When you think about movies or television shows throughout the years, you will notice that there are not many taking a deep look at the human condition as it relates to kitchen renovation projects. But, such projects really do scream “comedy" considering the sharp tools, falling off ladders, regular and expected destruction and the potential for serious accidents. Although kitchen renovation projects can make the brave initiator do a lot of soul searching, there is probably not going to be a Hollywood movie called The Zen of Kitchen Improvements anytime soon, except possibly in the format of a spoof or comedy.
During the eras of World War II and even the Depression, individuals needed some comedy relief. They needed a break from the hardships of reality which they found at the movie theatre. The Three Stooges, for instance, made a mess of everything they came in contact with it seemed, including kitchen renovation projects. In the movies, various things needed fixed or something needed restored to order, and the most incompetent persons were given the job. Movie goers could enjoy a much needed therapy for a small price. Laughter is often said to the best medicine, and by laughing at the comedies at the theatre, they were laughing at the hard times found in their reality.
The popular television show, Home Improvement, is one of the more recent comedic looks at remodeling projects based upon the stand-up comedy of the show's star, Tim Allen. In the series, he worked on a national television show to teach others how to do various home remodeling projects, but he always made a mess of the project in the end. Interestingly, this paralleled to his relationships with his wife, neighbors and children which, fortunately, he was better at. Viewers connected to his character just as they did with the Three Stooges.
I remember when our home went through a period of construction workers in 1987 which, unfortunately, included a not-so-great kitchen remodeling project that had to be fixed multiple times. When the workers left for the last time, we all celebrated by renting The Money Pit starting Tom Hanks which made a comedy out of the very situation we had gone through. A delightful, young couple purchases their dream home, but the house began to fall apart as soon as they signed the papers. We all found the movie to be quite funny, particularly in light of our recent experience. It was just a little too “close to home" which was quite an ordeal, but fortunately, the movie allowed us to escape from that reality and enjoy the much needed therapy of laughter.
As you see, Hollywood's perspective on kitchen remodeling projects has generally been in the realm of comedy and will likely stay there for sometime. But, it cannot be denied that home remodeling really does have many of the elements of the traditional comedy. What an odd yet effective way to handle the stress of renovations!
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