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Mr. Unreasonable, Forced to Live in One of His Own Tenement Buildings, Grows Dreadlocks and Facilitates a Budding Relationship Between Two Really Good Looking People
The night after I wrote about hating retro (all of it) and getting on with my life, I spent two hours with a friend of mine discussing the situational orientation of different sit-coms. That's the direction from which the situation penetrates the front door and converges on the actors. We were watching Bob Newhart and Jeffrie pointed out that the door is on the left in Bob's apartment and the situation moves from left to right, as opposed to The Jeffersons which moves from right to left. We ended up with four categories, actually five. I don't remember the show very well, but Jeffrie contends that in Chico and the Man, situations just materialized in the center of the set. Otherwise, there was the obvious right (All In the Family, Simpsons), the obvious left (Good Times, That's My Momma, Sanford and Son {This became known as the "ghetto-left." The door moves to the right once an African American character/family has "moved on up" or allied themselves with an upper middle class white family—Different Strokes or Gimme‘ a Break}), the central hallway entrance with a jail-cell or other cage to the right (Taxi, Barney Miller, Carter Country), and the door directly behind the couch or main conversational area (Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Three's Company {though Three's Company's door was slightly to the right})
There were a few anomalies. We couldn't remember Benson (though I think it was left to right) And we disqualified shows like Family Ties for which the situations emerged in equal measure from both the front and back doors. Also, sit-coms which were shot and edited like "short films" such as Malcolm in the Middle, Mash or Scrubs, were not considered.
I decided that my house/life will move from left to right if I acquire a goofball neighbor who regularly bursts through the door (cue Chachi hysteria or unexpected Peg Bundy cat-calls) with hair-brained schemes or malignant misinformation , though his/her back will always be to the camera since the couch is against a wall. For my house to work as a show, the action will have to take place in the kitchen where I will stutter and speak in double entendres while pouring drinks, doing dishes or unpacking groceries.

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post #13
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