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Review: Cool Pad or Bad Hangover?
August 13, 1997 © Las Vegas Sun, Inc. VEGAS DELUXE By Windom Kimsey
An architect ventures inside the replica of ‘The Simpsons’ home. A cartoon house deserves a cartoon architect, which in the real world is a little hard to find.
I took a shot and walked through the replica of “The Simpsons” house anyway (the replica built in Henderson as part of a Fox network promotion).
Except for the colors, the house is essentially a straight, production-model suburban tract home — just as it is on “The Simpsons.”
As portrayed on television, their house is the model of the average American suburban home. The replica’s interior furnishings, television, couch, upright piano, dining room and almost-matching color scheme are presented three-quarter scale, making the home appear more spacious.
Before it is occupied by its eventual owner, the furniture, painted floor, and really cool objects d’art (all of which are glued to every conceivable surface) will leave with the Fox moving van.
“Paint” is the operative word when describing the interior, coating every surface with a different hue and intensity bordering on the tastefully hip. Walking through the house, I kept thinking to myself what a cool college pad this would have been. Martinis and Wonder Bread would fit right in. But then with the day-glow colors, the house already may seem too much like a bad hangover.
It is this range and intensity of color that separates this house from all others in Las Vegas. Ultimately, in an effort as violent as the recent implosions of notable architectural landmarks, the exterior is to be repainted to match the development’s codes, covenants and restrictions. One can only imagine that over time the interior will be reduced to a neutral-white background, just as Las Vegas moves from its architecturally adventurous past towards an uncertain future of banality and homogeneity.
Of course, how could you construct “The Simpsons” house without building the Flanders residence next door? One can never understand a Yin without its Yang. When surrounded by a sea of identical Green Valley houses, one can only admire the preciousness of “The Simpsons” abode. Those are my kind of neighbors.
After swilling a couple of Duffs down at Moe Biersch, we can hardly wait for the Hank Hill (of Fox’s “King of The Hill” series) Estates or the “Dr. Katz” Kondos to go up. Or maybe they’re already there.
One last puzzle: Where were the doughnuts? Surely the kitchen should have been equipped with an automatic dispenser for the Food of the Gods.
WINDOM KIMSEY belongs to the Las Vegas chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Fellow AIA member Kevin Kemner contributed to this report.