Have you had the pleasure of watching The Middle
on TV? I was introduced to it when an episode was shown on our flight to Las Vegas for vacation a couple of years back. I enjoyed it (who couldn’t get a kick out of Sue, the daughter on the show, joining cross country and running into a deer?), and have loved the show ever since. Part of the appeal is that the show is set in Indiana, my own home state. The Middle features the Hecks, a middle class family I can often relate to: Dad Mike, Mom Frankie, and kids Axl, Brick, and Sue. Their antics are relatable and hilarious!
The Kids on “The Middle” TV Show
How about taking a closer look at the actors who play the kids on The Middle?
Axl, the oldest son, is played by Charlie McDermott. Axl is currently shown as an ornery high school senior, albeit one with a good heart underneath his rough exterior, but McDermott is 22 in real life (birth date April 6, 1990). McDermott was born in Pennsylvania, moved to LA in 2004, and has appeared in a few TV show episodes and films. He has two younger sisters in real life, and cautions other would-be actors: “It’s probably not what you think it is.”
Sue, the lone Heck daughter, is famous for her optimism even in the face of often bleak realities. Sue is depicted as a high school sophomore, but Eden Sher, who plays her, was born December 26, 1991, and is actually 20. Eden has said she’s not similar to her “Sue” character.
LA native Sher got into show business a bit accidentally. Jay Leno was so impressed with her responses to his man-on-the-street segments that he invited her to do one solo. Patricia Heaton, who plays Sue’s mom on the show, says “She’s not your typical Hollywood kid,” noting that Sher recently visited India where she taught in a mountain village for six weeks.
Atticus Shaffer, born June 19, 1998, plays Brick, the baby of the Heck family. Brick loves to read and is quite precocious, despite being in a class for kids with social difficulties and possessing several odd quirks, like whispering words to himself now and then. Axl and Sue both report that Atticus is the actor most similar to the character he plays. “He is pretty similar, not as quirky, but he’s intelligent and reads a lot,” says McDermott.
Shaffer has a medical condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic defect sometimes known as brittle bone disease.
If you’ve never watched The Middle, give it a try next Wednesday night — ABC, 8 eastern. If you don’t laugh several times, I’ll be surprised. Or, you can watch an episode online here. Caveat: my one gripe about the show is that pretty much all of the characters use God’s name in vain. This makes me cringe every time, and I wish they’d change that …