The Middle

 

TV has had its share of good doctors, but The Middle (Wednesday, 8/7c, ABC) has a good dentist: Dr. Goodwin, novice hygienist Frankie Heck's new boss, played with gusto by 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer.

TV Guide Magazine: What is Dr. Goodwin and Frankie's relationship like?
Jack McBrayer: He's frazzled and needs as much help as he can get. It's been quite hard to play, because Kenneth had his stuff together. Frankie [Patricia Heaton] is so funny because she's already this overextended mom, so she is essentially just taking on another child.

TV Guide Magazine: You've said the Hecks' life reminds you of your own childhood. How?
McBrayer: My best friend dated my sister, which is super weird. They eat cereal for dinner and fix appliances with duct tape. All this time I've been doing a show in New York, and that's been super fun, but that's not my history. So it's quite nice, in a way, to get back to my roots of being a poor person.

TV Guide Magazine: Which Heck is your favorite? 
McBrayer: I have an affinity for Sue. She is the eternal optimist. I met Eden Sher before I got The Middle, and we talked about the tribulations of playing an overly optimistic character like Sue or Kenneth. We said, "Sometimes your face hurts from smiling so much." It's exhausting!

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