10 TV Universes You Would and Wouldn’t Want to Live In

TV is full of shows set in their own universes, worlds different from our own (sometimes slightly, sometimes drastically) that open up new avenues for storytellers to explore. It can be a lot of fun to ponder what it would be like to live in a particular universe, to explore that different world, but would it be a positive or negative experience? Here is a list of which TV universes you would and would not want to live in.

Would Want to Live In

10. Community

Pros: You get to earn a degree, however slowly, and live out your favorite movie moments through the constant homages structuring your life. Plus, paintball!

Cons: Chang.

 

9. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Pros: You get to do magic, which seems to be lots of fun, incredibly convenient (at least come spring cleaning), and seems to have very few down sides. Plus you get to live longer.

Cons: Better not get a crush on a mortal. You can’t tell mortals about magic and if you end up marrying one, your (magical) kids won’t be able to see them, lest they turn into a ball of wax or somesuch.

 

8. Stargate: SG1

Pros: You get to explore distant planets and meet alien races, play with some awesome tech, and get some definitive answers about at least some religion.

Cons: The Earth does tend to be under attack an awful lot.

 

7. Doctor Who

Pros: You get to travel around in space and time with no fear of disease and no language barriers in the coolest spaceship ever (Sorry, Moya!).

Cons: The Daleks. The Master. The Cybermen. The Sixth Doctor’s wardrobe. Lots of cons here.

 

6. Middleman

Pros: You get to meet lots of colorful characters all while quipping and quoting to your heart’s content. If you’re a Middleman in Training, you also get a crash course with Sensei Ping, which has to come in handy from time to time.

Cons: Constant threat of alien, robot, or zombie fish attack. They are dispatched relatively easily though.

 

5. Futurama

Pros: You get to experience the future, physically surf the internet, and can hang out with pretty much anyone famous’ head in a jar.

Cons: All your friends and family are dead, so you better find new ones.

 

4. Eureka

Pros: You get to hang out with super geniuses all the time and get in on the betas for all the nifty new tech. Plus apparently their dry cleaner can get out anything.

Cons: All of that new tech tends to go awry from time to time.

 

3. Pushing Daisies

Pros: Everything is brightly colored with a strong retro flair, fantastic singers burst into song on occasion, and really great pie is right around the corner. Also, Jim Dale narrates your life.

Cons: As long as you’re not Ned or Chuck, you’re pretty much in the clear.

 

2. The West Wing

Pros: You always sound intelligent, no matter what you’re discussing, you can multitask like crazy, and the president and all of the main elected officials in the country are brilliant and got into politics for the right reasons.

Cons: You’re in serious danger of catching will-they-won’t-they-itis.

 

1. Star Trek: the Next Generation

Pros: You get to live in a mostly utopic future where war, famine, and disease are eradicated on Earth and you get to work on the best ship in the fleet for the best boss, Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Plus, there’s the holodeck, in case you want to chill with Da Vinci.

Cons: Well, the Borg aren’t fun. Plus, beware exploding consoles.

 

Would Not Want to Live In

10. Twin Peaks

Cons: You have to deal with hyperemotional family, friends, and neighbors, mysterious goings on in the woods, and the ever-looming threat of possession by Bob.

Pros: Easy access to delicious cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.

 

9. The Prisoner

Cons: Strangers are constantly trying to break your mind and brainwash you for their own mysterious purposes and if you wander too far down the beach, you’ll get attacked by Rover.

Pros: The sea air is supposed to be good for ones’ health.

 

8. Red Dwarf

Cons: All of humanity is dead and you’re stuck with Lister forever.

Pros: You do get to hang out with Kryten and Cat, plus you get to find out who the man on the grassy knoll was.

 

7. True Blood

Cons: You live in Bon Temps. You’re under constant threat of supernatural attack, be it possession, glamouring, or hillbilly werepanthers.

Pros: There might be perks, if you manage to befriend a vampire/werewolf without getting drawn into supernatural politics. They’d be uber helpful next time you had to move.

 

6. Firefly

Cons: Reavers. There’s also a harsh income gap and if you live on one of the outer planets, your life probably sucks. The Alliance aren’t fun either. Mostly though, it’s the you’re-lucky-if-they-kill-you-quick reavers.

