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Greenlee Gazette is on hiatus until the first week of February. New stories may appear, but I'll be mostly offline. Please come back and see me after I make the transition!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Frivolity Break: Awesome Floorplans of Your Favorite Shows

Bewitched floorplan from
Harpie's Bizarre, impossible
because some episodes show the
sink looking out over a yard.
Thanks to Kenneth in the (212), who posted a piece on a fantastic web site. Or rather, one that hits my pop culture sweet spot, dead center. Since I was a kid, I've pondered stage sets, floorplans and facades of television shows. Is that weird? Maybe it is, but the producers feature establishing shots of their characters' homes for a reason, right? They want you to get a feel for where these people live.

As long ago as the early 70s, I wondered why the house shown at the beginning of All in the Family didn't match the interior floor plan of the house. On the other hand, I also noticed the very well-done floor plan of the the house on Bewitched, and though it may not work 100% on paper, it's close enough to suspend reality. As the years rolled on, this little quirk of mine never went away. The establishing shot of the house on Grace Under Fire seemed preposterously small for the interior. The exterior of the Conner family house on Roseanne was impossible given the living room set. On Seinfeld, the refrigerator would have had to extend into the hallway. And how could The Golden Girls have a garage that shared a space with their bedrooms (not to mention the very short hallway that lead to them).
Sort of an unlikely apartment in real life.
Image from BlogHer

Some of it you have to willfully ignore, due to the necessity of laying out a stage. Real houses don't flare out like a ball diamond, but on a three-camera sitcom, they have to. Real apartments and homes aren't typically shaped like a gerrymandered Congressional district either, but that is another conceit of set design. And since most sets don't have a fourth wall, there always seems to be an infinite space in front of "the couch" area, where most of us would have a TV. And what about behind the couch, where even in the projects of Good Times, there's plenty of space to walk behind, and often even an unused sitting room (think One Day at a Time, All in the Family).

One of the many terrific renderings found at HiConsumption
Obviously, this bugs other people too, because several different creative people have tried their hand at creating sets that work. . .or almost work. . .for some of the most famous shows in TV Land. As you can see if you check out the plan for Seinfeld, there isn't only one way to imagine how a floorplan might exist in reality. And sometimes, you just have to pretend it works. Otherwise, you're forced to ponder why the apartment building on The Big Bang Theory seems to have just two mismatched apartments on each floor, with Penny's side implausibly suspended over the entryway.

You can find these renderings all over the internet, but the link below is a treasure trove of high quality imaginings. Check it out.

Source: HiConsumption, via Kenneth in the (212)

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