Sitcom front yards

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by MarkHastings, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    This thread is inspired by the commentary on the Simpsons DVD where David Mirkin explains that the "Homer vs. Patty and Selma" episode could have been done as a real live sitcom.

    After thinking about this, I realized that a lot of Simpsons stuff happens in their front yard. Then I started thinking about how almost ALL sitcoms avoid front yard sets. They always have a backyard or driveway set, but never a front yard...hmmm????

    Is there any sitcom that has ever shown the front yard of the household???? I know Roseanne has shown the front porch, but that's the closest they've come to the front yard.

    p.s. I know there have been hundreds of topics about "Only on TV" types of things, and I realize this thread won't go far if I said we shouldn't go there [​IMG]
     
  2. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    I think current sitcoms are all studio shot and simply skip any shots that require a non-stage set. One rarely sees any outside shots, and any porch "outside" scenes are still in studio. Exceptions are cable shows like "Curb Your Enthuisiasm", which feature many outside set ups and front yard/driveway scenes.

    I suspect it is a budget issue and any "house" shots are usually canned shots used during the opening credits. Most are still pictures which can easily be picked out from the video.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, I'm sure there's more that'd take place in the backyard than the front and it's a lot easier to avoid depicting what goes on outside the yard (by putting up a fence), but it's still funny how most shows avoid front yards.
     
  4. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i was going to start a post about front and back porchases on tv shows, but i was going to ask about shows that show a front porch iin the opening then use a different one in the show.

    examples are all in the family, no porch in the opening and always a porch during the show.

    king of queens, a different porch in the show from opening.

    i know it isnt a big deal but it always bugged me.
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    They mention on the Seinfeld DVD's (which I never noticed) that the opening shot, of the windows of Monks, is different than the actual windows on the set.
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I know "Married with children" had some scenes taking place in the front yard, in an episode where they held a yard sale. I think they had a front yard in some other episodes too, but not sure.
     
  7. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    IIRC I believe that MWC yard sale actually took place in the backyard. I don't remember ever seeing a scene take place in their front yard - the closest they came was scenes on the walkway in front of their front door.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I think Scott is correct about the yard sale being in the back yard.Yeah, wasn't that the Christmas episode with Sam Kinison? I seem to recall the window with the Christmas lights on it.
     
  9. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Desperate Housewives make prominent use of front yards. Heck, the entire street too!
     
  10. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    The only times when I can remember a sitcom showing a front yard was when they were single camera shows that were shot on location, such as Arrested Development, The Andy Griffith Show, or Leave It to Beaver. Three camera sitcoms are limited due to them being shot on a soundstage with an audience.
     
  11. Rocky F

    Rocky F Second Unit

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    Malcolm in the Middle is another single camera show, with occasional front yard shots.
     
  12. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    That was one of the times - I'm pretty sure they've had scenes there other times, as well. I seem to remember a scene or two with No Ma'am outside the front door.

    It's sad that I remember all this stuff about MWC, off the top of my head. [​IMG]
     
  13. RickGr

    RickGr Second Unit

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    Hell, I always wonder about these sitcom houses that have no screen/storm doors.
     
  14. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

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    Bewitched used the front yard frequently. The weeping willow episode used the front yard almost entirely.
     
  15. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    There are several episodes in the Simpsons in which a front yard is visible.

    1. When Flander's Leftorium is broke and he must have a yard sale.
    2. When the Simpsons move to the country in the "Tomacco" ep.

    Obviously the "Petoria" ep of Family Guy...

    Hurley's episode of Lost. [​IMG]

    Ryan
     
  16. JamesED

    JamesED Second Unit

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    I don't think animated series count in this thread. There is a big difference between animating a front yard and building a set.

    I do enjoy the single camera shows that utilize more locations. I hope more shows go that path. I never cared for studio audiences.
     
  17. Alex-A

    Alex-A Stunt Coordinator

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    It could be that in the opening titles a physical location is always used, while in the actual show, its all sets, and the sets possibly were built before the title sequence was created . I always find it funny how the interiors of a "house" rarely match up with the exterior shots of the house during the opening or during "intermission" pans. Full House was like this, MWC was as well. The most obvious one that I ever watched was Family Matters. Their interior sets totally don't match up with the exterior shots of the real house.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    That's a good point too. Anytime they used the outside of the bar on "Cheers", they had to do it on location in Boston.
     
  19. Elizabeth_S

    Elizabeth_S Agent

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    true about the whole on location thing. i guess only shows that really rely on the front yard (like desperate housewives) build it into the set.
     

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