Exclusive Interview w/ #TheMiddle Star @PatriciaHeaton + Review of This Week’s Halloween Episode

Ever get really sick of the beautiful people on TV shows with the clean houses and perfect lives? Yeah, me too!


Fortunately for us there’s one hilarious comedy that celebrates those of us stuck in “The Middle” A far cry from one of *those* family sitcoms with the perfect husband & wife couple, lovely kids, manicured lawn, and picket fence. The Middle finds the humor in the real struggles and situations that families go through every day. Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton), is a middle-aged, middle class, Midwestern working mother who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her quirky family through each day. Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but Frankie Heck must be some kind of superhero. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to just about any length.


Recently I had an exclusive advance sneak peek at this week’s episode of The Middle, Halloween III. Here’s a little bit about this episode that airs October 24th at 8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CST on ABC.


As Halloween approaches, the Hecks get quite the scare when Sue receives her learner’s permit, and it’s time for Frankie and Mike to teach her how to drive. Meanwhile. Axl looks forward to voting in his first election, and Brick undergoes an unexpected transformation when he eats too much Halloween candy.

I have to admit, like Patricia Heaton’s character “Frankie”, I’m just not motivated about Halloween this year. While I’m excited that both our kids are finally big enough to enjoy Halloween and all the fun that goes with it, sometimes it can be challenging getting excited about every holiday – especially when you have lots of other stuff going on in your life. However no matter how crazy things might be, you still manage to do it anyway. I loved Frankie’s costume concoctions, as well as her solution for what to pass out for trick or treat, I would totally do the same thing!


Last week I also had the opportunity to be one of a handful of select bloggers to particpate in an exclusive phone interview with Patricia Heaton about ABC’s The Middle, and about being a mom in general. Ms. Heaton took time out of her hectic schedule of filming and being a mom to 4 boys to talk to us. We had a great chat and it was cool to know that despite a hit show and being a celebrity, many of her daily struggles and activities are the same ones we face. Her kids throw up when she’s working, she orders fast food, and even shops at Target just like we do. Here’s a few of the things Patricia Heaton had to say about the show, being a mom and life in general.



On The Middle and her role as “Frankie”

… It’s a little bit of a sense of celebration of the Midwest and of lives that aren’t about material things and striving to be famous or powerful or wealthy in the world, which is a lot of the message that we get from commercials and TV shows and magazines and, you know, seeing movie stars and who is, you know, driving what or who’s wearing what designer and all that kind of stuff. I mean I think it’s a sort of a celebration and ode to simpler times in Midwestern living.


…Well I think it reinforce that it always makes me feel better about my parenting, you know, which I think it really does for a lot of Americans. I don’t think anybody could get away with as much as Frankie gets away with. So I think in some ways it reinforced the idea that it doesn’t all have to be all perfect; we can’t control everything. And you kids need to know that you’re there for them; that you’re doing your best and that you love them and you support them. But they do need to kind of get out in the world and experience it on their own and figure out for themselves, and so, you know, maybe if the show does anything for people maybe that — the message that we’re getting across…


On being a mom…

…And we’re getting tired, and so I think our show is sort of gives people sort of a break and says give yourself a break and it’s going to be okay, and not all this other stuff isn’t that important. difficult. But I really would simplify things. And if that means three nights a week you’re picking up, you know, already cooked chicken from the grocery store or something to give yourself a break, that’s what you need to do. You need to just relax and still try to enjoy life as opposed to kind of getting through it……..It’s also, you know, it’s like it’s okay not to be perfect.



On being a celebrity parent…

…I think any parent, no matter what socio-economic level you’re at, especially for moms; we all experience the same issues. I have seen it in schools, so that ours is a different school that we’re at here and almost every school has some form of celebrity parent in it, and honestly they just show up to you with the same exact things. They might show up in a nicer car or designer clothes, but still it’s about parents whose kids have issues maybe like (Britt’s) issues –learning differences, you know, just trying to juggle, being there for them when you have to be away at work — some parents who actually have to, you know, leave for longer periods of time and actually have to leave town for their work, things like that. So I found that when you strip away sort of the material trappings of thingsit’s the same anywhere you go. I talked to my sister-in-law in Ohio and we’re all dealing with the exact same things. So it hasn’t been difficult for me to relate to what they’re going through at the (Hecks)…


On realizing priorities…

… I went to a pilates class yesterday morning and ran, you know, dropped the kids off to the bus stop, and then just zipped over to the pilates class and didn’t have time to put any concealer on, and I just realized I have the biggest, darkest circles under my eyes. So clearly, you know, it’s exhausting what we try to do. But you know, I think you really have to pick your battles. You have to kind of think if this was the last week of my life what would be the important thing to do and what stuff should I not be worrying about?

