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Planning: general Top 10 (and more) Planning References in Television

Hink

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Submissions are due by: Tuesday, October 18 at 11:59 PM EST

List so Far:

  1. Parks & Recreation - Mark Brendanawicz (2008-2010)
  2. Numbers - Alan Eppes (2005-2010)
  3. Seinfeld - Episode - The Van Buren Boys (1997)
  4. The Simpsons - Episode - You Only Move Twice (1996)
  5. King of the Hill - Episode - Life: A Loser's Manual (2008)
  6. King of the Hill - Episode - Flush With Power (2000)
  7. The Planners are Coming - British Series about Planning
  8. The PJ's - TV claymation classic
  9. Perry Mason - Planning & Zoning Board References
  10. The Education of Max Bickford - Episode - Past Present Future (2002)
  11. The Simpsons - Episode - Marge vs. the Monorail (1993)
  12. The Wonder Years - Episode - Whose Woods Are these? (1989)
  13. The Drew Carey Show - Episode - What the Zoning Inspector Saw (1996)
  14. Family Guy - Episode - E. Peterbus Unum (2000)
  15. Bugs Bunny - Episode - No Parking Hare (1954)
  16. Bugs Bunny - Episode - Homeless Hare (1950)
 
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ursus

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Hink, I didn't lay this out right and am unprepared! I'll re-do later.
 
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NHPlanner

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Seinfeld



The video clip below. Enough said. :)

[youtube]vXMDRbOBMno[/youtube]

GEORGE: Besides, Steven Koren has the highest of aspirations. He wants to be (pauses for effect) an architect.

WYCK: Is that right?

STEVEN: Actually, maybe I could set my sights a little bit higher.

GEORGE: (Laughs) Steven, nothing is higher than an architect.

STEVEN: I think I'd really like to be a city planner. (Sits down, addressing the entire foundation board) Why limit myself to just one building, when I can design a

whole city?

WYCK: Well, that's a good point.

GEORGE: (Mutters) No, it's not.

STEVEN: Well, isn't an architect just an art school drop-out with a tilty desk, and a big ruler? (Laughs - so do the board members)

GEORGE: (Irritated) It's called a T-square.

WYCK: You know, the stupidest guy in my fraternity became an architect - after he flunked out of dental school! (Everyone but George laughs) Contratulations,

young man. (Shakes Steven's hand)

STEVEN: Thank you.
 
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Hink

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Let's add dates for reference as well... I have updated the first three to have dates...
 

Dan

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BBC's late, little-known series The Planners are Coming. In the series, we learn that in the UK, the equivalent of Planning Commission approval is required for everything, and that Old Blighty has the same issues with clueless property owners struggling to get after-the-fact approval for projects, often with disastrous results. The series is really more about the equivalent of zoning enforcement than comprehensive planning.

Lots of planning references in King of the Hill.

From Life: A Loser's Manual

Dale: Gentlemen, I'm sure you recall my long dreamt dream about building a guard tower in my yard.

Hank: Dale, the zoning board has turned you down six times and the last refusal was with extreme prejudice.

Dale: True, but for a structure under 40 feet no variance is needed. Soon you'll live under the protection of my 39 foot guard tower! The zoning board has no say.

Hank: Dale, that is --[Dale cuts him off mid-sentence]...

Dale: NO SAY!
In another episode, Flush With Power, Hank Hill joins the Arlen Zoning Board. There's actually a Smart Growth reference!
 

kalimotxo

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The Simpsons - You Only Move Twice

[youtube]XrHyT78FpAE[/youtube]

Homer gets a job offer from the mysterious Globex Corporation and convinces the family to move to Cypress Creek, the company's full-service planned community. During the episode, Homer shows a promotional video for the town, showing a conversion from an urban slum to a whitewashed utopia. It includes this hilarious bit of dialogue:

[Announcer] Cypress Creek, A Tale of One City.
[Woman] Look at this place. - (police siren heard in the distance) - Somebody ought to build a town that works.
[Announcer] Somebody did. It's called Cypress Creek, a planned community designed for the workers of the Globex Corporation. Cypress Creek, where dreams come true.
[Announcer #2] Your dreams may vary from those of Globex Corporation, its subsidiaries and shareholders.
 