Pros: Wide range of diverse cultures and some of the central planets are cool, so if you live there, it might not be as bad.

 

5. The X-Files

Cons: If the monster of the week doesn’t get ya, the alien invasion/conspiracy will.

Pros: If you’re in on the conspiracy, you might be okay?

 

 

4. Dollhouse

Cons: Someone with the right tech can erase your personality, implant their own, and take over your body if you answer your phone at the wrong time.

Pros: … The Dollhouses appear to have comfortable furniture?

 

3. Supernatural

Cons: Demon possession. Monster attacks. The Apocalypse. And that’s just if you’re a bystander. If you’re in the fight, you’re due for a hard, short, painful life.

Pros: You might get to meet Death? He’s pretty cool.

 

2. The Walking Dead

Cons: Zombie Apocalypse.

Pros: At least you get to be outside? Which takes us to…

 

 

 

1. Battlestar Galactica (2003)

Cons: Near annihilation of your race, constant threat of Cylon attack, possibility that you’re a Cylon and don’t know it, plus you’re stuck in a rundown metal box for the forseeable future with nothing outside to look at but the cold vastness of space.

Pros: If you make it to the finale, you do get to see Earth. Course, it’s a tech-less Earth, so have fun with that childbirth/disease thing when the time comes.

 

Honorable Mentions: Pro- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Mr. Ed, My Favorite Martian and The Venture Bros. Con- Fringe, Gilligan’s Island, LOST, and V.

What are your favorites? Which ones did I miss? Post your thoughts in the comments!

Kate Kulzick

Follow me on Twitter @theteleverse to see what I’m watching and to tell me what you’d like SoS TV to cover.



By Kate Kulzick

Kate is a violinist by day, TV-aholic by night, and film geek by somewhere around dawn. While attending UIUC, she earned a Masters Degree in Violin Performance and a Schrute Buck in a Pop Culture Trivia Contest; of the two, so far only the latter has hung on her wall. Her favorite movies are The Princess Bride, Casablanca, and The Third Man and her favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wire, and Arrested Development.

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39 Responses to 10 TV Universes You Would and Wouldn’t Want to Live In

  1. Pingback: Geek Media Round-Up: October 10, 2011 – Grasping for the Wind

  2. Aurora October 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Charmed

    Pros: You get to live in a nice house in SF, be a witch, your sisters are also witches and you can still see your dead parents/grandparents.

    Cons: There are lots of demons, warlocks and other monsters that want to kill you. Your nice house gets wrecked frequently. You have to keep your witch powers secret from muggles, sorry humans.

    Reply
  3. G.H. Wright October 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    To: Vlad N. 10/02/11 08:18am

