Hot In Cleveland – Swinging Kitchen Doors

Hot In Cleavlan Cast
The underground sit-com movement and the mysterious disappearance of swinging kitchen doors.

I don’t think I’ve ever wondered when are they going to make a new sit-com? Or imagined that I’d be watching a new onebut here I am, 5 episodes deep in the marathon of TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.

The premise –  three  fabulous LA Women [of a certain age] have an emergency plane landing in Cleveland, only to find themselves in the “promised-land’. And seriously, what LA girl has not had that thrilling big fish in a small pond feeling when going anywhere but here?

There are no very special messages, annoying political agendas, serious underlying drama or edgy-ness like in modern major network sit-coms. Just solid jokes, lots of nostalgic guest stars, and the cherry on top: Betty White. In spite of the worldliness that the three LA Ladies characters have, Betty’s character is by far the hippest, landing “G” rated oral sex jokes (yeah try to figure that one!), marijuana and other innocent-but-not-so-innocent  zingers throughout the show. I could watch this show with my grandma or my 18-year-old niece and we’d all love it and not have any uncomfortable moments.

The beauty of TV-Land, home of the Golden oldies like Bonanza and The Brady Bunch, is that they have a unique sit-com loving audience that gives them the freedom to make a solid comedy. Tired of watching the same Seinfeld reruns? Look no further!

One of my favorite new shows is a sketch comedy called Jeffrey & Cole Casserole. They are two very hilarious, very gay boys in their early twenties that have one of the most creative shows I’ve seen in a very long time. In an interview they declared their obsession with Hot in Cleveland, and their desperation to make an appearance on the show. With this sort of endorsement, I had to check it out! As my hubby and I were enjoying it, he mentioned that his mom had also recorded the Hot in Cleveland marathon too. I’m staggered by the three generation spread of demographics for this show.

I do realize that one new original sit-com on TV-Land does not an under-ground movement make. I saw ads for Melissa & Joey on ABC Family, the new sit-com starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. Blast from the freaking past! I’m sure there are other sit-coms that are on or are coming out, but these are just hitting my radar now and my mind is reeling with all sorts of questions.

1. What about this day and age promotes nostalgic programming?

2. What does this say about our society? Are we rebelling against being force-fed agendas? Are our bullshit meters starting to crack through the major network facade? Are we tired of vampires and comic book fantasy? Or are there so many channels that everyone’s tastes can be catered too?

3. What happened to the swinging kitchen door? and why is there one in Hot in Cleveland? Is it just an old school set standard? Was there a test audience that approved of the swinging door?

Swingin Kitchen Doors

Swinging Doors were found between kitchens and dining rooms in the 19th and early 20th century. Their function was primarily to allow the hostess, cook, butler, or homeowner to pass from the kitchen to the dining room with trays of food.

I haven’t been in a home with a swinging kitchen door or a kitchen door closing of any kind in ages. I think the last time was in a home in the Philippines were there were servants. Is it a signifier of servants? Betty White’s caretaker character is sort of servant like – she makes breakfast – and swings in and out of a swinging kitchen door (but sometimes the door isn’t there to suit the scene).

Is it to keep the house cool – in a time where air conditioning wasn’t as prevalent? Does it have anything to do with feminism? Did congress put an a moratorium of swinging kitchen doors? The image below is from a website that sells historic swinging kitchen door parts, but their description lacks the Why kitchen doors aren’t used anymore.

So many questions it boggles the mind. More to come…


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