Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TV Guide's list of best shows set in different U.S. cities, and my brief thoughts

TV Guide has a slideshow that lays out its view of the best TV shows set in different American cities. For some of the non-coastal cities, there might have been just one show, making it not a difficult choice. I didn't realize, for example, that "One Day at a Time" was set in Indianapolis. And as cool as Albuquerque is, it's obvious that "Breaking Bad" is going to be the representative for that town.

I'm not going to go through all 38 selections, but I am going to comment on the ones for the cities I've lived in. At the outset, note that the criteria for TV Guide was "favorite TV show for each," not necessarily most iconic depiction.

Los Angeles

TV Guide picked "New Girl." Really? I'll admit, I've never watched it because of my prejudice against 30 minute shows, but L.A. has been the setting for a ton of shows, including:

* "24"
* "The A-Team"
* "Alias"
* "Angel"
* "Bosch"
* "CHiPs"
* "The Greatest American Hero"
* "MacGyver"
* "Moonlighting"
* "Remington Steele"
* "The Rockford Files"
* "The Shield"

and many others. I'm not saying those are all good shows, but I'd rather watch any of them than "New Girl." If you want verisimilitude, I'd go with "The Shield" or "Bosch." But of course, if it's just my favorite show set in L.A., well, that's obviously going to be "24."

San Francisco

Technically, I never lived in San Francisco, but rather across the Bay. TV Guide picked "Full House," another show that I've never watched. Again, the City is a popular locale for shows:

* "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr."
* "Charmed"
* "Midnight Caller"
* "Monk"
* "Party of Five"
* "The Streets of San Francisco"

I would've gone with "Charmed," which was another one of those shows that dipped its toes into serialized storytelling and was better for it.

Oklahoma City

TV Guide didn't include this, but there actually was a show set in OKC - "Saving Grace" with Holly Hunter. I never watched it, so can't comment on it.

San Diego

Poor San Diego - probably the best city to live in the continental U.S. (if you can afford it), but perpetually overshadowed by L.A. TV Guide picked "The Fosters," which I've never even heard of. I would've picked "Simon & Simon," which I think captured San Diego's laid back attitude, or maybe the Lorenzo Lamas guilty pleasure "Renegade." I've heard great things about "Terriers" and need to catch on that short-lived show, also set in San Diego.

Iowa City

There are some shows set in the state of Iowa, but none that caught TV Guide's attention, nor mine. As far as I know, none of them was set in Iowa City, which is kind of weird, since Iowa City is a really good stand-in for your average Midwestern Big Ten college town.


It's either "Grimm" or "Portlandia," and I only watch "Grimm" out of those two, so I'd concur in the pick. Of course, as silly as "Portlandia" makes us out to be, I still hope it's a more accurate depiction, or else I'm surrounded by creepy wesen....


I've never lived in Seattle, but I'd pick "The 4400" to represent the Emerald City. "Grey's Anatomy" (TV Guide's choice) is certainly understandable, but I loved X-Files-like aspect of "The 4400." Too bad it was canceled on a cliffhanger. It's a good thing that the show's producers licensed follow-up novels that provided some closure to the story.

1 comment:

  1. My hometown of Boulder -- Mork and Mindy. 'Nuf said.