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'The Middle' star Eden Sher reveals her Taylor Swift motivation, episode secrets

The sixth season of ABC’s comedy The Middle has been dubbed the “Year of Sue” to celebrate the daughter’s senior year. Eden Sher, who plays Sue, talked with the EW Community about how the year is going for her character and what we can expect the rest of the season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: On last week’s episode, you did tinikling. Had you ever done that before? It was so impressive.

EDEN SHER: I had not. Thank you. I practiced so hard. It was SO hard. The choreographers were so good. You first just learn the leg moves, and the sticks are not moving. You just learn it, and the sticks are just static on the ground, and you do in-out-in-out, whatever. And I was like “Okay, got it.” And they were like, “Okay, great, you wanna try it one time with the sticks?” I was like, “Oh shoot! I understand now why this is so difficult!”

I was so nervous about making the entire crew listen to that Taylor Swift song [“Shake It Off”] over and over and over again, so I was like, “I have to master this because we have to get it done.” So I was like, eight. Eight is the limit [for number of takes]. Only eight times through the song to get it right.

The Middle Sue gym class

Tonight is the Thanksgiving episode. Can you tell me a little about that?

So Frankie basically says, “Guys, no more. Cut the crap.” So we have Thanksgiving at a restaurant. And Sue finds out that Mike doesn’t actually like Darrin. So I spend the entire episode trying to find a way to make, or force, affection toward Darrin upon Mike. And that, of course, does not go very well.

I know every season, you do a bunch of holiday episodes. Are there any that stand out as your favorite?

The Halloween episode where I got to dress up like a crayon was pretty fun. It is kind of crazy living in this parallel universe. For the last six years, I’ve gone through a holiday like a month before the actual holiday. So for six years, I’ve had two of everything, and I get like a pre-look of what the world is going look like in a couple weeks. It’s really funny.

So I know this is the “Year of Sue,” as they’ve been calling it. What was your reaction when they told you that would be a theme this season?

They did not tell me. They don’t tell me anything. The actors get the script like the last of anyone, and we don’t get to know anything that’s coming up until like the next week. So you never know when something is going to be like a one-off joke or when it’s going to be like a through line. So I didn’t even know it was going to return. I thought it was just like something cool for the premiere, like, “It’s the ‘Year of Sue,'” which is something Sue would say. I didn’t know that it was actually going to be a recurring theme. Which I’m fine with! I love it.

How do you think the “Year of Sue” has been going for Sue? Do you really think this is her year?

I feel like every second of every day is pretty special for Sue. Considering this is a traditionally momentous year, she might just implode. She might just go horribly wrong. She might be like, “Oh my gosh, this is too much excitement. I can’t live. It’s too much.”

Actually, my friend said something to me recently, because I’m different from Sue in many ways, and in many ways I am the same. I also enjoy life and I rarely have a moment that’s not a victory in some capacity. My friend said, “Everything is an epiphany to you.” I feel like that kind of epitomized this year for Sue. Because everything is already an epiphany for her, and everything is already special, but then one day she’s like, “Holy crap! Everything has been so special for me this year!” and she just implodes.

I want ask you about Sue and Darrin because I love them. Do you love them?

I do. I love them. Sue as a character is dorky without being like a nerd. So I love that this person in real life would have a boyfriend, and she would have a boyfriend like Darrin. They’re so silly. And it’s funny because I consider Sue to be a very smart girl, and let’s just say Darrin is kind of a bozo. So it makes so much sense. They just click, and it doesn’t matter that he’s a total dumbo because their dispositions are the same. They really complement each other. And there’s more of that to come.

Are there any secrets about upcoming episodes you can tell us?

I don’t think so, except: I have to face my greatest fear, and it has to do with balloons. So I can tell you that much. There’s something going on. And there’s this crazy scene with Sue and Darrin and lots and lots of balloons. I think I’ve revealed just enough about that.

The Middle‘s Thanksgiving episode airs Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 8/7C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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