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TV Sets: Fantasy Blueprints of Classic TV Homes Hardcover – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579121071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579121075
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This book of architectural blueprints is a loving, if obsessive, tribute to the minutiae of televised domestic life. Author Mark Bennett's excrutiatingly detailed plans span 25 years of television history, from Tiger's doghouse on The Brady Bunch to The Addams Family's entire manor, including Lurch's harpsichord, Gomez's train set, and Uncle Fester's laboratory. Also included are Laverne and Shirley's bachelorette pad, The Jetson's space unit, and Archie and Edith Bunker's Queens row house. Incredibly, all the plans are drawn to be architecturally feasible; that is, one could actually build from them. To accomplish this feat, the author often had to imagine rooms and areas not shown on the television programs, but only referred to, like Ward Cleaver's den or Ralph and Alice Kramden's bedroom. Included are detailed renderings not only of the characters' homes, but their entire towns, such as the whole of Mayberry and a complete layout of Gilligan's Island. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

You can almost see the milk and cookies waiting on the kitchen counter for Wally and the Beav. Pages later, in Brooklyn, there's Ralph Kramden's lunch pail on the sideboard, just beside the door to a bedroom we'll never see. Here, in blue on blue, are architectural drawings of the ephemera of our childhoods--the sets of favorite old television shows. -- The New York Times Book Review, Patricia T. O'Conner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Thank you, Mark Bennett!
An Honest Reviewer
Everyone in the car had a good time reviewing the book during our travels.
PB Oakes
It brought me back to my childhood and the TV shows I used to watch !
Gregusjay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Scuba Steve on July 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome! It isn't perfect, but who cares? What a blast from a carefree past. Personally, I think that the guy did an amazing job considering that the sets changed over the years and that he did many of the blueprints years ago...without the aid of a VCR. Realistic dimensions? Yeah, whatever. I wasn't planning on building these places from these diagrams. Also, who says that the sets had realistic dimensions?

I picked the book up on a clearance rack for $2, but, after viewing it, I think it's worth the full price. I can't tell you the memories this thing brought back. This is a killer present for your Baby Boomer friends who were TV addicts as tykes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I think it is important to keep in mind the word FANTASY while enjoying this book. Mr. Bennett makes no claims to be a professional draftsman or architect. These are just his interpretations of interiors from TV shows; most of which never existed as complete structures, but rather as a group of sets on a soundstage. They were all done from simply watching the shows on TV. It's a fun and lighthearted book that will entertain anyone who spent numerous hours in front of the TV while growing up.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Savary on May 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is on a subject near and dear to my heart, namely, classic TV homes. I always thought that if you had the money, it might be fun to build a Brady house, or a Bewitched love-nest. Or maybe even combine some classic TV architecture from several DIFFERENT shows into one house! A Dick Van Dyke sunken living room with a Bewitched kitchen and a Brady dining room!
This book is not all that accurate, as other reviewers have stated, but if you're a fan and want a general idea of what the TV homes looked like, and want a few ideas for your own house-building project, this book isn't a bad start. And hey, it's FUN!
Still, a revised edition with better measurements and so on would be much better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Williams on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun book. Don't be turned off by the negative comments. The author never pretends to be an architect. That said, the book has one huge flaw, which I'm surprised no one has mentioned. The publisher shrank Mr. Bennett's drawings to print them in book form. The problem is that the publisher also shrank the scale that Mr. Bennett carefully put on each floor plan, so the published version of the scale is useless.

For example, consider the floor plan of Jed Clampett's Beverley Hills mansion. According to Mr. Bennett's drawing, the scale is 1/8" = 1'0". If you measure the width of the mansion in the floor plan as printed in the book, it's 4 and 1/2 inches, implying that the width of the building is 36 feet. That's impossible -- it's a huge mansion.

If Mr. Bennett ever puts out a second edition, the publisher should fix this flaw.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reckless Consumer on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While you can't exactly submit these plans to obtain a building permit, this book is great fun for those of us who enjoying looking at the sets as much as we enjoy watching the actors on our favorite shows. Many of the floor plans answer the burning question: to where does that hallway/staircase/doorway lead? The author's sincere enthusiasm makes the descriptive text fun to read.

I've had this book for years and still flip through it when I catch a rerun on TV Land - I never get tired of looking around the Brady's house!

Be sure to check the table of contents (use Amazon's "search inside" feature) to make sure the shows you love are covered. These are mostly old shows, many b&w. I hope the author will consider a sequel covering some of the more modern shows with intriguing sets!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DEK on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is as close as you'll get to actually entering the beloved houses of the programs we all loved as kids. Neat-o!!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Spirit of 76 on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As others have written, it makes no sense to criticize Mark Bennett for his drafting prowess or lack thereof. He draws blueprints as well as can be hoped for for an amateur draftsman. That is, he draws better than most of us can hope to do. Even Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, who was a professional, had numerous inaccuracies in his historic "Booklet of General Plans" (a.k.a. Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise blueprints). There's only so much you can do with fantasy plans. Aside from the sets changing often, people have to remember that these were never real houses. They were sets. As such, they often had extremely unrealistic interiors that would never have fit together inside a real house. I think he did a very good job on one of my favorite homes, the Brady house featured on the cover. (You know; the house that looked like a single-story ranch from the outside yet had a second floor and an attic. Prime example of why fantasy houses can't be drawn precisely.)

That said, some of his blueprints do have significant errors. The Jupiter 2 from "Lost in Space" seems completely wrong. Many rooms and items are on the wrong level altogether. The Jetsons' home is also much too small, taking up an entire floor of what should be a large apartment complex in the sky. Ditto for Gilligan's Island, which he makes about the size of a city block. On this island, the castaways would never have gotten lost, as they often did, nor could strangers have hidden, again as they often did. Also ignored was the first season set for the Odd Couple, which was copied from the movie set. Instead, Bennett describes the season 2 through 5 set as the only apartment. Disappointingly, some very familiar but non-residential sets were not covered. How about the Batcave and Wayne Manor? The newsroom from Kolchak: The Night Stalker?
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