Neil Flynn talks THE MIDDLE

I will talk until I’m blue in the face about how much I love THE MIDDLE – the show doesn’t get nearly enough attention .  It is without a doubt, one of the most consistently funny shows on TV.  To celebrate another all new and sure to be classic episode tonight, at 8/7c, I had the chance to talk with Heck family patriarch Mike (Neil Flynn) about what’s coming up, and what makes this show a show people should be watching!

 I love THE MIDDLE.  It’s a show that people can relate to.  You ask, oh what kind of antics are the Hecks going to get into, and they are things that everybody goes through.  Is that was drew you to being a part of it, and what you continue loving about the role?

Yeah, I think relatability is a big positive factor for us.  Everyone has been, in one shape or another, part of a family.  And so it’s a recognizable set up.  I thought from the beginning, from the pilot, that it was a very relatable, and semi realistic and down to earth sort of approach to a situation that is familiar to all of us..

What can you tease about what’s coming up on the show?

Well let’s see, there’s one where Sue is headed for a Justin Bieber concert and Brick is heading for a spelling bee. And Axl gets a job, and I fight with my wife.  Let’s not say fight. Let’s say disagreement.  That should be relatable to any adult watching!

They get in fights, about the littlest things, but that’s what everybody deals with, and they recover from them so easily.

Right!  It’s never anything big.  It’s these momentary squabbles that happen over the course of a 20 year marriage.  I think, and I hope, that you can always see the love underneath.

I was caught off guard in the Valentine’s Day episode, where all of a sudden at the end of the episode, I’m crying because of how touching Atticus’ scene was.  It is true – you definitely see the love underneath.
That’s nice!  Fortunately, Atticus is a good young actor, and he can handle sort of thing!

I love the interaction that each and every cast member has – you can pair each of you up, and it pops. Is there a relationship or interaction within the family that you like playing most, or have the most fun with?

I enjoy very much the scenes with Patty.  I tend to have longer scenes with her, when there’s a discussion, or an argument, or a meeting with a teacher.  Those are always fun.  I like the dynamic between all of the characters.  Each week, they tend to sort of rotate which character any other character is always sort of interacting with in that episode.  A couple weeks ago, I had Brick, and this week, it’s Frankie, but it’s always fun, to see, oh me and Sue have a couple scenes, great!

I love the father/daughter relationship and just how awkward it gets.  What about THE MIDDLE, to you, sets it apart from other shows that are airing?

I think maybe there is a down to earth authenticity to it.  It’s funny, but it’s grounded.  Maybe alwso that it takes place in the middle of America.  Not many shows are doing that, that I can think of.  It’s also people that don’t live in a really nice apartment.  A lot of half hour comedies tend to have characters that live in places where you would gladly trade yours for theirs, and in this case, it’s probably the opposite!  Or where these characters live is pretty much just exactly like where you live, and therefore it’s relatable.

Are there other relationships that you’ve drawn on from other series or could compare to other series, about what makes this Mike and Frankie relationship feel so real? 

I don’t consciously think of other shows, but I will put it this way.  I think it’s good to see a solid happy relationship, even when the people are having troubles that could cause problems in the relationship.  They figure it out, and they work past it!

An all new episode of THE MIDDLE airs tonight on ABC at 8/7c, starting another 3 hour block of great shows!  For more information on THE MIDDLE, head over to ABC’s site, and get pictures, videos, you name it!