If fictional TV towns were real, we’d all probably move to one in a heartbeat.
For most of us, our hometowns just pale in comparison. Or does yours have a demon-friendly karaoke bar too?
Some TV towns are much more than just a backdrop; they can feel so real that we feel like we’re living there too – we know the best places to eat (Luke’s Diner for coffee, The Pie Hole for pies), are all up in everybody’s business (if you live in Bon Temps, chances are you’re having, going to have or just had sex with a vampire), and know who to avoid (whether it’s a super-villain monkey with an oversized brain or a 13 year old brat ruler of the Seven Kingdoms).
We’re all out of magical red ruby shoes, so here are five fictional towns we can only wish we could visit in reality:
aka ‘Australia for quirky people’, this small Connecticut town that’s home to The Gilmore Girls is stuffed with the most downright kooky unique personalities in the world. And how.
From everyone’s favorite whip-fast, quip-smart Lorelai and Rory Gilmore to job-hopping weirdo Kirk to all-purpose town curmudgeon Taylor Doose, who runs wildly entertaining town meetings: everyone’s nuts, but in a good-hearted way.
You’ll also never be bored with small town life. There’s always plenty of local drama (say if a prominent local couple broke up, you’d have to choose sides and wear either pink or blue ribbons to display your allegiance).
Plus, there’s a town festival for just about anything that involves something ridiculous and humorous (the Festival Of Living Art for instance- which is exactly what it sounds like). Why settle for the rational, right?
The Simpsons’ hometown is the best place to live in that’s been drawn by Koreans. Even though it’s the most famous fictional town on TV, the Simpsons’ homebase’s exact geographical location is still hilariously vague; because Springfield could be anywhere, it’s as if all of America was compressed into a single town or state, but it’s also the only town in America that’ll let you fish with dynamite.
It has everything, including Moe’s Tavern, the Bloodbath and Beyond Gun Shop, Judi Dench’s Fish & Chips, Zip Zap and Za Pizza Arcade “The Kidnapping Was At Our Other Location”, red light districts, impoverished areas, private rich areas, a slew of festivals and parades, an Escalator To Nowhere, a 50 Foot Magnifying Glass and even its own supervillain.
Sure, Springfield has its share of problems – its city officials are corrupt (then again, Springfield’s motto is ‘Corruptus in Extremis’), there’s toxic waste (and the occasional mutant X-fish) in the water, and there’s nothing that the townspeople love to do more than form an angry mob, but… it’s still better than Shelbyville.
With good schools and a university, an airport, hospital, museum, zoo, beautiful scenery, great shopping, and its very own Slayer, Sunnydale seems like a quiet, unassuming suburban town – apart from it being located on top of a Hellmouth (a portal that’s “between this reality and the next” that’s a veritable cornucopia of fiends and demons and monsters), that is.
This southern California town also has 43 churches (it’s the extra evil vibe from the Hellmouth that makes people pray harder) and 23 cemeteries, which are so much in demand, that services are also held at night. This is largely because Sunnydale’s residents die from monster murders, vampire attacks, demons etc. all the time (the population dropped from 38,500 to 32,000 by the end of the series).
But, as long as you ignore these not-infrequent apocalyptic occurrences (as Nelson Muntz once put it, “Some of us prefer illusion to despair”), and with regular therapy, Sunnydale’s an interesting enough place to live in or visit for a while.
You’d be kept on your toes guessing what shape the next supernatural monster-of-the-week is going to be (there’s plenty of variety – one week you could break into song and dance, and the next you could be unable to utter a word!). When it comes down to it, your fate as a Sunnydale resident is really up to you. It’s all fun and games until someone dies of course, but that’s the thrill of life! …isn’t it?
This strange little fictional town in Indiana is home to one of the most dedicated yet dysfunctional town governments, who try their best to make Pawnee a better place to live, even though the town’s loony residents make it impossible to get anything done (gay penguin marriages for instance).
Parks & Recreation’s Pawnee is oddity central – like a mixed bag of candy from Sweetums, it’s a colorful assorted mix of ignorance, gluttony, the crazy and delusional. Everyday life consists of hating the snobby, superior, condescending neighboring town of Eagleton (with its unnaturally clean parks and cupcake factory that makes the air smell like vanilla), holding the title of the fourth most obese city in the U.S, bringing up the most ridiculous ideas (like wanting to bury a deceased cat or Twilight books in the town time capsule) and worshiping the town mascot – a miniature horse named Little Sebastian (who inexplicably has a honorary degree from Notre Dame University – that’s Dr. Li’l Sebastian to you!).
Pawnee also has a long list of ridiculous town slogans (“Welcome German Soldiers” (1939-1945); “Birthplace of Julia Roberts” (1985-1988); and “Home of the World Famous Julia Roberts Lawsuit” (1988-2001), and an ongoing raccoon infestation. Head over to Pawnee if you like a generous dose of weirdness with your (best) diner waffles (in the world).
Also, they don’t cage foreigners nowadays folks, we promise it’s safe.
Leave your serious pants at home. There’s no underwater kingdom that’s as nautically nonsensical as Bikini Bottom, but it’s still better than certain other kingdoms where purple octopus witch women are out to steal your voice by making you sign a magic contract.
Bikini Bottom is home to a mostly fish population, but there’s the occasional squirrel in a bubble-helmet diving suit, yellow super-absorbent sponge, and intellectually -challenged starfish for variety. Sure, you might have annoying neighbors (just ask Squidward) and the end is always nigh because of some good-intentioned mishap of SpongeBob’s.
But whatever the hazards of living there, it remains a great place to visit. Just imagine eating a mouth watering Krabby Patty at The Krusty Krabb and where else could you find a beach underwater?
A small town with big secrets, Eureka’s entire population is made up of brilliant scientists working on top secret deadly projects that happen to occasionally get out of hand – everyone in town sharing each other’s dreams, rogue attack drones and a time-travelling stint.
But apart from that, Eureka seems nice enough.