Shows that exemplify the “everyman” do not actually come around that often. But one wonderful and warm exception is ABC’s comedy series THE MIDDLE. Rather than depict a super-human family genetically engineered to accomplish their life’s bliss, THE MIDDLE recognizes and celebrates the kind of family that most of us probably have – one where money is tight, the children are a shade off from “normal,” and yet everyone undeniably loves each other through the thick-and-thin — and more often than not, finds a way to make lemonade when handed a basket of lemons. In fact, THE MIDDLE seeks to cherish and commemorate what makes being a family a special joy in today’s world of everyday stress, pressure and worries.
At a special event in its honor at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the cast and creators of THE MIDDLE stopped to chat about their family-friendly show.
Creators/producers EILEEN HEISLER and DEANNE HELINE:
Infused with equal parts comedy and love for its characters – and a healthy doses of love spread amongst the characters, THE MIDDLE reminds us that it is okay to be a family struggling through the mundane and normal aspects of our lives. It also highlights how what can been seen as a “normal” day, can be simply extraordinary. With our lives rushing by, it is hard to see how special such days can be and how they will leave imprints in our souls for the rest of our lives.
If you have not yet taken the time to meet The Hecks, you absolutely should take a peek on Wednesday nights. It will give you a chance to meet Frankie Heck, as hilariously portrayed by Patricia Heaton. Frankie gives new meaning to the “super mom” as she tries to balance work, motherhood and a moment for herself in our modern lives. Fortunately, to her three children, Frankie is a super-hero all on her own. They may not always verbalize their appreciation, but the undercurrent of affection is always there.
Frankie’s kids are Axl, Sue and Brick. Portraying these wildly different, and at times precocious (well, that may just apply to Brick), characters are Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer. Each has the fun task of finding the “heart” in their diverse characters and who bring more than meets-the-eye layers to each. Then adding the final piece to the puzzle is Michael, Frankie’s husband. Deftly and humorously portrayed by Neil Flynn, Michael is not just the dad coming home from work and tuning out his kids. Each one of the characters has a vital role in their family as they balance and conquer their every day lives. Life may not be easy, but they have figured out the secret of how to enjoy their lives and be a content family together. The Hecks may not be picture-perfect, but they are perfectly happy just as they are and we love them for it.
Join in the celebration of life on THE MIDDLE, which airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.
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