TV writers playing with floor plans for fictional residences, The Simpsons edition

The depictions of residences on TV do not always line up with reality (examples here and here). Here is another example: the writers of The Simpsons played around with some inconsistencies in the home.

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

Weinstein engaged with Twitter users after posting the photo, responding to comments about the rarely seen “rumpus room” on the main floor’s northeast corner, the “mystery door” in the entryway, and other inquiries…

“Simpsons” fans may notice the layout doesn’t include the basement — a frequent location for various Simpson shenanigans. Twitter users chimed in, noting the different spots the show has placed the basement staircase.

Here is my interpretation of this “flexible” floor plan. On one hand, television shows need a predictable set of spaces. The audience needs to be able to recognize quickly where a scene is taking place. The behavior of the characters connects to where they are. In many shows, a residence, whether a single-family home or an apartment, is one of the most important settings as this is where the characters eat, sleep, and interact.

On the other hand, a rigid floor plan limits what can be done. Most homes and apartments would make bad television sets due to walls and angles not conducive to filming and/or particular activities. Parts of the home of the Simpsons family are fixed and predictable: the TV is in the same place, the kitchen looks the same, the stairs go upstairs from the front door, etc. But, other portions allow for some creativity. A mystery room? A basement that can turn into all sorts of things (I am recalling what happened there in the episode “Homer vs. the Eightenth Amendment”). An animated show does not suffer from the same camera issues but it too could benefit from slight changes to the floor plan that enable all sorts of plot lines.

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