6 Ways TV Homes Are Different Than Our Own

6 Ways TV Homes Are Different Than Our Own

Our homes, our refuge against the world, the place we all feel comfortable and relaxed, the familiar – except on TV.

As I watch my favorite TV programs, I notice some of the details. And, one thing I notice is how far from my version of reality the homes of TV families and other characters are. Don’t get me wrong, I want to live in TV homes. They are clean, neat, and well ordered, except with a few exceptions.

1) Piles

As anyone with kids knows, schools generate volumes of papers. Notices, assignments, report cards and interims, various other communications from teachers, administrators, and even the government all come home via our children’s backpacks – at least until they reach high school, where you never get another paper ever again, but I won’t go there this time around.

And yet, when I watch programs such as Modern Family, which I adore, I can’t help but wonder, “Where are the piles?” These piles usually end up on the counter in the kitchen, but can appear anywhere depending on the family. Claire and Phil have three kids, so that would be three piles, except that Haley and Alex are in high school, so never mind for Haley bringing anything home, but Alex likely does!

Now, let me give you an example of someone who does piles correctly – Bobbie Singer on Supernatural! His home looks like a place where real people live (although it was burned to the ground recently). He has stacks of open books all over the place; in fact, I don’t think there are any horizontal surfaces that are not piled with something!

2) Hallways


Recently I was watching the season 3 Psych episode “Christmas Joy” and noticed something very peculiar. From the outside, the home of Gus’ parents seems to be your standard two story frame house. And, I happen to live in a two story frame house. However, one of the scenes involved the characters sneaking around between the various upstairs rooms in an attempt to hook up. What struck me about the hallway was how awesomely wide it was! I mean, a marching band could have paraded through, at least 4 or 5 abreast, and not be squeezed. My upstairs hallway, on the other hand, is barely wide enough for two people to pass, if we turn a little sideways.

3) Kitchens

TV kitchens are nothing like what I see in my home and the homes of my friends. The counter always has a fruit bowl, full of fruit. In fact, if I may digress a moment, this is kind of like the fact that every time an actor is carrying a grocery bag, it always has a loaf of fresh bread and some kind of leafy green, or carrot greens, sticking out of the top of the bag.

How about your refrigerator? Do you have kids? Is it covered in kid artwork or papers or pictures? See them on TV? Rarely. And, they are all shiny and new – except for Michael Westen on Burn Notice, who still has the same old rusty refrigerator from when he moved it. I guess it still works fine to keep his yogurt cold, but now that Fi has moved in, you would think they could afford an upgrade!

Then there are the hanging pots and pans. Maybe I just do not frequent the homes of gourmet chefs, but I know no one that has their pots and pans hanging, sometimes from a decorative rack centered over the kitchen island.

4) Clutter from children

Clutter from children
Children, bless them, are clutter creators. If you have kids, you know what I mean. There usually are toys everywhere, and other flotsam and jetsam left in their wake as they move through the house.

Recently, on NCIS: Los Angeles, there was an episode where Kensi went into the bedroom of a teenage boy to search for evidence. I have a son, and while they made sure the bed was not made, a typical teenage boy behavior, the floor was spotless! No clothes or magazines or anything else on the floor. Maybe the housekeeper had just been there.

5) Bed, Bath and Space

Bed, Bath and Space
Seriously, has anyone ever been in a bathroom with a freestanding tub?

No? Well, those aliens watching our electronic transmissions all these years must think it is the most common way we bathe. Or, perhaps the glass enclosed shower cube, like we saw on a recent Modern Family. Now, I will grant you that Jay is wealthy, so maybe I just don’t have friends of such means.

And, the bathrooms are huge. The home I grew up in had a small bathroom that would have fit in that shower stall (almost, I do exaggerate, but not by much!).

I guess so that the bedrooms do not get jealous, they are also HUGE!

Now, in your typical house, if there is a master bedroom, it will be larger than the rest of the bedrooms. But I am talking about the other bedrooms. There is typically enough room for two large beds and plenty of room to walk around them in these other-than-the-master-bedroom.

6) Special decorations

Are you a criminal?

If you are, I would know immediately once I was in your home or apartment, because you decorate your wall with post it notes, pictures and all kinds of things related to your diabolical plans. In a recent Fringe episode, they visited the house of a criminal and his wall was full of pictures. In NCIS, every terrorist they end up investigating (or so it seems) has such a wall. In fact, if you are a fan of police procedurals, you probably can give me lots more examples!


So, there are 6 things I have learned from TV homes. As I said at the beginning, I want to live in one – don’t you? What have you noticed about TV homes? Please let me know in the comments below!