Friday, April 7, 2023

An Accidental Sitcom: Secret Subject Swap


Triple Onion Roast (crockpot or not) | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 2 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

My subject is: Do you think the dynamic of most sitcom families has had an affect on how we view families and gender roles? How so, or why not?

It was submitted by: Jenniy of Climaxed.

I'm finding this a little difficult to address, mainly because I really don't watch mainstream sitcoms. There just aren't any on right now that appeal to me. I watched quite a few of them growing up, enjoyed many, even found some of them humorous which, I thought, was supposed to be the point. Now, I'll watch Young Sheldon every now and then but, really, that's pretty much it. 

The current crop of sitcom offerings are neither relatable situations nor comedic. Yeah, they come up with a premise for the show, but for the most part they are so contrived, they're absurd. And comedic? I haven't laughed at a sitcom since the 80s.

I know, I'm not answering the question.

For me, it's kind of a chicken and egg kind of thing. Which came first, the pervasive perception of what a family is and the roles within that societal microcosm, which was then mirrored in sitcoms? Or televised perception of family dynamics put up as a model of perfection for us to watch, idolize, and hope to achieve? 

There was a time in both sitcoms and in our society, when men went to work and women spent their days in a dress and nylons, often in the kitchen cooking and baking and doing all things wholesome and domestic.

Triple Onion Roast (crockpot or not) | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Triple Onion Roast (crockpot or not)

Slowly, our view of families broadened, and as we as a society became more open and aware, it was reflected in some shows, snuck in the back door where you had to look for it in others. But it did start to infiltrate.

Men had the overt power, but women had power too, they just had to be cunning about it, it was a more covert, at times passive/aggressive use of power. Men made decisions openly, women sort of had to play them, make it seem as though her decision was his idea. If you look for it, it was reflected in sitcoms. Edith Bunker comes to mind.

Now, I think that our society is so compartmentalized, we are all so entrenched in our tribes and staunch in our beliefs, that we no longer view shows as an idealized view of the family and gender roles.

Our forward movement into freedom of expression and acceptance of familial fluidity has been stopped cold by a trip in Mr. Peabody's WayBack Machine, seized by the republican party. Destination: 1960s. 

Maybe we'll start seeing Leave It to Beaver, Dick Van Dyke, and The Brady Bunch (unless a divorced couple with a blended family is just too avant-garde) revisited. Sorry, The Jeffersons, you're probably out.

An Accidental Sitcom | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics #blogging

Currently, I see a few types of sitcoms in the mainstream:

First: those that try (too hard) to reflect societal trends. These are the shows that try to be current, but by the time they identify the trend, write a script, get the episode made . . . it just comes off as lame, boring, yesterday's news. They are neither reflective nor progressive. They're kind of the white noise of sitcoms.

Second are shows that do try to push the envelope, are written with at least a passing nod to a social conscience. For the most part, if you look into the financing, the producers are successful, independent, and due to their previous successes, have a built in audience. But although these shows make a statement, I don't think they have the power to mold how we view families or roles within them. Just like in politics, those who have an open mind already get it, and those who don't will reject it.

On the flip side are the shows that pander to the opposite audience. Last Man Standing comes to mind. It specifically has a conservative viewpoint, conservative actor portraying the main character, and ended up on a conservative channel. Again, they attract those who concur with the views portrayed, and don't change the minds of those with a more inclusive view of families and gender roles.

But in the end, it's not about reflecting society, molding familial structure, making a statement, or reinforcing audience beliefs. Make no mistake, it's all about the money. 

Ask Fox (supposedly but not really) News, which, if you think about it, could be reclassified as a sitcom. They create their own absurd situations and, if so many people didn't think they're an actual newscast (or maybe televangelism), they have the capacity to be pretty damn funny. 

With their skewed family values and archaic gender roles, the Fox propaganda station could be considered an accidental sitcom, if you will. Or even if you won't. They don't really care. 

I know, I know, tell you what I really think . . .



Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphicsHere are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


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Triple Onion Roast (crockpot or not)

1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can (10.5 oz) French onion condensed soup
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 cup canned beef gravy
1 cup red wine
2 cups frozen chopped onion
8 oz fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 1/2# beef chuck roast
salt, pepper, garlic powder

3 medium sized red potatoes
1/2# baby carrots

Directions (crockpot):
*Lightly grease the crockpot bowl. Whisk together the dry onion soup mix, condensed soup, broth, gravy, red wine, onion, and mushrooms. Turn the crockpot on to low.
*Season the roast on all sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a very hot skillet, sear all sides of the roast and add to the crockpot. 
*Cook for 5 hours, turning the meat now and then.
*Cut each potato into about 6 chunks. Add to the crockpot with the baby carrots. Cook for another hour. Remove the meat, slice, and return to the crockpot for 1/2 hour.
Directions (Dutch oven):
*Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
*Heat the Dutch oven on the stove top until very hot. Season all sides of the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sear all sides of the roast. Remove. 
*Whisk the dry onion soup mix, condensed soup, broth, gravy, 1 cup of water, and red wine into the Dutch oven, scraping the bottom to get up the caramelized bits. Add the onions, mushrooms, and meat.
*Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the roast over, add water if the sauce has started to dry out. Add the potatoes, each cut into about 6 chunks, and the carrots. Cook for another hour.
*Remove and slice the roast. Return to the pan, cook for another 30 minutes.


  1. I love your recipes but i love this post more. Like you, I have not watched current sitcoms in decades. I don't even relate to the "humor". Your chicken/egg discussion is my question, too. And of course, your aside on Faux channel, yes. I am worried about the nation. So worried.

  2. I can't remember the last time I watched a current sitcom. (I'm more inclined to tune in old reruns like Green Acres or Andy Griffith. Current events are stressful, and in my opinion anything that tries to find humor in it tend to fall flat.

    1. Yes, there's certainly nothing I'd want to see less in a sitcom than current events.

  3. You said it very well. No need for my input. The roast however, I think Sunday Dinner. Donna

  4. M*A*S*H may have been the last sitcom (if you could even call it that) I ever watched except maybe a couple of random episodes of Modern Family. I'd rather eat a beef and onion roast.

  5. Too many sitcoms are all comedy and not relatable at all to real life.

    1. Too many sitcoms are not only irrelevant, but not even funny.

  6. The last sit-com I watched was/is Frazier. And there are times when I get super impatient with the decisions made on the screen.
    I used to love them. Sitcoms. My brothers and sisters and I would laugh our foolish heads off. Then quote them to each-other ad-nauseum. But you're right. In trying to gain something, they have lost something more important.

  7. Not many sitcoms based on family life these days, most are workplace situations where whenever there is reference to anybody's family member it seems to be some old tired cliche. Perhaps it is because there are so many kinds of families these days, or maybe because folks would like to just escape for a half hour, but to watch another family laugh their way through their day is just not relatable. Or maybe the writing just sucks.

  8. TV is about the money. If it's popular enough to get the dollars, it stays.

    As for the age-old discussion of does art imitate life or does life imitate art, i'd say it's a spiral, and we can only hope to be able to work to make it an upward spiral.


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