HD Highlights: July 17

Season Finale: The Middle (TV2, 7.30, 5.1, F) Frankie and Mike are stunned to discover that Mike’s brother has chosen the Heck house as the site of his fast-approaching wedding … without asking their permission. The Comedy Critic thought this “an absolutely hysterical season finale … that really showcased what the Heck family is all about!” Agreed The AV Club: “Given the number of recurring characters who turned up, this was an episode that felt like a bit of a love letter to longtime fans of the show, and even if the end result might have hung together a bit haphazardly at times, it was still a very pleasant way to wrap up the series’ third season.” However, should The Middle, after three seasons, win an Emmy for the first time, it won’t be for this episode — instead, the producers submitted “The Map”, which marked the passing of Aunt Ginny. As to why The Middle’s never been Emmy-nominated, co-creator Eileen Heisler told Entertainment Weekly: “We’re a little like the Hecks. We go, ‘I hope, but…’ [Laughs] We’re the Sue Heck of television. We work really hard and people don’t always notice us, but we’re really happy here in the middle and at The Middle.” ✭✭✭✭

Series Finale: GCB (TV2, 9.30, 5.1, F) Quipped TV Guide Canada of this series finale:  “You could say [it] strut-walked the desert valley of the shadow of death. Clearly aware that this instalment could very well be the last one ever, GCB’s writers put some storylines to rest (at least for now) and even made not-so-subtle references to the show’s unstable future. Creator Robert Harling (also the writer of the episode) specifically addressed the possibility of his series’ unfair demise in the main plot, having the tastefully tarty title gals (Carlene, Cricket, Sharon, Heather, Amanda and Amanda’s mama and my idol, Gigi Stopper) nearly meet their beloved maker after getting kidnapped and stranded in the middle of Mexico.” ✭✭✭

Series Premiere: The Whole Truth (TV2, 11.35, 5.1) From 2010 comes a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced legal-eagles drama starring Rob Morrow (Numb3rsNorthern Exposure) and Maura Tierney (Parenthood, ER, NewsRadio) as prosecution and defence lawyers who, according to the Boston Herald, “riff off each other like very competitive tennis players.” Concurred the Los Angeles Times: “All their best scenes are with one another and have less to do with whatever case they’re contesting than with their shared personal history–the characters are old friends, maybe lovers–and teasingly suggested future. The crimes, by contrast, are not particularly compelling, even when they are sensational, and feel invented merely to let the stars talk.” Newsday dubbed it “Law & Order: The Next Generation” but the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out that “unlike Law & Order, which had a way of leaving us hanging, we do learn the ‘whole truth’ by the end of each episode. You can’t put a price on closure.” But USA Today thought otherwise: “Without characters to rely on, the show tries to hook us in with legal twists and turns–evidence found, evidence in, evidence out. But even on that level, Truth falters. The only twists you won’t see coming are the ones that make no sense.” ✭✭✭

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