Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Case Study No. 0918: Mrs. Nethercott

Librarian Moment 5-19 - The Middle.flv
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[scene opens in the school library, as the elderly female librarian (played by Betty White) is handing a book to a little girl and smiling brightly]
FRANKIE: [in voiceover] After we told Brick about his conference, he agreed to straighten things out with the librarian, Misses Nethercott, an institution at Orson Elementary.
NETHERCOTT: There you are, dear. "The Adventures of Betsy, Tacy and Darling Little Tib" ... Oh, I hope you love them like I do. Please, come back and tell me what you thought.
[the little girl walks away, and Brick walks up to the front desk (causing the librarian to immediately drop her smile)]
NETHERCOTT: Oh, it's you.
BRICK: Hi, Misses Nethercott ... is there a problem?
NETHERCOTT: Hmm, is there a problem ... You know Brick, when you first came to this school, I was so excited to hear about a little boy who loved books as much as I do. It's what a librarian dreams of.
BRICK: Thank you.
NETHERCOTT: [tersely] Let me finish ...
[Brick gives a quick stunned look]
NETHERCOTT: For years, I have watched as you've checked out book after book after book, and brought them back covered with syrup and yogurt. That is, if they even come back at all.
BRICK: Look, we can play the blame game all day. The point is, I love books.
NETHERCOTT: You say you love books, I don't think you do! I love the books in this room like they're my very own babies ... You have thirty one of them out, thirty one of my babies.
[she places a number of late slips on the desk]
NETHERCOTT: And I want them back, all of them. Or you're not going into third grade.
[Brick looks shocked]
NETHERCOTT: That's right, no fractions for you. No cursive. No field trip to an Amish farm. You think you can make it out in the real world without cursive? You can't!
BRICK: Look, you have to accept some responsibility here--
[she takes out a calendar]
NETHERCOTT: You have until Walt Whitman's birthday ... Good luck.
[Brick walks away, and another little girls goes to the desk with a book (causing the librarian to immediately return to her previously sweet disposition)]
NETHERCOTT: Hello, sweetheart! Thank you!


[Brick has returned all (?) of his library books to Misses Nethercott, who holds one up and inspects it closely]
NETHERCOTT: This one's a little sticky ...
BRICK: Can you prove it wasn't like that when I checked it out?
[she sighs]
NETHERCOTT: Okay, Brick. Somehow you managed to do it.
BRICK: See you in third grade, Misses Nethercott ...
[he turns to leave, but Misses Nethercott waves him back after looking over her list]
NETHERCOTT: Well, well, well. What have we here? Seems like we're still missing one book after all.
[she points to the list]
NETHERCOTT: This little piggy didn't come home, did it Brick? Oh, and it's a big, expensive reference book. It's an atlas.
BRICK: But I already searched my entire house!
NETHERCOTT: Well, where could it be? If only you had a map to find it ...
[she takes out the calendar again]
NETHERCOTT: You have until Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday to get it here. Otherwise, see you in second grade ...
[she leans in close to him]
NETHERCOTT: [whispers] Second grade.


From go.com:

The Middle
Average Rules
Season 1 | Episode 24 | Aired 05/19/10

The school year is coming to an end. It's time to sign yearbooks, study for finals and return any past due library books. The Heck kids are up for all but three of those activities.

The school librarian, Mrs. Nethercott (guest star Betty White), is invoking statue 482B of the school code. This would keep Brick from moving on to the third grade unless he returns 31 missing library books, which Mrs. Nethercott considers her babies. No third grade means no fractions, no cursive and no field trips to an Amish farm. Mrs. Nethercott warns, "You think you can make it out in the real world without cursive? You can't." Brick must return all overdue books by Walt Whitman's birthday. Holy Leaves of Grass, Brickman!"

Brick does a hard-target search of the house to round up all fugitive library books. Mrs. Nethercott says he's still one reference book shy of his goal. He has until Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday to find a missing atlas otherwise he'll be getting a second run at second grade. Mrs. Nethercott is shocked when Brick shows up with the missing atlas in hand. Well, it wasn't the missing atlas. He checked the same book out of the municipal library and returned it to the school library. Yep, that kid is way too smart to stay in second grade.


From ew.com:

Continuing with her own 2010 Rainbow Tour, Betty White popped up on the season finale of The Middle last night as tyrannical librarian Mrs. Nethercott. She was determined to destroy Brick Heck (Atticus Shaffer), who despite being a voracious reader, had a tendency to return dirty library books.

From her reading glasses necklace to the colorful "I Heart Books" pin on her pink cardigan, White completely fit the role of librarian. But while she just oozes cuteness, it was fun to see her play a slightly evil character (like she did in her "Scared Straight" skit on SNL). Her literary-themed threats were particularly funny: "You have until Walt Whitman's birthday ... " (That's May 31st for anyone who's curious. Less than two weeks to get your gifts!). She was serious about her job and sought to instill fear in even the most accomplished second grader. If Brick did not return all 31 of his library books, Mrs. Nethercott would prevent him from advancing to the third grade - you know the year when you learn all those important life skills ... like cursive. "You think you can make it out in the real world without cursive? You can't!"

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