Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where Is Orbit City in 'The Jetsons'?


For lots of people, Orbit City in The Jetsons formed their idea of the future. A place where people don't walk but ride on conveyor belts and fly to work: These are all so 60s. The 2060s, that is. 

Inadvertently retro-futuristic (the show originally ran from 1962 to 1963), The Jetsons showed many things that have come to pass, such as computers, holograms, video conferences, and robots, while missing others like tablets and laptops. Yes, the era of George Jetson is already here more than you think:

A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Orbit City in 2062 and Seattle today

This TV show premiered in the year the Space Needle in Seattle was erected, around the time architects were gaga about the Googie style of futurism. Discs on impossibly high stilts were the rage in design then and the buildings in Orbit City reflected that. The Jetsons creators truly saw the future in this architecture. A year before, the equally Googie-esque Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport had opened:


Then again, this world has yet to see its first aerocar. 


One might think the Jetsons and their contemporaries have nothing to complain about, given their out-of-this-time amenities and luxuries: a simplistic view best avoided. The running joke of this show is that one could never be futuristic enough for life's difficulties.

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