amanda Clarke, no wait, Emily Thorne, no wait, Amanda…oh you get it – she’s one person playing another person, as she executes a very put together plan to ruin the Southampton residents who ruined her father’s life.  What surprised me most about the show wasn’t the rocking bod that Madeline Stowe has held onto all these years – it was that I was instantly smitten and delightfully doubtul (yay alliteration) with/about every character we meet.  Van Camp is fantastically almost heartless as a woman whose life was ruined years before.  I missed the days of this type of strong character from EVC.  It appeared in very few episodes of EVERWOOD and BROTHERS & SISTERS, so it’s nice to see my favorite part of her come out to play.  Nick Wechsler (this ROSWELL alumn has possibly not aged in 10 years) and Connor Paolo play “townie” (read: poor) brothers with a connection to Amanda.  Madeline Stone and Henry Czerny are the Graysons – the most affluent couple in a town of affluent people, with son and daughter Daniel and Charlotte respectively; the Graysons are front and center in the scheme to ruin Southampton for good.  Amandily (Eminda?)  and Daniel’s relationship takes center stage as the show opens and continues to unfold.  Only one person knows her secret – Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), an internet billionaire who throws money about just because.  There are twists, turns, costumes, intrigue, and exorbitant parties thrown by people who spend money just to show off.  I was surprised by and in love with the show in minutes, and I think you will be too!