From 'Breaking Bad' to '90210,' How Realistic Are TV Characters' Jobs?

By Michelle Rafferty

Is a being a meth mogul less believable than going from intern to CEO?

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When Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf takes an internship at W in Season 4, she has her boss's job by the next episode. But when Hannah Horvath asks for a salary at her unpaid publishing internship in the pilot episode of Girls (premiering this Sunday at 10:30 on HBO) she gets fired.

As any 20-something can attest, the latter scenario feels painfully real. Internships are the new entry-level job, and they don't always guarantee advancement or pay (unless you do have a last name like "Waldorf"). Which of course got us thinking. If Hannah is "at least a voice of a generation"—someone who feels as lost as she does destined to be heard—which of her TV peers also qualify as real voices of today's 20-something crowd? And who doesn't? To investigate, we did a survey of their career paths, ranking from "as real as your local government " to "her work-shirt doesn't have a midriff."

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/from-breaking-bad-to-90210-how-realistic-are-tv-characters-jobs/255866/