The lovely @knitmeapony spent the day at C2E2, and went to the Middleman Reunion panel. We’ve collected her tweets so you too can share in the awesome that was the panel. If we’re lucky she’ll post photos from it soon.
First question from Javi: Can you complete the sentence “The dread pyramid of…” They all can.
Q for Natalie: Was it weird the longer the show went, the skimpier your outfits became?
Expected much skimpier. Then they said “You can’t fight crime in that.” Also, it was cold in Vancouver.
Her mother did not talk to her for a week after decontamination episode because you’re not supposed wear bras in public
Q for Jake: What was it like being the world’s greatest ventriloquist? A: It was interesting because it was so hidden.
Jake: “To me Noser’s backstory was that he lived in the hallway.”
Q for Brit: Was the romance a Middleman thing, or was it the one man? A: He did have a special swagger, yeah. Called Kevin “The Sorb”
Q for Mary Pat: What’s up with the skates?
The skates were all about the young Ida. She rollerskated in a movie. She brought in her skates to prove she was good enough to do it and immediately fell on her back.
Javi’s question for Matt: “Can you talk a little bit about taking your shirt off to poop?”
Because of a special costume design, the shirt was sewn to his underpants so that there were no wrinkles in it. So he had to hold it, eat no fiber, or take the shirt off.
Natalie: “Not that I ever poop, but might was sewn on too.”
Q for everyone: “What was the hardest line to learn, and what was your favorite?
Matt: favorite: hot flaming pork buns, anything that came from a Chinese menu
Matt’s hardest: Hebrew stuff, “sweet mother of preston tucker” speech
Natalie: Reap the whirlwind, Pip. Had to listen to a recording of it to learn the pyramid name. Natalie still has it on her iPod
Brit: Line from Booty Chest episode while she was leaning on the fridge eating ice cream
Mary Pat: not a line, wearing the glasses in the museum and matching Matt’s movements.
Jake: “It was really difficult to say ‘yo, Wendy Watson.’
Matt: eyes without a face. Always laughed at the crying.
Q: “Why was the show cancelled?”
Javi: The show might have been popular in your house, but it was a commercial flop. It was between 700 Club episodes, so a lot of people didn’t find the show. ABC Family was great, got the DVD and the comic together.
Q: How true to the thirteenth episode was the comic?
“Originally 44 monkeys, turned into 1 gorilla. Aside from that, it’s the most faithful adaptation you can get.”
Natalie and Brit talk about their characters relationships.
Brit: Great supportive female relationship not based on jealousy but love.
Natalie: None of the stereotypical ‘she’s being bitchy ’cause she had her period’ which was great
The writer’s room had to talk Javi in to the Lacey/Middleman relationship.
Matt liked it because it was nice to show another side of the Middleman.
Question: How do you not cross the line between being sincere and being a parody of yourself?
Matt: 90% of it came from the writing
What drew you to the role? (question for the whole panel)
Natalie: It was a job. It was amazing to see a very Latina role that didn’t make you say Papi every two seconds or dance Salsa
Matt: The Middleman could kick ass without saying ass.
Brit: Everything she was auditioning for was dumb blonde … Lacey was smart and funny and she didn’t expect to get it.
Mary Pat: It was a dream role because it’s a vital person, and she could be anything because she was a robot.
Jake: It was right up his ally because Noser was so shorts-tshirt-flipflop guy.
Q: What do you want people to take away from the show?
Natalie: I hope there are more shows like it. More sci-fi comedy.
Mary Pat: Loved that the show was a homage to all the styles of shows that contributed to it. It was a gentlemanly bow to all of them
Q: Where did you want the show to go in Season 2 and beyond?
Javi: Wanted to start Season 2 as if it were Season 7 and never explain why.
Javi: With Wendy as a Middewoman who’d lost her Middleboy and had to go get MM to save the world
Natalie: Wanted more Evil Wendy
Javi: wanted Noser to be best in the world at something new every other episode
Q: Why was the Middleman so straight laced and was it harder to play him?
