TV shows and movies are often accused of making life appear more glamorous than it actually is, and perhaps that allegation is truest when considering showbiz real estate. Apartments are particularly unrealistic because characters who rent are usually middle-class urbanites living in pads large enough to warrant a five-figure rent bill. Come on now, there's no way the perennially unemployed Monica Gellar could afford that enormous West Village apartment she supposedly rents on the NBC sitcom Friends.
Anyway, what about the real-life rental apartments made famous on-screen? Let's start with an apartment that's actually not totally unbelievable: in NBC's 30 Rock, Liz Lemon, a repressed (but Emmy-winning) TV writer, lives in an apartment on 160 Riverside Drive in NYC's Upper West Side. While a recent listing indicates that a two-bedroom at that address is worth about $2.8M, it's not completely impossible—though it's still pretty unlikely—that a successful NBC writer can shell out close to 10K a month for a NYC apartment. After all, comedian Tina Fey, who created the show and plays Lemon, until recently lived about 12 blocks away, and she makes tons more cash a year than Lemon ever will.
? Just across the street (quite literally) from Lemon's Manhattan pad is the apartment owned by Will Truman of NBC's Will and Grace. The lawyer supposedly lives at 155 Riverside Drive.
? In the 2001 film Bridget Jones's Diary, Jones lives in a plush little slice of London right above The Globe pub on Bedale Street. It's a locale that's way too nice for a woman who struggles with employment throughout the movie, but, well, so it goes.
? In the 1984 hit Ghostbusters, Dana Barrett (played by Sigourney Weaver) rents an apartment at 55 Central Park West. In the real world, the complex is known as the Ghostbusters Building.
? Everybody knows that the real star of Princess Diaries was the circa-1911 Mission Revival-style converted firehouse Mia Thermopolis and her artist mother call home. The San Francisco firehouse on Brazil Avenue was sold at auction in 1976 and remains a private residence. It's more than likely worth a lot more than what most artists can afford, but a sweet rental like this is just one of the perks of being the ex-wife of the Prince of Genovia.
? The townhouse at 64 Perry Street in NYC's West Village is home to Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw. In real life, the home's owner decided earlier this year to capitalize on the stardom of the home's façade and sell the home for $9.85M, which, well, is a touch out of the price range of a columnist with a insatiable desire for designer shoes.
? The flat at 221B Baker Street in London, which Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson share in the BBC's Sherlock, is actually on North Gower Street. The duo can afford the place because
housekeeper landlady Mrs. Hudson lets it to them at a discount. By the way, the real 221B Baker Street is a Sherlock Holmes museum.
? In Seinfeld, Jerry lives on 81st St in NYC's Upper West Side. (Real-life Jerry also loved the UWS; he lived there for years.) The lovely brownstone at fictional Jerry's supposed address (left) actually looks nothing like Los Angeles apartment complex used as the facade in the show (right).
· All Renters Week 2012 posts [Curbed National]