I also think we worry about stuff that’s not under our control. We try to control every aspect of our children’s lives and their experiences and their responses to those experiences, and that’s really not the way life works. And so I think in some ways, the way the (Hecks) raise their kids where they’re disappointed and they don’t get necessarily what they want, and they don’t have a lot of extra cash, is really the way the world works. So maybe in some ways the (Hecks) are doing their kids a favor in preparing them for the real world.

…We see a lot of talk shows about what our homes should look like, what we should look like, you know, fitting in the parties and doing the healthy snacks, and using recycled lunch boxes, and bringing your just, you know, your reusable bags to the grocery store. Does anybody remember to do that by the way?…

…I just think the parenting it’s sort of like started with Martha Stewart – and I love her – and I get her magazine and I read it, and then I never do anything it says in the magazine. But it’s sort of this striving for perfection and having the home look beautiful and you look beautiful and your kids look beautiful and presentable, and everything to be running smoothly. And you know it’s just life doesn’t work that way….


On preparing our kids for their future…

I know there was an article about this whole generation of kids that we’ve just brought up who are just getting out of college who have this sort of level of anxiety and malaise and like midlevel depression because they’ve never had to strive for anything. Everything’s just sort of they’ve been cuddled and everything’s been set up for them and everybody gets rewarded for everything, and really I think what psychologists are realizing is we need the challenges and the disappointments. It sort of gives character to ourselves and our lives and actually the sense of a struggle is what’s important to sort of keep you going, keep that fire lit in you which we haven’t really – we’ve tried to take the struggle away from our kids which is the wrong thing to do. So you know, I think that maybe The Middle is kind of doing that with parenting…

…I think moms in particular bear the brunt of the responsibility for all of this and that they see their kids experiencing a disappointment as a reflection on their parenting when that’s simply not the case. Our parents – my parents certainly were perfectly happy to ignore us for, you know, most of the better part of each day, so and let us just figure out stuff on our own. So, you know, Idon’t think that’s not necessarily a bad way to do things.




On saving money and using coupons….

…I didn’t even move to LA until I was 32. And then we really didn’t have money then, and we had two kids before I got Everybody Loves Raymond, so we were struggling. So it wasn’t that long ago. I mean right before I got Raymond I was, you know, I was a big coupon clipper before Raymond because it was important to save every bit you got, and as actors we never knew – we never know where our next job is coming from, and in fact, you always know that your job is going to end, you know. Lay off is what we call, you know, the show getting cancelled, you know. So and we know that even a successful show is going to end after six or seven years, you know. We’re lucky at Raymond we went eight and a half I think, or nine. So I sort of always have that actor’s mentality of okay, I’m going to have to look for another job in a while. So I actually can relate pretty easily to what the (Hecks) go through….


Be sure to watch The Middle, Halloween III tonight, October 24th at 8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CST on ABC. If you’re on Twitter, you’ll also want to be sure to follow the One2One Network’s #TheMiddle live Twitter Viewing Party beginning at 7:45 ET. Just follow #TheMiddle and chime in during the show for lots of chances to win!  Here’s more details on #TheMiddle Twitter Party and how to RSVP.



Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored post campaign for One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.


  1. I so understand what you mean about it being hard to get excited about every holiday–I only put up Halloween stuff in the front windows and didn’t pull out the two bins of stuff to decorate around the house and outside–I just feel like I didn’t have the time lately.

    I’m going to try and watch tonight and get in on the Twitter party too! thanks for sharing!

  2. Hahhaha!! I love the Middle so much!! It is so funny, and each week they always seem to crack me up!

  3. i have never seen this show before, it sounds interesting

  4. She sure sounds real, doesn’t she? I liked what she said about how we worry that our kids’ lives will go smoothly when so much of it is out of our control. So true!

  5. It looks so funny. I haven’t watch it but it looks like my type of movie!

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