Why do so many TV sitcoms Use a "Favorite" Diner, Restaurant or Bar in Most Episodes?
Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement...and most likely others, the main characters always meet at a common place and discuss what is new in their life. Why do the writers/producers do this? Is there a psychological element behind this?
I think it is behavioural. I know one of my friends and I meet at the same place once a month and most of the times we pick up the same table. Now that I think it isn't even intentional we simply walk to the table and we get it 90% of the times since we meet early in the morning.
I think part of what sharmav says is partly correct. It's also easier to build one restaurant set rather than several.
Most sitcoms are filmed in a studio so its more economical to have a reoccurring bar then build new sets each week.
The bar is like another character. Over episodes and seasons we connect to the set as much as the actual characters, if only in a subconscious manner.
Its what connects the characters.
It's also a glimpse into the character's world, what they like, is it a jazz bar, a trendy cafe, a sports bar etc
If they all regularly meet at one place, it makes it easy for characters to "drop in" and find each other. Also, on these shows, a lot of the time, the bartender/waitress/etc. becomes a recurring character. It gives another familiar, friendly location in addition to the characters' homes. I've also noticed that, a lot of times, if you look hard, you can recognize re-used sets on the shows. I've noticed this with bars/coffee shops, as well as the character homes. The same layout from another show, just redecorated and shifted a little.
I agree with Website Confetti's answer about shooting in a studio and economical for one main set; and it's another character. But the other reason is that if everyone is expected to be in one place, there's no dialogue on making plans. They just show up to meet the other characters, as if they knew where they'd be. Like The Max in Saved by the Bell: Zack could just walk in, sit at his booth, and talk to his friends.
by brittvan225 years ago
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