Frankie Heck – The Middle
The best thing about Frankie Heck is her sheer averageness. This may sound like an insult, but when it comes to being a mom, we don’t need unrealistic examples to which we will never live up to. It’s a relief to see a mom who is just like us — disorganized, overwhelmed, and trying to be her best self, no matter what.
Frankie and her husband, Mike, live in a small town in Indiana and are firmly working class. They handle their financial struggles with a little tongue in cheek humor, so we never feel like their life is a tragedy. So many times, people who struggle with money are depicted as sad and to be pitied, but we never feel that way about the Hecks, and it’s mostly because Frankie offers a matter of fact perspective about their lives.
Just like in reality, they did what seems like the impossible, just like scads of Americans do every day. Although it seems like an enormous hurdle to surmount, they put two kids through college. There was never any magic sack of money that appeared, and we watched as they figured things out when they had to.
Frankie is proof that figuring things out can be a stressful and tiring process. She doesn’t pretend that life is killing her. Yet she also doesn’t pretend that it’s effortless and easy. Sure, she has a secret stash of cake frosting hidden in the closet for the hard moments, and she has to turn the dishwasher on with pliers. But she also knows how to enjoy the finer moments of life: the season finale of The Bachelor or a $10 bottle of wine.