Matt: It was a backlash to a backlash.
Javi: It was a reaction to X-Files and Buffy and Angel and every show that followed those. Everyone had dark tortured characters. Shows are about the tragedy of heroism, how it will destroy your life. He wanted to prove that doing good isn’t going to wreck your life. The goodness was a choice, not a trait.
Q: Why did the show come across so real?
Natalie: It came from the writing. It says the most ridiculous things but you’re saying it all for a reason.
Matt: Agrees about the writing. Rule on the set: you can’t change the words.
Q: Did the comics come first or the show?
Javi: Wrote the pilot and his agent hated it so it sat there. Then he worked on LOST and got coached into the graphic novels.
Javi: Didn’t want to make Natalie Latina, but he didn’t want her to say papi and he hates Salsa music. He told the network she can be Puerto Rican if she is like him– a geek and a sci fi fan and likes German synth music. They said ‘you don’t have to change a line of dialog, just please cast a Latina actress.’ and he was all for it
Q: Did you plan on it being a family show?
Javi: It’s a show for me, I didn’t care where it was on. The boyband show, the network censor believed the whole show was about anal sex.
Q: “Is it sad we didn’t make 100 episodes?” “Yes, but it’s not sad that we didn’t make 100 shitty ones.”
If the show had picked up by a different network, would a wider audience have made it successful or is it that quirky.
Natalie: A bigger network wouldn’t have given it as much of a chance.
Q: What are your favorite toys and gadgets?
Natalie: I always wanted to have bigger guns and then I couldn’t lift them.
Matt: Baby hadar
Brit: The big yellow teddy suit.
Javi: It was not a sex thing. Brit: It was for inspiration
Mary Pat: Loved being hooked up to the HADAR
Jake: Evil Noser had a gun. And on set the stunt guys actually broke the elevator after the first fire
Javi: The zombie fish suit.
Javi: The thing about all TV is that they’re all artesinal, they’re all handmade
Matt: If you let every department do its job, the creativity is always there
Q: How do you get more creative control?
Natalie: We all had confidence in one another, and really let each other do their jobs
Mary Pat: There’s a saying ‘it stinks from the top down’ If the leaders don’t trust and respect, it doesn’t work.
Javi: If you can take anything away from the show: you have to articulate a clear vision and then empower people to do their job
Favorite Middleman saying
Matt: Ghosts of the living. // Natalie: eyes without a face
Q: How many people auditioned for the roles?
Javi: There were the most Nosers because the studio didn’t know what they wanted
Javi: one other actress also went to network for Wendy. The Middleman was always Matt. One other Lacey
Javi: Mary Pat was just perfect.
Mary Pat on Ida’s fashion sense: came from the costume designer and Javi had fun with it.
Javi: I told the designer to find the ugliest fabric ever. I couldn’t destroy it.
Q: What was Ida’s obsession with Dubbie being a pothead? Mary Pat: “That Dubbie was a pothead.” The interadroid suit was not comfortable
Mary Pat: The actress in that costume was so funny she kept breaking me up
The network demanded more Interadroid
Q: Best moment on the show from everyone
Matt and Brit: both liked the movie theater scene
Natalie: Everyone had the giggles on the last day. In the gag reel, there’s a point where the dolly made a farting noise
Mary Pat: Inside Ida’s brain — Ida is actually kind to Wendy and it was touching
Jake: I liked the ventriloquist
Q: Most embarrassing moment?
Natalie: There’s a certain Robin outfit…
Matt: The entire scene where they’re looking at the haunted sorority.
Brit: When Lacey’s supposed to Pip and she accidentally actually did.
Mary Pat: Trying to disarm Kevin Sorbo.
Jake: His phone rang in the middle of the scene
Javi says a final thank you to all the fans, and they’re out.
Secret tip from the panel: the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Employment Agency shirt on Cafe Press was made from the actual key art.