Friday, January 20, 2006

Could Rachel and Monica Really Have Rented That Apartment?


Something I've thought a lot about since Lexia moved to New York is how completely un-real the lives of TV and movie characters are. Lexi and her two roommates pay something like $1,700 a month for a very small 2-bedroom apartment. The bathroom doesn't have a sink, and there is only one closet in the whole place. Oh, they live on the 6th floor of a building with no elevator. It's super hot in the summer, too. All of this for 1,700 dollars?!? I think it's even up to $1,850. Actually, Lexi and her roommates have a pretty good deal, especially for the East Village.

Most apartments are teeny-tiny in NYC, especially if you're young and single, like all the characters on "Friends," "Sex and the City," "Felicity," and all of those other billions of shows that take place in New York. There's a line in "Felicity" about why her apartment is so big: "Oh, it's rent-stabilized." Rent-stabilized, my eye! It DOES happen, but it's not likely for up-and-coming hotshots, and you WON'T see those young people wear hip, new clothes or sit on cool furniture.

I think "Seinfeld" probably did the best job of highlighting New York City life. Jerry had a relatively small (for TV, anyway) apartment, but HE WAS IN HIS MID-30's! And he played a comedian, a minor celebrity! None of the cast members had over-the-top clothes. We always saw them on the subway. True, they did take cabs all over the place, too, but THEY WERE IN THEIR 30's!

Rachel and Monica's apartment? Several thousand dollars, at the VERY least. Even Joey and Chandler's apartment would be super expensive. Felicity's shared apartment? I can't even guess. Oh, the reality Lexi and I faced when we checked out her apartment for the first time. Do you remember that, Lex? It was Ca-razy.

I saw that somebody wrote about this very thing on MSN. The article, "Are TV Characters' Salaries Realistic?", makes NYC lifestyles of the rich- and famous-looking all too clear. Although, I wish the writer had gone into the cost of living for each TV character. Still, you can see how ridiculous TV can be.

Thing I'm thankful for: A place to live.

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