Battle of the Bucks: ‘The Middle’ vs. ‘The Big Bang Theory’

It’s that time of year again! New shows air and favorites premiere new seasons (hopefully). It’s like Christmas for T.V.

Two of my favorite shows, “The Middle” and “The Big Bang Theory” came back on screen this week. I realize this is called “The Battle of the Bucks” and it doesn’t cost anything to watch these shows. However, time is money and both are valuable to you and me.

“The Middle,” which premiered its fourth season on Sept. 26 on ABC, gave a synopsis of the lovable but quirky Heck family and their summer. The mother, Frankie (Patricia Heaton), tries to treasure her last summer with the family before Axl (Charlie McDermott) goes off to college on a football scholarship. However, Mike (Neil Flynn ) ruins it when he lets it slip that Axl is his favorite son.

Although the episode was cute, I think it’s too late in the season to do a summer episode. I felt the episode was adequate but weak in terms of what a premiere should be.  The characters are starting to lose some of their charm. Brick (Atticus Shaffer) is getting less weird and only pulled his signature move of whispering to himself once throughout. Axl is becoming meaner as opposed to stupid and Sue’s (Eden Sher) awkwardness is monotone. While still funny, “The Middle” needs to keep the audience interested and characters will have to evolve without losing the same humor and charm.

Bazinga! “The Big Bang Theory” returned Sept. 27 on CBS. Howard (Simon Helberg) has evolved from the creepy guy with the Beatles haircut that “only had masters in engineering” from the first season. He is now in space and married to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and still battling with his mother over where the couple will live. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) relationship is still in repair after Leonard proposed to her while in the act last season.

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) relationship remains unchanged. However, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is lost in the shuffle and will likely be a major storyline for next season. The episode gave plenty of laughs and random facts of knowledge and had the intelligent humor and allure that the show has built its reputation on.

I am a fan of both shows, but “The Big Bang Theory” definitely wins. After watching “The Big Bang Theory,” I felt excited for the season ahead. “The Middle” was fine, but forgettable. No one can quite make me laugh like the infamous Sheldon Copper. I will probably still watch “The Middle,” but it will not be priority.

If you happen to miss the last episodes of the past season, it can be expensive to purchase the DVDs. Many students use Netflix to watch their favorite shows. But, after having Netflix for about a month on a free trial, I was completely unimpressed and disappointed.

“The Middle” has a simpler storyline than the “The Big Bang Theory” so buying past seasons isn’t necessary. The relationships between the characters in “The Big Bang Theory” are more complex and watching the show at this point would probably be confusing. TBS plays a lot of old seasons of the “The Big Bang Theory” if you don’t want to spend any money. My personal favorite method for purchasing a TV season is Amazon Instant Videos. It’s cheaper than buying a physical copy and you can watch them right on a laptop or Kindle. An Amazon account is necessary to get Instant Videos, but it’s easier than going to the movie store or hoping that Netflix will have it.