The Sitcom Situation Agreement

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By the time I sat down and wrote this out, I’d planned to be on maybe the third or fourth month of these. Instead, this had stumped me and made me wonder if this was a good idea. A couple drafts and a few ideas concerning television shows and roommates came and went. First was New Girl and the idea that Los Angeles has such a grand loft setup for a reasonable price that would be affordable for both a lowly bartender (now owner) and a vice principal is the norm, then I thought – hey, just go with Friends and take the easy way out, another thought was take it way back and hit up Three’s Company (RIP John Ritter). Instead, I decided to lump sitcoms revolving around roommates into one because some of them, while a little hard to believe thanks to an insane amount of shenanigans, actually were right on the money and realistic. Roommates are fine for a time, but everyone hits that point when it’s time to pack up and move out and let a new level of “adulting” begin.

No one wants to live with a couple. Dear people who are dating, engaged or married – if you have a roommate…please stop. That’s no way to live. This is why New Girl is lingering on cray (am I too old to use that, more importantly – are we still using that? I’ll edit later if Urban Dictionary tells me something else). Nick and Jess was good in theory, but to make two to three other people live with that, annoying. Look at how bad Cece practically living there went down after her and Schmidt got engaged. No one cares when you’re in love other than your parents (because grandkids are like crack to them). Seriously, do you know what your single friends say behind your back when you post about an engagement or date night? Imagine what they say if they lived with you on a day to day basis. Don’t get me wrong, personally I love New Girl more than say Friends and Will & Grace, but those shows got the idea of roommates right.

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Granted one had 10 seasons and the other eight, but here’s why those shows prevailed in terms of living with other adults. First Will & Grace, which we’re going to revisit in a couple months when we talk about the reality of growing apart. For now let’s talk about their living situations. Together when the show started, they gradually moved further and further away as they’re lives started to shape into ones that didn’t need constant attention from one another. Grace with Leo and Will with the cop. Not to say you can’t be lifetime neighbors with your college BFF, but it’s natural and normal to move on figuratively and literally. The same with Friends. While Monica had to live with a boy once she became engaged to Chandler and wanted to start a family, it was more than okay when they decided they needed to be with one another and not just have Chandler pack his bags and scoot across the hall to live with his girl. This is why The Big Bang Theory is getting closer to the end. Leonard is married and while he and Penny have agreed to split time between his and her apartment, it’s soon going to put a strain on their relationship and they’ll have to choose – one another or Sheldon. That’s not to say it’s always a relationship that’ll cause people to move on. Look at this week’s interview. Kathryn moved for more schooling, Rosie was moving in with her boyfriend and Jessie transitioned into living by herself. The same with Stephanie. She finally found herself in a place where she didn’t need roommates anymore. It’s all about that growth, and it comes in many ways.

While it’d be great to have your love and your bestie in one house or apartment, that can’t really work. Sides are always going to be taken and it stunts the possibility of growth in both relationships. You don’t have to live with a friend to always be there for one another, but when it comes to relationships based on romance – it’s hard to take steps towards the next level when you’re sharing a space with your love’s college roommate. Television has proved that shows about roommates will eventually involve them moving out and on with their lives as they go from wild 20-somethings to levelheaded 30-somethings. That’s of course if the series continues to get picked up and we can see the growth.

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