Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Which is more unobtainable: Living in these fictional TV towns, or a $300K "starter" home?

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Photo: ABC / Disney

With the recent, grim realization that The Simpsons’ comfortable, supposedly middle class suburban lifestyle is now ostensibly a pipe dream for millions of Americans, perhaps it’s time to reposition our goalposts based on different fictionalized locales. We’re still living in the the Era of Peak TV, aren’t we? There’s plenty of options to choose from right now. At least that’s how Architectural Digest is seeing things, based on a recent article estimating the living costs of some of television’s most popular towns and homes.

So, let’s see here...This Is Us looks pretty idyllic (family estrangement, mental health issues, COVID woes, and childhood traumas aside). How much would a spot like the Pearsons’ cost us these days? Per AD, “a home in series creator Dan Fogelman’s beloved Pittsburgh averages around $200,195, according to Zillow,” which we assume could be affordable to people with grown-up career jobs. Yet, given the nature of Hollywood, that’s not actually where This Is Us is filmed. The Pearsons’ real home is located in Eagle Rock, California (average price: $1.3 million). Randall’s fictional place in Alpine, New Jersey “would cost around $2.4 million,” whereas homes like the one used for exterior shots in Altadena, California, “average around $1 million.”

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Oh. Okay.

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Photo: ABC/Disney

Moving on: How about black-ish? The Johnsons’ house seems chic yet affordable! “Though it’s never specified which affluent Los Angeles suburb the Johnsons call home, the real-life family pad is located in Sherman Oaks, where single-family homes average around $1.53 million.” Jesus Christ.

Alright, maybe living in a large metropolitan area is the problem here. What about somewhere out in the sticks, like the Byrde clan’s Missouri locale in Ozark? After all, Architectural Digest refers to the area as “affordable” in their article. “For anyone looking to move to the area for undisclosed reasons, homes are available for an average of $242,360...Those looking to live near the actual filming locations in Flowery Branch, Georgia, however, will have to shell out slightly more...closer to $299,000.”

...Anyone know how much a model home in Sudden Valley is going for these days?

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).