50 best television shows set across the United States

15 of 52

Indiana: The Middle

The premise: The Middle is about a middle(ish) class family, living in a town that could look like any town across the country. The show doesn’t have any story gimmicks or plot twists. It’s just about Frankie and Mike Heck, and their three (mostly) normal kids.

The setting: The show’s title is a reference to it’s geographical location — in the middle of the country. It’s set in Orson, Indiana, a medium sized town, that doesn’t really have the traditional charm of other onscreen small towns. It’s just a regular town, filled with regular folks, and meant to satirize the drudgery of life “in the middle.”

The two oldest Heck children go to a local college, the fictional East Indiana. It’s probably modeled on the real regional school, Indiana University East. They are close enough so that they can come back to Orson quite a bit, proving they are still connected to their hometown.

The most Indiana thing about it: The family’s patriarch, Mike, was born and raised in Orson, and as such is a rabid Colts fan. You can most often find him on the couch watching whatever game is in season. Also, the local grocery store is called the Frugal Hoosier, and this is about as Indiana as you can get, folks.