    The Federation is not a militaristic society, Starfleet is in fact a paramilitary organization whose primary mission is exploration. Starfleet vessels generally travel alone save for emergencies or while on maneuvers. The Enterpise is the flagship of the fleet yet its admiral is aboard a Starbase, there is mention of this in an ST:TNG episode. Also they have done away with certain anachronistic customs, i.e. the salute and refering to females using the honorific Ma’am (Sir is used instead as a unisex term). One final note of interest in Starfleet is the dress code in Season One, both males and females wore the short skirt, although none of the main characters did so. Quite possibly this is half-hearted support for gays in the military, although he caved and they are no longer seen past Season One.
    Regarding the lack of civilian officials, the Original Series and all four spin-offs take place on the frontier. Often ambassadors are sent by higher civilian authorities to hot spots to avert disaster, it is perfectly normal in many democratic societies for these envoys to be active, retired or reactivated military officers (a detail which must be observed as Star Trek is an anology for modern times). Furthermore, the colonies, settlements and outposts which represent much of the Federation presence on the edge of Federstion space have appointed governors or are military or government run and staffed. In the case of colonies, even those with appointed governors (again, many are ex or current military) have usually had elected legislatures i.e. Virginia House of Burgesses despite having a royal governor and this is in an absolute monarchy much less a republic. As earlier stated, Star Trek is an analogy of humankind’s past and present and we may assume that the Federation is similarly organized, these details were simply overlooked in the interest of concise storytelling.
    In history colonies had less political representation than their mother countries; but they often received material, financial and military support and were taxed less than their countrymen back home. Also, the mother country would not find it easy to enforce its will and would not bother so long as natural resources flowed back home e.g. American colonists prior to the American Revolution paid approximately one-fifth the taxes an Englishman did. Britain would not have sent so many Redcoats if tea hadn’t ended up in the harbor. It’s really a matter of balance, if you want more protection and representation you may have to pay higher taxes. If you ask for these without conceding this, you may find soldiers on your doorstep, who by their presence alone would protect them from the indigenous population.
    In the Federation, the support that could be given is far greater and a fast, armed warship can protect the colonies interest or whisk them away for resettlement or medical emergencies. It is unlikely that these people would revolt against such a society. Also likely the Federation like the United States or United Nations has provisions for making territories or protectorates full member. This is also left out in the interests of storytelling.
    Finally, regarding the economy. The Federation has no monetary system. Products are simply counted and traded in a barter system. Money is useless in a society where machinery, even large machinery can be replicated. Food can be replicated and what isn’t replicated is grown using the most sophisticate means and harvested mechanically. Even medicine is replicated. Mining and any other hazardous occupation is performed by machinery. Work simply gets you credits i.e. the transporter credits Jake Sisko mentions when discussing his father’s career at Star Fleet Academy in a ST: DS9 episode. There is no need for banks or compund interest, as cash is not hoarded due to the fact that machinery and automation insures that there will always be plenty, a computer simply keeps track of all this. This is all extrapolated from various episodes and is likely the explanation for that which was glossed over, because it’s just a TV show after all.

    Reply
    • I. Dslike October 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      To G.H.:

      Please stop. Go have sex. Seriously, please stop.

      Reply
      • G.H. Wright October 8, 2011 at 8:35 am

        I know, I realize I belong on a website for people with a real education.

        Reply
        • BigKahunaFSU December 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

          or sit in front of your TV watching Sci-Fi and Histoy channels.

          Reply
  4. Aranthus October 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    The Buffyverse

    Pros: Cool dialogue, magic, musical numbers, vampires.

    Cons: Demons, unwanted tatoos, blood stained clothing, vampires.

    Reply
  5. Bette October 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    “SLIDERS”?? Both pro OR con, depending on which universe you land in!

    Reply
  6. John October 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I’m pretty sure I would like to live in the Firefly universe. Statistically speaking, I’d probably live in a city in the core. I’d almost certainly not be rich, but I’d probably get the necessities of life and an education and whatnot. So for a geek like me, it would be a lot like urban dwelling today except that I can go to space for vacations.

    Reply
  7. Kate Kulzick October 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Do you think it should be a pro or a con, mm? The death rate is really high, but then again, every now and again, you get to sing in a musical and you might be able to do magic (preferably of the Tara variety). I didn’t include it because there was too much con for it to go on the best list, and I felt like it wasn’t bad enough for the worst list. YMMV though, of course.

    Reply
  8. mm October 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Why is BTVS missing from here???

    Reply
  9. CJ October 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Farscape.

    Pros: Travel across the universe in a spiffy Leviathan accompanied by savvy aliens. Get to wear very cool, black Peacekeeper uniforms on occasion.

    Cons: If you are dressed as a Peacekeeper most Aliens will want you dead. Most Peacekeepers want you dead if you aren’t wearing their uniform. You are confused for a Peacekeeper even when in civvies, and everyone then still wants you dead.

    Reply
  10. Shawn Driscoll October 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I read this article, and the first place that popped in my mind was..”Deadwood”. Pox, That nasty thorougfare,dogdging the maniac sherrif, and the quick blade of Al Swearengen would be a lot to deal with day in and day out.

    Reply
    • Simon Howell October 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      I mentioned it on the show as a potentially fun universe to live in as a man, and almost definitely a dreadful one as a woman.

      Reply
  11. stumble October 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Dr. Horrible’s universe.

    pros: you can have aspirations as a villain and work your way into the Evil League of Evil.

    cons: the more than likely death of your true love and dealing with self-absorved superheroes. also – - johnny snow.

    Reply
  12. KayFlame October 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Fringe and its alternate universe should have definitely made it onto the “Where You Don’t Want to Live” list. The fabric of the universe degrading rapidly sure is one hell of a con.

