Every morning when I wake up, I ride my exercise bike for about a half hour, usually while watching some old sitcom on TV. Recently, I've been watching the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati. You probably remember the program-- a down-in-the-dumps radio station is reinvigorated when the new program director switches the format from easy listening to rock and roll, though some of the older staff don't quite understand why. I guess you could say the main theme is one of generational conflict ("the suits vs. the denims" in the words of WKRP Sales Manager Herb Tarlek). It's a funny show, and it helps makes the cycling go by quickly and painlessly.
Anyway, here's what I wanted to mention: in watching the show I've become obsessed with trying to figure out the layout of the WKRP offices. There are a number of sets seen suggesting just how big, physically, the operation is, and of course there are a lot of scenes where we see characters moving from one set to another, suggesting something of the spatial relationship of one to the other. Among those sets are the reception area (Jennifer Marlowe's domain), Mr. Carlson's office, the broadcast and production studios, Andy Travis' office, the bullpen (where everyone else hangs out) and a storage room. All of these appear on screen, and provide certain clues as to their dimensions, layout, and proximity to one another. Here's how I've mapped it all out, so far:
The problem is, I know this can't be right. Windows are one of the prime features I use to orient the different rooms to one another, and although this is close, it does not, for example, accommodate the window clearly seen in shots of Andy's office (which in this configuration would look into the bullpen). Also, in the window looking out of the bullpen, we clearly see another side of the building, suggesting it sits inside an L-shaped wing, which seems impossible in relation to this layout when one considers there is an open sky outside the window of the broadcast studio. Another anomaly: there's a sign in the hallway of the left doorway in the reception area with an arrow pointing to the left labeled "Studio;" but if that is accurate, then it implies the studio is behind Carlson's office , which we know can't be right from the episode in which Les climbs out on the ledge threatening to commit suicide.
This is like some intricate puzzle that I haven't cracked the code of yet... but I plan to keep trying. And yes I know "it's only a TV show" but now it's gotten under my skin and I can't let it go. So, if you have any suggestions (any architects or architecture buffs reading this?), please feel free to comment (and maybe put me out of my misery).
Was That Wrong?
9 hours ago