If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that what you see on TV is never a reflection of real life. Duh. Reality shows aren’t and scripted TV shows sure as hell aren’t. I’m not a fan of reality TV (housewives of what? don’t know, don’t care) but I watch a TON of scripted television. And they’re getting real life really damn wrong.
These are the lies in our living rooms – 7 gross inaccuracies on TV today.
1. The size of apartments in major metropolitan areas.
Apartments in cities are tiny. I remember the first time I walked in to a friends Manhattan apartment being blown away at how itty bitty it was and how it looked nothing like what I’d envisioned. Instead, it was a studio apartment that had been converted to a three bedroom. And each roommate paid more than N and I pay for our entire apartment. Woof.
I could park three of my apartments in the loft on New Girl, which is allegedly in L.A. And somehow their sprawling pad is occupied by a teacher, a bartender, a future yet currently unemployed cop (what is Winston up to these days?), and a “coach”. Mmmhmm. Sure. Which brings me to my next one…
2. The cost of living in said areas.
Okay Mindy Lahiri, you’re an OBGYN so I’ll believe that you have a rad Manhattan apartment. But I do not believe for one second that a chef and a waitress (Monica Gellar and Rachel Green, respectively) had the sprawling pad they had in the Village. Sure it was “rent controlled” and “a friggen steal” but I’m not buying it for one second. And what about Carrie Bradshaw? She’s a newspaper columnist with a serious shoe addiction. In real life she’d be holed up in a studio apartment with three other girls wearing Steve Madden’s at best.
3. Ease with which witty banter takes place.
Have you been to dinner with a group of friends recently? Next time you’re out at a restaurant, quietly observe the larger groups. The witty banter can’t happen because most of them will be checking their phones every three minutes. It’s sad that we’re too busy tweeting about being with our friends to enjoy actually being with our friends. #millenialproblems
4. What women look like when they’re just hanging out.
There is a disgusting lack of yoga pants in prime time. Real life women wear yoga pants 837% more than is ever shown on television. Just sayin’. I’m wearing them now, in case you were wondering (you weren’t).
5. How often real life friends actually see each other.
It’s 11am on a Tuesday and you’re hanging out at a coffee shop? Lies. Seeing all of my friends together would involve a plane flight, intense planning, and an act of God. Even N, whose friends all live in a two-hour radius, only sees everyone together on New Years and the 4th of July. Oh how I wish this weren’t just a TV thing.
6. Family business.
TV shows are either completely about families (i.e Modern Family or Parenthood *sob* I could go on and on about how much I love Parenthood) or they mostly ignore family. Most TV characters mention their families way less than I think most people do in real life. I will say that Girls does a great job of showing family involvement in the self-obsessed twenty-somethings lives. Leave it to Lena Dunham to nail it. New Girl gets an honorable mention for bringing Jess and Nick’s parents into the fold.
7. Every characters wardrobe ever.
Who knew that it would take so many designer clothes to make TV characters look regular? Jessica Day sure wears a lot of Kate Spade for a teacher. Olivia Pope’s outerwear collection alone cost more than my college degree. And let’s not even start on how much Free People and Marc Jacobs the Pretty Little Liars are decked out in. Evidently it costs a lot to look like a typical American teenager. I’d like there to be a TV show where they only dress the characters in clothes from Target. That is real life. That is my life.
Sometimes I forget how unrealistic what we see on TV can be. And this isn’t even getting in to the serious stuff like the ridiculous under-representation of Latino characters in primetime, the sexualization of everything, and of course the fact that people like me watch way more than the recommended number of hours per day. I’m pretty sure the recommended is zero? Who cares, I love TV.