    Reply
  13. James Mitchell October 6, 2011 at 11:28 am

    “Lexx”, Pros: you get to hang around with Xev or Kai, gay, straight or otherwise there should be no complaints. You have two universes to amuse yourself in and the most powerful spaceship in either to inhabit. There is also a chance to be in your own musical, star in your own reality show (Xevivor) or play chess on the beach with the Prince of Darkness.

    Cons: Stan, unless you are partial to base humanity. Anyone who visits your ship will usually want to kill or eat you, or if they are friendly, they will be killed or eaten. Kai is dead, so there is little chance of a relationship or sex and Xev really is only interested in Kai. If visitors aren’t trying to kill you, your faithful robot shipmate 790, will be scheming for your gruesome demise in the off chance you’re interested in his “cuddle corpse” (Kai). Oh, you also will destroy a universe and the planet Earth, so heroics are out.

    Reply
  14. Anubis2705 October 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Honestly: I would defenetly want to live on the Lost-Island – espacially after the finale. A nice house in Dharma-Ville, meeting with Ben for a little chess match while we discuss the Origin of the Source, hangin’ around with Hurley, never becoming ill again and if you have great luck and find a mysterious fire you might have a little chat with Jacob’s ghost ;-)

    Reply
  15. Kate Kulzick October 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Great suggestion, Matthew, but which Twilight Zone universe? Almost every episode takes place in a different one.

    Reply
  16. Matthew October 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Eh, where’s the Twilight Zone ?

    Reply
  17. Ed M October 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Best: Fantasy Island, what could go wrong?

    Worst: Star Wars: war, oppression, evil incarnate, droids that are smarter than me, humans are in the minority.

    Reply
  18. The Captain Says October 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Shut up Wes-erm…Vlad N.

    Reply
  19. Harrison Grey October 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

    As much as I love watching Doctor Who, I’m really not sure I’d want to live there, unless I knew for sure I’d be a companion. If you’re not, you stand a particularly high chance of dying, often horribly.

    As far as live in Universes, my top choice is probably Batman: the Brave and the Bold. Good always triumphs, casualties are incredibly slim, and on the off chance you get killed it will be an amazing, meaningful death that really says something about you.

    Reply
  20. Ian October 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    “…the president and all of the main elected officials in the country are brilliant and got into politics for the right reasons.”

    This made me laugh out loud. And then made me kind of sad… Still, I’ll live in any universe where 90% of verbal communication is delivered while briskly walking down a tight hallway.

    Reply
  21. Carrie October 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I dunno…any universe where there’s even a REMOTE possibility that I could become Mrs Dean Winchester sounds pretty damned good to me…

    Reply
  22. Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Vlad N – People who don’t know Star Trek should not comment on Star Trek.

    Reply
  23. Kate Kulzick October 6, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Dave- lol. Don’t think I wasn’t tempted to put the Wire at the top of the “Cons” list.

    PJM- And now the Friends theme song is in my head. Thanks for that.

    Reply
  24. PJM October 6, 2011 at 6:19 am

    FRIENDS

    PROS: Hang out with really attractive people, at least one or two of whom you’ll sleep with. Best coffee outside of Twin Peaks. Very comfortable couch.

    CON: They’re playing that song again! No more! I can’t stand it! AND DON’T DO THAT CLAPPING THING!!! I KNOW NOBODY TOLD ME LIFE WAS GOING TO BE THIS WAY, BUT THIS IS JUST FREAKING ME OUT!!!!!

    :-D

    Reply
  25. Eric Robert Wilkinson October 6, 2011 at 6:07 am

    LOST

    Con’s – You’re stuck on a Hawaii esque island with Others, a smoke monster, sudden onset Moonsoon type weather, and other passengers from a plane crash you’ve inexplicably… “survived”?

    Pro’s – You will get to live out a life as though none of this ever happened before being reunited with everyone in one of the coolest looking churches I’ve seen… (oops, spoiler alert)…

    Reply
  26. Pingback: Hit List: October 6, 2011 « IMDb: All the Latest

  27. Dave October 6, 2011 at 5:56 am

    The Wire…
    Oh wait that is the real world

    Reply
  28. Dent of Smeg October 6, 2011 at 3:16 am

    The Sopranos

    Pros: You get to eat a lot of ziti and enjoy Silvio’s constant Pacino impersonations

    Cons: Never knowing if you’re going to get whacked by your best friends. Gabbagool. Senile uncles.

