I don’t know about you, but I like to know that my life is normal. That other people live their life the same way that I do. When Colby and I sat and watched the newest episode of “The Middle” on ABC, we were amazed how much we had in common! The Heck family could totally be the family next door. In fact, they could be us.
The episode we watched while on our recent trip to LA called “The Walk” even touched on something similar. Frankie and Mike think they have been together for so long they have nothing to talk about anymore, but come to find out the simplicity of their lives makes for great conversation. As Colby and I watched together, I found myself giving him that familiar elbow nudge because we had been there, done that. I could see myself in Frankie and immediately felt a kinship. But, I think what really brought it home for me was visiting the set. Wow! We could have just as easily been in our home.
As you enter the home, it seems to sit on a quiet street and looks like your traditional, middle-income home. Once you step inside, you become part of the Heck family and can instantly feel at home. Why? Because the house feels lived in. You can see that a family lives in the home and there is not a maid stopping by every day. There are kids around and a busy set of parents working to keep the home going. Plus, the set decorator, Julie Fanton, says she shops at The Salvation Army, Target and Kohl’s for props. Add in one more large box store and you have our home for sure!
The Walk episode features a scene from within the laundry room. As Sue folds clothes and talks to a friend, she eludes to “this is where the magic happens.” I know that our family laundry room is often filled with piles of clothes and the hub of much activity, so I appreciated the sentiment. Another way I could relate to the family and feel an instant attraction to their way of life.
As we ventured further into the house, I actually loved seeing the dirty carpets and walls. Now I know I am not the only one. My kids are not the only kids to leave hand prints throughout the inside of our home! We are also not the only family in America to have a dirty path of carpet showing our most heavy traffic areas. Awesome! I figure if the set directors and prop masters on the set of The Middle went to all this trouble, there are others. Unless they visited our home without my knowledge.
I can tell you the kids’ rooms were not neat. Sue’s room had some organization to it… just like my daughters’ rooms… and Axl and Brick’s room was all about disarray. Ummm… just like my teenage son’s room. Plus, the boys shared a room. The home was moderate-sized for this traditional, middle-income family, and the house displayed that well.
Other than the home itself, meeting Neil Flynn, Patricia Heaton, Charlie McDermott, and Atticus Shaffer proved that this family was the real deal. Each one was incredibly nice, down-to-earth and humble enough. In fact, they were all a delight to talk to and so genuine in their interactions with us. If only Sue (Eden Sher) had been around, we could have met the entire family. I can only imagine them as the family next door and look forward to catching up with them each week on ABC.
The Middle airs each Wednesday on ABC at 8pm/7pm CST. You can learn more about upcoming episodes and more by liking The Middle on Facebook and following @TheMiddle_ABC on Twitter.