How the heck do those TV show characters afford big nice houses?

I just started watching Modern Family. It's AWESOME but I can't figure how does this one extended family can afford not 1, not 2, but 3 nice large houses in CALIFORNIA. I need to breath into a paper bag whenever I look at the home prices! Those houses can't be under $800K. Hell, even in fucking Wyoming you need mortgage! I want to know their credit history and occupations!

I know that the dad makes a lot of money, but is he enough of a billionaire to buy himself, his daughter and his son expensive houses? Some American parents won't even pay for their kid's college education saying they should make the money themselves!

There are 6 adults and one teenager who can legally work in the show and the blonde woman is a stay-at-home mom! STAY-AT-HOME MOM! How can you afford not to work? *hyperventilates*


Most Helpful Guy

  • I already asked myself this question back in the 90s when I watched Kevin Home Alone. I mean, I get that the dad might be some successful stock broker or something (though he doesn't exactly look like it) but let's face it: this couple has a HUGE house with 4 floors (including the basement), about 9 children and almost every child has its own room. Plus the parents' bedroom and bathrooms... it just doesn't quite add up. Especially if we consider that with so many kids, one of the parents has to stay home and look after them, which means there is only one breadwinner in the family.

    There are also sitcoms form the 80s and 90s where you scratch your head and wonder "how can they possibly afford that?" So yeah... I think the only good answer to this question is: it's TV. Part of the reason these shows (or movies) are so popular among millions of people is because the viewers strongly identify with the characters. We want to be LIKE them. While there are also other reasons for this, one reason is certainly the financial one. We admire these characters for their financial status and that awakens our phantasy and our dreams, keeping us hooked to the show.
    If you want to watch an economically realistic show, try Breaking Bad. It's also realistic in almost all other aspects, which is why I love it.

    • Isn't it about drugs or something? Might be boring for me.

    • Show All
    • It can be funny but yes, the general tone is rather serious. I don't know... maybe you're also too young for it (not in the sense of it having adult content but in the sense of interest). Most people I know who absolutely love it - including myself - are over 20. Maybe in a few years you will like it too ;-). I like serious shows and dramas because they are usually more realistic... which brings me back to your original question! Most people don't like realistic shows or movies because they can be emotionally difficult to bear at times. It reminds them too much of the actual reality they live in. Most people want to be "kidnapped" and taken to a dream land where things are easy and funny. That's why comedies and phantasy are both immensely popular genres. Personally, I like dramas. I like shows or movies depicting reality and making me thoughtful or scared or sad ;-).

    • Actually I was going to say the people who liked it were mostly older and male, but I decided not to. I'll give it a try!

Most Helpful Girl

  • Because it's a TV show. And also because the old guy (the grandpa, who's married to the girl played by Sofia Vergara) is apparently super rich. If I remember correctly he helped buy either his daughter's or his son's (or both of their) houses.


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 2

  • It's television, it's not real (well, not real in today's economy).

    • It bothers me sooo much. If it was real life the gay guys couldn't get the baby bc they're extremely poor and everyone would be paying crazy debts and stripping to pay debt for the rest of their lives

    • Yup pretty much. There are shows like Shameless that are a lot more realistic economically, it all depends on how the show is constructed to be!

  • Yah, as a Californian here, it does give you pause, doesn't it? I live in the "cheaper" part of this state and nice homes are still a pretty penny...

    Still, the premise of the show is:

    1. One divorced older family patriarch, with a trophy immigrant younger wife, stepson and new baby--playing to age and cultural/ethnic difference humor
    2. One traditional sitcom family started by daughter of patriarch, married mom and dad, plus 3 kids--playing to traditional family sitcom humor.
    3. One gay son of patriarch and his partner, plus adopted foreign baby--playing to gay humor.

    The humor is in the interaction between these pairings and their offspring.

    • And with that large an ensemble cast and that many different veins of humor to mine, when one vein of sitcom humor is played out, the writers can always tap another one for a while.

What Girls Said 2

  • It's a tv-show, duh! Lmao

    • It's sooo annoying

    • I agree with you on that. They need to set those series in a more realistic way. Like "The Big Bang Theory". Sure, most of it is probably junk in some way, but the way they live is very realistic.

  • they are born into rich families.