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ABC's 'The Middle': Five things to look forward to about the new season

In May, ABC’s The Middle ended with a wedding, when Rusty (Norm Macdonald) haphazardly got hitched at the Heck home. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) went out of her way to try to make the day nice, but — as tends to happen to the Hecks — everything went to crap. And that — yes, crap! — tends to be a theme for the family sitcom, which will find itself mired in quite a lot more of the stuff this coming season.

Tonight’s hour-long season premiere picks up during what series co-creator Eileen Heisler is “the Hecks’ long, crappy summer. It’s a summer episode because we thought about how you never really get to see that. Last year, we saw a teeny little bit of summer vacation, but this takes us through the whole summer. Frankie and [her husband] Mike [Neil Flynn] want their kids to have a summer like they had when they were kids, with all the joys of summer. They want them to have that so they have something pleasant to look back on later, when their lives are crappy.” See, more crap?

Besides that opening-episode crap, here’s a preview of five things to look forward to when the season starts up again tonight at 8 p.m.:

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