TV Club: The Middle: “Pam Freakin’ Staggs” / The Goldbergs: “DannyDonnieJoeJonJordan”

The Middle: “Pam Freakin’ Staggs”

Last season, when Keegan-Michael Key turned up to play Reverend Deveaux in “The Hungry Games,” I observed that, “as a rule, The Middle isn’t a series that has gone out of its way to fill its fictional universe with big-name guest stars” and that its guest cast “tends to be populated by well-chosen utility players.” In making this distinction, however, I also indicated that the aforementioned Mr. Key actually fell between the two domains: a familiar face, yes, but probably not a household name for most.

But Kirstie Alley? Now there’s a big-name guest star. Better yet, she’s a big-name guest star who’s brought into the series in the most appropriate way possible for The Middle: via a callback.

That’s right: Kirstie Alley is Pam freakin’ Staggs.

You’re forgiven if you don’t remember the initial introduction of Ms …

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