Ever take a walk at dusk and look into lighted windows? From the outside looking in, things seem warm and cozy. That’s the feeling I look for in a favorite TV show. Not a particular house, but that feeling. My favorite shows all have that in common.
Favorite shows from the past took place (present-tense on many of these because they’re available on dvd anytime we want to re-watch) within a set that became as familiar as my house. Those of us who watched The Waltons every week feel we know every nook and cranny of that two-story farmhouse – and the outbuildings as well.
Little House had not only the iconic cabin, but an entire town built from the minutiae in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and the imagination of Michael Landon and his co-creators.
A favorite Britcom, As Time Goes By, features a flat in London that feels like a place where I can stop by for tea and gossip.
Food Network shows take us into some of our favorite kitchens. True, many are sets built to simulate a home environment, but some actually take place in the homes of the cooks – Nigella Lawson in one of her London kitchens, Paula Deen in her home in Savannah, and Jamie Oliver from his country farm.
On Friends, the apartment is crucial to the show. Ditto Sex And The City. Which fan of Frasier hasn’t memorized the placement of each and every furnishing and accessory?
But home isn’t only a place. It’s also a feeling. Mash took place in wartime Korea in unfamiliar settings, yet because of the characters’ need to rely on each other, somehow it felt like an odd out-of-time-and-space home every week.
More than one show that generates warmth and a home-style feel took place in a bar. Cheers comes to mind, but there have been many others.
I’m looking for some new favorites, shows that feel like home because the characters seem to belong there – or belong to each other. Any suggestions?
Ó Anita Garner 2008