Thursday, October 2, 2014

If TV Was Real Life, How Would Those Characters Fare as Energy Users?

Lots of us eagerly look forward to the beginning of the fall season. Warm days, cool nights, colorful foliage, snuggly woolen sweaters and the beginning of the new fall TV season! TV? Yes, for some reason the new TV season still manages to generate a ripple of excitement for many of us. Maybe there will be something new and as memorable as The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, All in The Family, Friends, I Love Lucy or The Sopranos? Well, as they say Hope Springs Eternal!

The Energy Experts were recently discussing their favorite TV shows of all-time. Yes, we periodically watch TV! We envisioned some classic TV characters as contemporary homeowners and consumers of energy and here’s how we ranked them: 

Tea Time at Downton Abbey: The Dowager Countess of Grantham will be the first to remind us that “Nothing succeeds like excess.” An army of servants was always busy polishing silver, waxing the banisters and preparing the family for three complete changes of clothes before tea time. Quite excessive, but at least the Grantham family kept most of the county gainfully employed. How would you rate Downton Abbey as a manager of resources?

Ranking: On a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest), we would rank the Grantham clan as a 2. Hey, it was a different era and people still waxed their banisters!

Kramer Installs a Hot Tub: Remember the Seinfeld episode when Kramer installed a hot tub in his living room? While taking a soak, Kramer falls asleep and the heat pump breaks so he mistakenly has an industrial strength heat pump installed in his apartment. What a surprise when the heavy duty heat pump shorts out all the power in the building. How would we rate Kramer as a savvy shopper and energy-conscious apartment dweller?

Ranking: Sorry Kramer, it looks like a 1 for your clueless selection that negatively impacted your neighbors.

Tony Soprano Saved by Noisy Ductwork: Anyone who was a committed Sopranos viewer will remember Tony conducting sensitive business meetings while standing below the ductwork in his basement. Why? Because the Soprano home was a 6,000 square foot residence that seemed to require five central air conditioning units to keep things super chill for the mob boss and his family. The noise of the powerful air conditioning system obscured his secretive business conversations until the FBI figured it out and planted surveillance devices in the basement. How would we rate Tony Soprano as an environmentally aware mobster and waste management company owner?

Ranking: Sorry, Tony – we are giving you and your monster HVAC system a 1 for being an energy hog.

Breaking Bad Takes Meth Pollution on the Road: Walter White clearly gave his new business venture some serious thought when he started the meth lab in an RV instead of using his family home for a production center. Being a chemistry teacher, Walt knew that he didn’t want to mess with his home’s indoor air quality by cooking meth in the kitchen. Unfortunately, his side-kick Jesse was quite a bit less informed. Remember that messy episode with the hydrofluoric acid in the bath tub? How would you rate Walter White as a chemistry teacher who is concerned about his family’s health and indoor air quality issues?

Ranking: Congratulations, Mr. White – we are giving you a 4! As a chemistry teacher, we respect that you use your knowledge to spare your family the toxic effects of your meth lab business. Kudos for your indoor air quality concerns. Sorry, Jesse – you will probably always be ranked as a 1 for your poor decision-making skills.

Modern Family and the Eco-Competitive Neighbor: This big extended California family is always dealing with the issues of the day. Remember the episode when Mitchell tries to “out-green” his sanctimonious environmentalist neighbor? Yes, the neighbor who boasted that he spent four days solar-roasting a chicken.  Let’s not forget that he quizzed Lily about her dollhouse being constructed from sustainable materials. He also launched a bomb about disposable baby diapers. How do you think Mitchell stacks up next to the eco-competitive environmentalist neighbor who has alienated everyone he encounters?

Ranking: We rank Mitchell as a 4 for his green efforts.

Share Your Votes with Us!

Do you think we were too hard on Kramer? Do you think Jesse Pinkman will evolve into a more thoughtful eco-conscious citizen? How would you vote?

We would love to hear from you. Cast your votes in our comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter