For the latest installment of Fictional Franchise, our examination of the franchise rights of fictional characters and the real-life people who represent them in Congress, we tackle soap opera characters.
The rules go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more on the rules here.)
Soaps are near and dear to the heart of this writer, who once starred in a 2004 episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful” as a Spectra Fashions factory worker. Read on to see which soap star helped us with our research…
So, Dylan, Julia and Miss Ellie, let’s roll:
The Walsh Family
“Beverly Hills 90210″
Beverly Hills, Calif.: Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman
It is our assessment that Jim, Cindy, Brandon and Brenda Walsh live in Beverly Hills flats — squarely in Waxman’s district. His representation of the western Los Angeles metropolitan area means that he will surface again in this category and others.
Here is a run-through of some of his constituents:
Obviously, Andrea Zuckerman should not be considered a Waxman constituent. The biggest open secret at West Beverly High is that she lives in Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas’ district over the hill in Van Nuys. She illegally uses her grandmother’s small apartment address in Beverly Hills so she can attend the elite public school.
The Ewing Family
Southfork, Texas: Republican Rep. Sam Johnson
The Ewings’ “Southfork” mansion is a real place in the Dallas exurbs. The home of Bobby, Pammy, J.R., Sue Ellen, Jock and Miss Ellie is now an event venue located north of the city in Collin County. And Southfork features prominently in The. Greatest. TV. Opening. Ever:
The Carrington Family
Denver: Republican Rep. Cory Gardner
It was hard to tell what part of Denver the Carringtons actually live in, so we relied on sources on the ground.
“If Dynasty happened today the house would be in Castle Rock and Alexis would be having an affair with a Denver Bronco,” Denver-based Democratic consultant Laura Chapin asserted. “That’s where they all live. Also, Blake Carrington would be diversifying into the marijuana business.”
CQ Roll Call was able to obtain these aerial shots of the Carrington mansion:
Gardner has a solid grasp on his seat, but it is our sense that he should watch his back. Should Blake or Alexis become politically inclined, an “unaligned” Carrington Super PAC could bring down anyone.
The Salinger Family
“Party of Five”
San Francisco: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
There seriously cannot be a better reference source for this project than a website called iamnotastalker.com, which makes plain that the Salingers live in Pacific Heights. This puts them in the district of the most powerful woman in American history.
Which is probably a good thing. We assume the Salingers have leaned on her office for casework as they contend with drunk drivers, alcoholism, domestic violence, Hodgkin’s disease, infidelity, abortion and child neglect. Remember how much fun they were?
The Newman and Abbott Families
“The Young and the Restless”
Genoa City, Wis.: Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan
Ryan’s 2012 vice presidential run did much to overshadow the local political history of his district, namely the banner (albeit fictional) Nikki Newman-vs.-Jack Abbott state Senate race a few years ago.
This one took some thinking. There is an actual Genoa City, but it bears no resemblance to the city featured in daytime’s No. 1 soap opera. Still, the creators of the show have ties to the region, so we ultimately decided that Y&R must take place in southeast corner of Wisconsin — squarely in the House Budget chairman’s stomping grounds.
St. Helena, Calif.: Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson
The vineyard of Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) is the Southfork of California — it’s a real-life place. With the help of “Falcon Crest” star Morgan Fairchild and IMDB.com, we were able to nail down Spring Mountain Vineyard as the Napa Valley home of the vicious Channing.
The unsung heroes of Capitol Hill are Thompson’s staff assistants. Channing is one nasty piece of work. Would YOU want to take a constituent call from this woman?
The Forrester Family
“The Bold and the Beautiful”
Beverly Hills, Calif.: Waxman
The Forrester family made its fortune running a premiere American fashion house. The creators of the show based the fictional Forresters’ home on their own Beverly Hills mansion — formerly owned by Howard Hughes and Cary Grant, according to IMDB.com.
The Cohen Family
Newport Beach, Calif.: Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
There is not much debate about where the O.C. takes place. The series tells the story of a how poor teen from Chino adjusts to Rohrabacher’s wealthy Orange County district.
Welcome to the O.C. …
Luke and Laura
Port Charles, N.Y.: Democratic Rep. Louise M. Slaughter
Wikipedia, a source we do not normally trust as a reference, has an extensive geographic analysis of Port Charles that essentially declares the city to be based on Rochester. We took the question to a childhood friend of ours who has loyally watched GH for at least 20 years. Although she declined to go on the record, she confirmed that Rochester is a logical bet.
The Colby Family
Bel Air, Los Angeles, Calif.: Waxman
We don’t remember much about this ’80s series except that it has the two most awesomely named characters in fiction: Fallon Carrington Colby and Sable Scott Colby. And, like so many other soaps, that it took place in Waxman’s district.
Check out our previous installments of Fictional Franchise: