There is much to be said about discrimination and underrepresentation on TV and in film. Not only are people of different orientation, ages, races, religions, and body types routinely excluded from roles on shows and movies, but there's another major category that Hollywood is overlooking: tiny apartment dwellers.
So many shows and movies depict their characters living in huuuge apartments and houses. I know I've complained about it before -- when Carrie and Mr. Big bought their apartment together, it looked like freakin' Versailles. And Monica and Rachel's place on Friends? Yeah, I'm so sure a chef and a waitress were able to afford that palatial home. The dorms on Buffy the Vampire Slayer were redonkulous (I could have fit FOUR of my dorm in theirs!). Even the poorest characters have ginormous living spaces. People: the show's title is "Two Broke Girls." I've never watched the show, but after seeing pictures of their place, I think they must have serious blackmail material on their landlord if they're living in a giant, "quirky" loft like that.
So, I wracked my brain trying to think of actual small apartments as seen on the screen. It was surprisingly hard! Not only were there very few to choose from, but apartments that I knew would fit had no images to be found. Dirty Harry Callaghan in Dirty Harry lived in a small, one-room apartment in 1970s San Francisco (I wonder how much rent was back then), and at the end of the movie Election, Matthew Broderick moves into a crazy-tiny "efficiency" apartment after his life is ruined by Tracy Flick. Yet alas, no pictures of those sets were to be had.
If you can think of any more small apartments, by all means, let me know! Email me or leave a comment, and together we'll make sure we're represented properly in the media!
Image from the Community Wiki.
I looove the show Community! I'm so happy it's back -- six seasons and a movie, baby! On the show, sweet young Annie lives in a studio apartment in a terrifying neighborhood. Everyone tries to convince her to move someplace safer, but she cherishes her independence. Eventually, she does move in with her friends Troy and Abed -- and who could blame her? They have a Dreamatorium.
Images from the Dexter Wiki and Design on Fire.
Secret serial killer Dexter Morgan lives and hunts in Miami. His place is still bigger than any I've ever lived in, but for TV his one-bedroom is rather small. It's incredibly neat and rather stylish -- I love the built-in bookcase -- but behind the air conditioner grill is a secret…
Images from Free Republic and Umlud.
The Fifth Element is another movie I've referenced here on TAA before. Korben Dallas's place is a perfect example of an efficient, transforming apartment, which fits with director Luc Besson's vision of the overcrowded metropolis that is New York in the 23rd century. The shower is on top of the fridge, which raises and lowers as needed, and the bed pulls out from a cabinet. Best of all is the "auto-wash": the shower cleans itself and the bed makes itself. An awesome time-saver… unless you're trying to hide from Zorg or a bunch of Mangalores.
Keep reading for Sex and the City, Seinfeld, True Blood, Wonderfalls, Firefly, Mad Men, and Futurama…
Images from Hooked on Houses and HBO.
Carrie Bradshaw's studio apartment in Sex and the City is probably the best-known studio apartment on TV. On the TV series and in the early part of the first movie, Carrie's apartment looks as it does above. Especially considering that she once said that the place was rent-controlled, it's a pretty realistic-looking home. Carrie, who works as a writer (and moonlights as a fashionista) creates space for the two most important things in her life: her reading/writing and her clothes. Her walk-through closet holds her enviable wardrobe, and a giant bookshelf takes up a whole wall. Other than those major areas, her apartment still conveniently contains everything else in neat, distinct zones. Her living room is centered around a coffee table (perfect for sitting around and gossiping with her ladies), her desk is set apart and looks out the window, and her bed is the farthest back, framed by a nightstand and chair-turned-nightstand.
Image from Hooked on Houses.
Although Carrie's apartment is perfectly charming in its first incarnation, I am in LOVE with her post-jiltedness makeover. This time the look throughout the apartment is more consistent and sophisticated. The blue walls accented by white and dark purple are gorgeous, and everything generally feels cleaner and less cluttered. This is basically my dream apartment.
Image from Apartment Therapy.
I've been told that for New York City, Jerry Seinfeld's apartment is huge. Be that as it may, a this one-bed, one-bath is still pretty small. At least he's an organized guy -- even his cereal is kept in alphabetical order.
Images from SkarsgardFans, True Blood Wiki, and ForeverAFangirl.
Most characters on True Blood live in sprawling Southern mansions. However, when Hoyt and Jessikuh -- I mean, Jessica decide to move in together, they end up in a true starter home: a small, one bedroom cottage that's a serious fixer-upper. I mean, it clearly needs a fresh coat of paint, some new curtains, and someone to exorcise the resident ghost and its creepy baby doll.
Image from KellyRelish.
While I never watched Wonderfalls, it was suggested to me for this post because the main character, Jaye, lives in an Airstream trailer. This quirky show -- I mean, the gal talks to tourist tchotchkes -- is reflected in her eclectic but warm home.
Images from Stellar Four and Rocco Passionino's portfolio.
Living in space presents a whole new set of difficulties. The crew of Serenity on the show Firefly all have their respective, cramped bunks, but most impressive is Inara's shuttle. Inara isn't technically part of the crew; she rents a small shuttle from Captain Reynolds, where she lives and plies her trade as a Companion, entertaining men and women who are willing to pay. The show depicts a future that's part Wild West, part Far East, and her living quarters reflect that with its shiny silks and rich red hues.
Images from CasaSugar and Design Public.
Mad Men's another show that's about to come back after a too-long hiatus! I can't wait to see how Don and the rest of the Sterling Cooper Draper Price gang are getting along. When we last left Don, he and Betty had divorced and he had moved out of their idyllic suburban home and into a small bachelor pad in NYC near Waverly and 6th. His dark, depressing home reflects his mindset and is a stark contrast to both his former home as well as to his bright, modern office.
Image from The Infosphere.
But none -- and I mean none can touch the tininess that is Apartment 00100100 in the Robot Arms Apartments. It's Bender's two-cubic-meter home in the show Futurama. Of course, he's a robot, so he doesn't need a lot of space -- a fact he fails to mention to his friend Fry when Fry was looking for a place to stay. Thankfully, there's a closet in the back of Bender's quarters -- a closet that's the size of a comfortable, human-sized apartment.