Hink

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BBC's late, little-known series The Planners are Coming. In the series, we learn that in the UK, the equivalent of Planning Commission approval is required for [pi]everything[/i], and that Old Blighty has the same issues with clueless property owners struggling to get after-the-fact approval for projects, often with disastrous responses. The series is really more about the equivalent of zoning enforcement than comprehensive planning.

Lots of planning references in King of the Hill.

From Life: A Loser's Manual



In another episode, Flush With Power, Hank Hill joins the Arlen Zoning Board. There's actually a Smart Growth reference!
Can we pick one from King of the Hill? Is there a best episode? Or we can list all the "best" episode separately....
 

Thurgood

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In the TV claymation classic "The PJ's", the less than tactful (and even less intelligent) superintendant of one of the buildings in the projects was always going to HUD to get supplies for his building....the wording under the HUD sign often changed in different episodes e.g. "HUD...keeping you in the projects since 1965". Eddie Murphy (the voice of the main character) caught a lot of flack over little jabs like that.
 

TOFB

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I could swear there is a scene in Family Ties where Alex is contemplating college majors, and while looking at a course catalogue ~

Alex: "how about Urban Planning?

Audience: Big laugh



end of joke . . .
 

Hink

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Submissions are due by Tuesday, October 18 at 11:59 PM EST. Currently we only have 8.... come on people, I know we can do better than that!
 

ursus

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Perry Mason Episodes

I can't find the exact references, but any number of Perry Mason episodes center around somebody rigging the "Planning and Zoning Board" and in one, a board member is murdered I believe. Not implausible, considering the development that would have been going on in SoCal in the late 40's and 50's and what land was worth.

 

Maister

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Richard Dreyfuss starred as a college professor in a show that ran for only a single season called The Education of Max Bickford. I recall one of the episodes Max was given a spot on the city's planning commission and had to make a controversial decision about whether to allow an obnoxious mall to open in his picturesque but economically strapped small town.

Here's part of episode 17 'past present future'
 
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Bear Up North

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I can't find the exact references, but any number of Perry Mason episodes center around somebody rigging the "Planning and Zoning Board" and in one, a board member is murdered I believe. Not implausible, considering the development that would have been going on in SoCal in the late 40's and 50's and what land was worth.

I have been buying and watching olde episodes of Perry Mason. I will keep my baby blues open for planning references.

NOTE: While typing this post my mind flashed to the Bugs Bunny opera, changing the words to "Somebody killed the planner". :-c

Bear
 

illinoisplanner

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These aren't nessarily explicit planning references, but they are certainly very planning-related and reflect situations planners face.

The Simpsons "Marge vs. the Monorail" episode (1993) - transportation planning; the whole part about slick developers/businessmen taking advantage of communities; initial public skepticism; public meetings and mob mentality ("but Main Street's all cracked and broken; sorry, mom, the mob has spoken"), capital projects, etc. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZjzsnPhnw and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marge_vs._the_Monorail

The Wonder Years: "Whose Woods are These?" episode (1989) - Kevin and his friends try to save their childhood hangout from being bulldozed for a shopping mall. Key themes include environmental preservation vs. economic development, kids' lack of voice in planning decisions, sentimental attachment to places by members of the public, etc.
 

Brocktoon

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These aren't nessarily explicit planning references, but they are certainly very planning-related and reflect situations planners face.

The Simpsons "Marge vs. the Monorail" episode (1993) - transportation planning; the whole part about slick developers/businessmen taking advantage of communities; initial public skepticism; public meetings and mob mentality ("but Main Street's all cracked and broken; sorry, mom, the mob has spoken"), capital projects, etc. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZjzsnPhnw and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marge_vs._the_Monorail

The Wonder Years: "Whose Woods are These?" episode (1989) - Kevin and his friends try to save their childhood hangout from being bulldozed for a shopping mall. Key themes include environmental preservation vs. economic development, kids' lack of voice in planning decisions, sentimental attachment to places by members of the public, etc.
Great call with the monorail episode...although you lose man points for "The Wonder Years" reference.
 

JNA

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Drew Carey Show - What the Zoning Inspector Saw
The council has no interest in listening to Drew, but Bonnie shows up with his neighbors who run businesses from their homes. Drew warns that they will show up for every meeting until they get their way. The council decides to conduct a two-year study on re-zoning and leave the residents and their businesses alone.

