The Five Most Unrealistic Apartments On TV Or In Movies

Categories: Advice

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One way to get a really nice apartment is to be a fictional character.

They seem to live way better than we do, even when they don't make any more money than we do.

Publicist Ronn Torossian has noticed this amusing disparity, so he writes:

Watching the Season 5 premiere of Mad Men, I felt compelled to write about the five most unrealistic New York City apartments in pop-culture media portrayals:


1) Don Draper's new apartment in the new season of Mad Men

With immaculate fashion style, a new Cadillac, three kids, and an expensive ex-wife, the recently divorced creative director of a recently struggling advertising agency couldn't possibly have such a large, modern large apartment.


2) Carrie Bradshaw's Upper East Side apartment on Sex and the City

One-bedroom walk-up in a gorgeous brownstone with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, walk-in closet, and bedroom -- and it's on a tree-lined block with great views. Seems like a lot for a newspaper columnist who goes out every night, with an expensive shoe (and other) habits.


3) You've Got Mail -- Meg Ryan's character, Kathleen Kelly

In an Upper West Side brownstone, filled with light and with a nice-sized apartment, how could a single woman struggling to keep a small (and inherited) bookstore open afford an apartment like this?


4) Monica and Rachel's Greenwich Village apartment on Friends

Amazing location, huge living room, balcony, great closets -- the two-bedroom apartment isn't believable even with the explanation that it seems to be an illegal sublet. A struggling chef and a waitress couldn't possibly afford such an apartment.


5) Kramer's apartment on Seinfeld

Estranged from his family, this unemployed HS dropout seemingly would have no way to live next door to Seinfeld (although raiding his neighbor's fridge could happen). Perhaps one could make the argument that Seinfeld's apartment was realistic, but Kramer's? No way ...

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34 comments
VonD
VonD

The answers:1) Don is secretly stealing money from his company to finance his lifestyle, and even still, apartments were a LOT cheaper in the late 1960s. A LOT!2) Carrie inherited stock like Mitt Romney, only hers was in Apple, plus all the banks that JP Morgan and Citibank eventually snapped up, as well as Goldman Suchs.3) Meg Ryan inherited her apartment, and had a Trust Fund.4) Monica and Rachel were Trust Fund babies.5) Kramer was on disability.

alexgeana
alexgeana

Please don't burst my bubble on Don Draper's apt. I want to believe. 

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

In "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," Barbra Streisand's flower motif wallpaper ("Hey buds below ...") matches her sheets and the lining of her Arnold Scassi outfits.

exackerly
exackerly

And wasn't that a fire escape in Friends? Even if it's a balcony, it's an awfully tiny one.

Melinda9
Melinda9

The more I think about this, the more irritating it becomes. It's like he's saying "Who in the hell was Don Draper - just some partner in a small ad agency. He should be living in a studio. What were Monica and Rachel? - just some chef and an executive - they should be renting dog crates in an apartment with 10 people living there. And as for Kramer, he didn't even deserve to live in an apartment - maybe some bushes in the park."

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

 Any apartment or home in any Ross Hunter movie.

Whompers
Whompers

He's not only vindictive and creepy, but he sounds illiterate at times. His first item is tres repetitive...repetitive...repetitive.

Reg
Reg

Gawker has written about Ronn Torossian and called him "incompetent" and mean and vindictive. And they also wrote about how he was under investigating for alleged extortion. A real class act (though of course he denies everything).

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Any Woody Allen movie....all the apartments seem to have a 6 room minimum and go on for days.

Chuck
Chuck

How about unemployed Jack on Will & Grace living next door to Attorney Will and Business Owner Grace?

Steinhope
Steinhope

So he's wrong about Mad Men, Friends, and Sex and the city. Otherwise Mr. Torrosian is spot on, lol!

James
James

I always thought that Lois Lane's penthouse in the Superman movie was the most unrealistically lavish apartment for her character, a reporter on the Daily Planet. However, it was sure convenient for Superman to fly onto her terrace.

Supergr8
Supergr8

Ann Marie's apartment in That Girl...

additup
additup

Carrie has explained her apartment on SATC; rent control. 

Josh
Josh

Boring. 

Robert Simonson
Robert Simonson

The writer's totally wrong about Don Draper's apartment. Draper has money to burn. A stock holder, he became a near millionaire when the British ad firm bought Sterling Cooper in season two. Betty's new husband refused Draper's money on principle. And he has sold two houses in the last year. Plus, as has been pointed out often, he doesn't care about money and rarely spends it. So he's saved up a haul. (remember how he ponied up Pete's share of money to shore up the business last year like it was nothing. That was $50,000!) He could absolutely afford that new apartment. 

Rogie
Rogie

Even more unrealistic are their characters. Most of them are courteous, many are laid-back and/or considerate, and some aren't even bright. The only actual people in the city who behave that way are the fuckin tourists.

Melinda9
Melinda9

Didn't they explain Monica's apartment by saying that it was originally her grandmother's? Not saying it was a good explanation.I think Don Draper could've afforded that apartment - I'm sure as a partner he was paying himself a great salary. He was off the hook for alimony as soon as Betty married H Francis, so would only have child support which probably wasn't that much. Pete has a house in Greenwich (CT) or thereabouts. It was the 60s - you didn't have to spend the bulk of your salary on housing.

anonTWO
anonTWO

I think those TV shows Friends and SATC are responsible for the influx or soro gals and frat boys types in NYC.Disgusting.

CMG
CMG

Maybe Don is still collecting the real Don Draper's veterans benefits along with money Anna left to him.  

KB
KB

I could buy that Meg Ryan could be living off of a trust.

Cellsumfrost
Cellsumfrost

Who cares about the apt? I like his undies!

Musto
Musto

Should be Ronn Torossian, with two n's.

Parcheesy
Parcheesy

Kramer probably lucked into some kind of rent controlled situation just as a fluke, but yeah, Monica could never afford a nice apartment like that. 

Indri
Indri

I always thought the Friends apartment was ridiculous!! Glad somebody else noticed it.

Whompers
Whompers

I know. Torossian is an idiot. It's been documented in several places.

Reg
Reg

"under investigation"

Guest
Guest

You're forgetting that the characters in Woody's movies are almost always wealthy.  Their apartments make perfect sense.

Tybalt
Tybalt

I know. Woody is still stuck in the '70s large Upper West Side apartments. Thank God he's doing films in european cities now so he can misrepresent THEIR real estate.

Tybalt
Tybalt

And he left out Smash, which is the most absurd of all. Still mad about that old Meg Ryan movie, I guess.

exackerly
exackerly

In one episode Jerry says Kramer "fell ass backwards into money" but they never explain what they meant by that.

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