A shitty house or apartment on TV is very, very different from a shitty house or apartment in real life. We all just sort of accept this, ignore that even our most famous middle-class cartoon families live in fantasy worlds, and decide not to believe that any movie or TV depiction of the real estate market is remotely connected to our actual lives.
Until, that is, someone like realtor and Million Dollar Listing New York star Ryan Serhant comes along to remind us of what a bunch of pop culture living arrangements would look like in reality.
Serhant gets into a bunch of different examples, letting us know which ones are true to life and which are unrealistic. We learn that Spider-Man actually can get evicted by his landlord frighteningly easily for being chronically late on rent in the Sam Raimi movies and that, true to the first season of American Horror Story, a California realtor would have to tell buyers that lots of people have been murdered in a ghost house.
When it comes to sitcom apartments, things start out fairly realistic—having an extra roommate living in The New Girl’s (enormous) rental would be a big issue for a landlord concerned with occupancy regulations. But then they get a bit less grounded when Serhant turns to Friends and a character like Monica living in a giant West Village apartment that he estimates would go for between $7,000- 9,000/month on a chef’s wages. In the lucky event that it’s a rent-controlled place, it makes sense, though that still makes Monica an exception.
In short, the shows and movie Serhant picks are fairly true to life, just so long as you’re willing to chalk up the size, location, and general structural integrity of a lot of pop culture dwellings to good fortune—which, if you’re more familiar with rentals like Charlie and Frank’s apartment in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, still seems pretty absurd.
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