Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hot in the Sitcom Kitchen

OK, so I may need to somewhat walk back my statement that that Hot in Cleveland is not "dated."  The other night I watched a double-header of Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland, and goodness there are some striking parallels. 
Such as:  both shows use a kitchen set with a small table in the foreground.  I can't think of a single other TV show that has used this setup.  It seems so unique that it almost must be a shout-out to GG -- or is it just an attempt to be realistic about how an old house in Cleveland would be laid out? 
There is also the more obvious Betty-White-and-three-other-women-over-the-age-of-40 parallel.  Mr. TA (joining me in most of the double-header) pointed out that in HiC, Betty White has kind of taken over the Estelle Getty/Sophia role from GG.  This led us to start trying to draw more parallels between the characters.  Arguably:
Betty White = Sophia (old, curmudgeonly, cracks one-liners) 
Valerie Bertinelli = Rose (happy/ditzy)
Jane Leeves = Blanche (slutty (arguably?), has an accent)
Wendy Malick = Dorothy (This one doesn't work as well.  Tall?)  
But then, you could sort of do the same thing with Sex and the City:  
Charlotte = Rose (ditzy)
Samantha = Blanche (slutty)
Carrie = Dorothy (looking for love)
Miranda = Sophia (The practical one, I guess?)
Alternately, this might just mean that all these shows are using variations on some pretty old-school stereotypes--the virgin, the whore, the mother (and the other one, I guess).  That's definitely dated. 

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