Family Guy - E. Peterbus Unum
The town zoning laws won't allow Peter to build a pool in his yard. When he tries to get a permit, he discovers that his property is actually not part of Quahog, and therefore not part of the United States.
 

mgk920

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More so movies here, but they are shown on TV every now and then - the Bugs Bunny shorts with the freeway construction (his hole being in the way) and the new tall building (again, with his hole in the way). In both cases, the project was built around him, including a notch going all the way up in the building.

Also, there was a TV ad from sometime in the late 1980s or the early 1990s featuring an old, long-established big-city storefront pub and restaurant that was in the way of a new tall building, where its owner was shown saying "I told them to 'go ahead and build your building, just build it around us'". At the end of the ad, the camera panned back from the restaurant's facade to show the new steel and glass that was indeed built around them. I forget what product the ad was for (a beer?), but I loved that ad.

Mike
 

JNA

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More so movies here, but they are shown on TV every now and then - the Bugs Bunny shorts with the freeway construction (his hole being in the way) and the new tall building (again, with his hole in the way). In both cases, the project was built around him, including a notch going all the way up in the building.
The Freeway episode is No Parking Hare
on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjOO3SnzQF8

The highrise episode is Homeless Hare
 

Hink

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So I am going to clean this thread up a bit, and then start a new one with a poll... but as I was doing a bit of research related to the BBC show The Planners Are Coming... I found this...

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081024014420AAUg7K0


Also, what type of poll do we want? Should people be able to vote for lots of options or just their favorite?

--------------------------

I am also moving the info from the first post to here about the layout...





=================================================

The layout is:

Parks & Recreation



In one of the first characters in T.V. that is actually a dedicated Urban Planner , Mark Brendanawicz gives Urban Planners a good name. He is the smartest person in the office, and is usually the go-to guy for information. Unfortunately, at the end of season two he took a "buy-out" and he went to the private sector leaving the show and planner's in need of guidance.
 

Dan

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Reopening this old thread, since there's a lot of new planning references that have made it to the flat screen since 2011.

I was watching a Better Call Saul marathon yesterday on AMC. Season 5, episode 9, Bad Choice Road: Kim Wexler is dealing with ... zoning variances. And it's remarkably accurate, right down to case numbers. There's just one thing wrong. A planning board usually doesn't issue variance requests. Planning boards are legislative bodies, while appeals boards are judicial.

Kim Wexler: Besides, I thought I should come in and prep the Colorado meeting.
Rich Schweikart: Oh, they moved that up to this morning.
Kim: Stef handled it.
Rich: There was no pushback from Boulder city council?
Kim: Stef cleared up the conditional use issue. Everything's moving forward.
Rich: Wow. That's great. Great.
Kim: Well, uh... Okay.
Rich: You wanted to write letters to the planning board in Broomfield
Kim: Right.
Rich: Yes, that's right.
Kim: I'll get started on that, if you can just get me those names.
Rich: List is on your desk.
Kim: Of course.
Rich: Great.

Kim: First letter is for Mr. Armand Bekaris, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and, uh, let's just c.c. the vice chair, Elaine Perlman while we're at it. "Dear Mr. Bekaris. Mesa Verde Bank and Trust respectfully submit the following request for your consideration. In regards to the resolution number PZ 2004-dash-36 variance appeal to allow for a six-and-one-half-foot encroachment into the... into the minimum required rear setback... um, minimum required rear setback for a drive-through awning to allow... Strike that. To facilitate... access to... the property at...841 North."


She also strikes text, and goes back to add legalese. :r:
 

Doohickie

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Perhaps you're thinking along these lines, but these kinds of lists can be "clickbait" to get people to click through to Cyburbia (or whatever it's future name might be). We could bump this thread every year, have Cyburbians weigh in and someone can put together a quick sharable article. Share it through social media (twitter, FB, whatev), but have a link at the bottom that connects to the forum thread and invite people to share their views.

This is just one of lots of topics. This one is fun, but there are also what kind of computers do planners need, what kind of software, what's the best vehicle for planners who drive their personal vehicles to site visits, what are planners' favorite brands of peanut butter, etc.
 
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