Family. You can’t live with them…you can’t create a funny sitcom without them. Especially when it comes to ABC’s ‘The Middle,’ which serves up a ton of comical family drama and mayhem — the likes of which almost any family can at least semi-relate to. (Sibling rivalry, anyone?)
Speaking of which, in a conference call earlier today, TVRage got the chance to chat with two very important members of the Heck household: Axl and Sue, played by Charlie McDermott and Eden Sher, respectively. Not only did they share their feelings about the show's upcoming Hallmark syndication (beginning March 3), but they also dished on some of their favorite guest stars and what they hope lies in store for their characters.
Becoming a member of the Hallmark viewership opens the show to an even wider audience, which is something these two both find "surreal," but extremely exciting. So what episode are they most looking forward to see in syndication?
“I love the episode where Sue and Axl have to do the school project together. That’s always been my favorite. It probably will always be my favorite.” McDermott remarks. “It’s one of the ones that I actually sat down to see it and thought it was awesome.” And he wasn't the only one to think so. “I’m copying. Second!," Sher chimed in.
But don't worry if you've never seen the show before. According to these two, one of the highlights about the series is its ability to allow its audiences to jump in at any time and not feel lost.
"There are a few callbacks sometimes and some episodes that have continued stories, but mostly the show is isolated incidents every episode. I think you can jump in anywhere in any season and start watching it and not feel like you’re missing anything," McDermott explains.
Sher adds, “You can jump in at any given moment and be like ‘Haha, this is funny. I don’t know anything and I can still laugh at this.’”
When asked what aspect they like most about their characters, in true Sue and Axl fashion, they both had very diverse (and completely surprising) answers. “Mine is getting the professional opportunity to get paid to just fall on my butt multiple times a day and steal unicorn onesies from Sue’s wardrobe,” Sher shares.
Meanwhile, McDermott has one very particular craft he's extremely proud of: Axl's groan. “Yeah, the obnoxious groans are definitely my favorite." Unicorn onesies and groans, huh? What the Heck?! (get it?)
But the hilarity doesn't stop with just the family. Several A-list guest stars have stopped by the show to put in their comical two cents. And this brother-sister duo have their personal favorites that left them starstruck.
McDermott told TVRage, “For me it was Norm MacDonald. I was a huge fan of Norm MacDonald. I was also a huge fan of Chris Kattan, both of them from ‘SNL.’ But I worked with Chris Kattan during the pilot, so I got my starstruck-edness out of the way pretty early. But yeah, when Norm MacDonald came on, I was pretty starstruck.”
Meanwhile, Sher's excitement seemed to extend beyond an emotional reaction. “Maybe I was starstruck on an unconscious level with Whoopi Goldberg because I threw up. It was like the actual physical: ‘Oh my god, my body is struck, doesn’t know what to do, I’m just going to release everything in my body.'”
As for what they hope to see from their characters in the future, McDermott admits he has a few ideas. "I hope Axl gets drafted into the army or something. I can sense the war. That'd be a fun little side project: Axl in a trench, calling home," he teases. "In reality though, I'm looking forward to him going to college again next year. The college stuff is fun."
Then there's Sher, who just wants one simply thing for poor Sue: no more braces. Though she's not entirely sure how probable that wish is to becoming true, "I actually have no idea if that's going to be a reality of not."
Cheer up, Sue. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you!
‘The Middle’ returns with a brand new episode Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8/7c on ABC.