    Reply
  29. Apathygrrl October 6, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Would not want to live in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s universe. Incredibly high body count. Pretty much on par with X-files.

    Reply
  30. Haggis Hotdish October 6, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I would give up an entire dimension to live in Equestria.

    Reply
  31. Kate Kulzick October 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Derek- I hear what you’re saying with ST:OS, but I’m not a fan of miniskirts and those go-go boots are probably terrible on away missions, so I’m steering clear of that one.

    Dan- I couldn’t decide whether Farscape was an overall pro or con. It came down to whether I thought the Peacekeepers were really that bad, and I admit it’s been a while since I did a rewatch. D’Argo would be a lot of fun to get a beer with though.

    Vlad- That’s what you get for thinking. The “It’s the future- we solved all of our problems with magic!” explanation doesn’t really work for you? Pshaw.

    Reply
  32. Vlad N October 2, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I don’t believe that the Star Trek universe is as utopian as it seems. I mean its no more utopian than other workers paradises that have existed. All we have to go on is the Eterpriese’s Potemkin village. I find so many things to be wrong with the Federation. First off all as far as I can tell they are an entirely militaristic society. The highest form of advancement in their culture is to join Star Fleet and work for Star Fleet which is the army. They have no problems in putting civilians on their flagships and expecting them to die in battle. Even the Klingon don’t do that. You never see any civilian officials, beyond the rank of ambasador. In fact in most cases they are also some sort of Star Fleet officer too. You never see any one on Earth worry about politics or elections. Why is that? Because, there are none. The military controls everything, and gets everything. It promotes from within and controls relations with all foreign nations. There is no state just an Army with a populace. Think about it…try to remember when the army isn’t in charge of the Federation. I also feel that their supposed economic advancement is false. But, this is running long as is…upon closer inspection and with some critical questioning I think the whole Star Fleet/Federation model falls apart and its not the science but the economics of it that does it in.

    Reply
    • brian October 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

      @ Vlad – sure, there a few downsides, but that’s why I prefer DS9 over TNG, it’s more realistic from the start. TNG took a few years (and Gene’s death) to really start down that reality check path.

      DS9 pros: you get to help explore the Gamma Quadrant, home base is near a nice planet you can help rebuild after war, hanging with MORN! at Quarks

      cons: hopping thru the wormhole means you may not come out where/WHEN you expected; the neighbors: religious zealot Kai Wynn, the Cardassians, the Dominion

      Heroes-
      pro: you could have a superpower (within budget restrictions); if you don’t have powers, there are a number of options to obtain them; Parkman is usually the sane one. the Big Bad is usually dispatched fairly easily after a long build up. NO COSTUMES!

      cons: No one hardly talks to the others, even when related! “Days of Future Past”-type drama is usually on the horizon; is Sylar good or head-scalpingly evil this week? Girls are usually leggy blondes, guys are tall, dark and handsome…and probably related! EW!

      also, I second the LEXX-verse, James! Xev > everything else.
      (unless I’m stuck on Nook or one of those pleasure satellites.)

      Reply
  33. Dan Heaton September 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Farscape

    Pros: There are lots of cool, fun-loving aliens, especially Hynerians; living ships with pilots connected to them; neat little droids who help out on the ship; amazing new worlds; attractive humanoid aliens; Scorpius; a great theme song; and wormholes

    Cons: The Scarrans are nasty; many Peacekeepers are enemies of fun; Jool’s ear-deafening scream; wormholes can destroy entire solar systems

    Reply
  34. Derek Gladu September 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Star Trek, Original Series.

    Pros: Many of the same as in TNG, but better fashions, (read Miniskirts, knee high boots, buffon hair -dos) shirtless brawling, Alexander Courage soundtrack, and plenty of Green Chicks to mack, and engineers to drink with.

    Cons: Tribbles, Klingons, Play dough cusine, no affordable insurance for Red Shirts.

    Reply

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