No compensation was given for this post. I attended a press event which facilitated this post. Hotel accommodations and airfare were provided.
The Middle set visit was so much fun, and something I will never forget. The Middle set is unlike any other set I’ve ever seen. It’s messy, dirty, and looks totally lived in, kind of like my house. The Heck household is hectic, not perfect, and this is reflected in the littlest of details.
If you haven’t heard of The Middle yet, here’s a little bit about it. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn), have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There’s Axl (Charlie McDermott), her semi-nudist teenage son conceived while under the influence of Guns N’ Roses; Sue (Eden Sher), the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything… but with the utmost of gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick (Atticus Shafer), whose best friend is his backpack.
Our group had the chance to screen the episode that is coming on tonight “The Walk”, it’s really cute and you might even need to have the tissue box close by.
“The Walk” – March 26th
After bumping into some old acquaintances on a walk around the neighborhood, Frankie and Mike realize that they are more interesting and charming with them than they are with each other and search for a way to remedy the situation. Meanwhile, Sue ends up with multiple dates to the prom because she is too nice to turn down any of the boys who asked her, and Brick enlists Axl’s aid in preparing an “outside the box” book report on The Middle, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Michael Ansell) Credit: ABC Michael Ansell. ATTICUS SHAFFER, JOHN GAMMON, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, EDEN SHER (pictured below)
After we screened the episode the Executive Producers and Show Creators Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline sat down with us to answer a few questions. It was neat to find out how and why the show was actually created. Both Eileen and DeAnn grew up in the midwest and the Heck children were created loosely off of their own children.
Julie Fanton is the set decorator for The Middle. She was nice enough to take us on a tour of the Heck household. Julie told us that most of what she buys for the Heck household is from Target, Kohl’s, and lots of different thrift stores. Personally, I think Julie has one of the coolest jobs.
While we were wondering around the Heck house totally in awe of all the props, guess who popped in, Mike (Neil Flynn) and Axl (Charlie McDermott). We had just watched two episodes before doing the set visit, so when I rounded the dining room corner and came face to face with Axl, I was a bit shocked, and probably said the dumbest thing ever, which I won’t repeat here. I have to keep some dignity here.
I had met Patrica Heaton the night before at the Moms of ABC mix and mingle (more on that later). The only actor from the show I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting was Eden Sher – maybe next time. Jack McBrayer even popped in for a moment.
I hope you enjoy my sideshow of what I thought was interesting inside the set of The Middle. The set felt so real to me. At times it felt a little like I was an intruder in someone’s house.
The Middle is on Wednesdays at 8|7c on ABC! Be sure you tune in. If you need to catch up on past episodes just visit abc.com to stream past shows.