August 2015 Bar Bulletin
"Picket Fences": Can We Have Good Neighbors Like the Ones on TV?
By Robert WM Zierman
"It's hard to imagine getting that close to the people living adjacent to you, but in TV it's almost strange if you don't know your neighbors on a personal level."1 Why is this statement so true?
Well, neighbors these days seem more likely to quibble about noise, encroaching trees, view obstructions, property lines and easements than to invite each other over for a barbecue. This makes it rather unusual for most people to be willing to have their neighbors - or any friend for that matter - just pop in unannounced and be able to engage in whatever trivial matter just happens to be on the mind of the interloping neighbor.
While most people just want their privacy, in television this social boundary is often suspended. Suspended too is the reality - at least for sitcoms - that people might actually not be at home when the neighbor comes knocking (or not) on their door. Most of the shows in the below list have a knock (or not) and walk-on-in policy with respect to their closest neighbors and friends.