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Author Topic: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong  (Read 40877 times)

jeffandnicole

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #100 on: July 11, 2014, 01:21:37 PM »

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Cliff made the US Postal service to be a low paying job which is totally untrue in real life.  Just like on Three's Company where Jack made being a chef look like a bad career choice in general, when in fact Chef's make over 30 grand or more a year in real life.
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30 grand is not that much if you live in an expensive city or expect to support a family.

Today, no.  But back when Three's Company was made, $30,000 was decent money.  And they weren't spending those earnings on cell phones, internet access, cable TV (well, maybe), computers, and all the electronic stuff we have today.  Even if inflation was equal for salaries and expenses across the board, there's simply more stuff today to buy.  Even taxes are greater today than they were back then.

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Hollywood is not resourceful at all when it comes to getting local facts straight.
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Mostly they're just not motivated.  People who know the area may laugh at them for getting it wrong, but it doesn't stop them from watching.

And if anything, it helps spread the word about the movie and why people should watch it.

Personally, car crashes really irk me on movies.  Guaranteed in the same movie there'll be a scene where cars are demolished and the occupants exit without a scratch, and a crash where flames shoot up 10 stories in the air.
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roadman65

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #101 on: July 11, 2014, 01:28:45 PM »

Cheers was mentioned earlier in the thread so I'll mention something basic here:

As someone who has spent a decent amount of time in Boston, I would NEVER EVER EVER think of driving to the area where Cheers is located. Beacon Street along the Common is incredibly congested, overcrowded and parking is astronomically expensive. Despite these things, you would frequently hear characters talk about going to their car and driving. No one ever mentioned taking the T and rarely was a cab even mentioned. I assume that most (if not all) of the characters lived near or on a commuter rail, bus or a T stop.

Also, how in the hell did Cliff stop in Cheers mid postal route? Where did he park and how much money did he waste in doing so?

Maybe as a carrier he got to know a lot of people, including someone who paid for a reserved space but was never parked there during the day and told Cliff he'd be welcome to park there?

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Cliff made the US Postal service to be a low paying job which is totally untrue in real life.  Just like on Three's Company where Jack made being a chef look like a bad career choice in general, when in fact Chef's make over 30 grand or more a year in real life.

30 grand is not that much if you live in an expensive city or expect to support a family.

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Hollywood is not resourceful at all when it comes to getting local facts straight.

Mostly they're just not motivated.  People who know the area may laugh at them for getting it wrong, but it doesn't stop them from watching.

I said over 30 Grand meaning just starting with that amount.  Probably a cafeteria chef gets that, but a Hotel Executive Chef gets almost twice that amount along with big 4 or 5 star stand alone establishments.   Remember a Chef is actually higher in rank than a Restaurant Manager, especially in hotels.  The Restaurant Manager is merely a Wait Staff Supervisor where he has no say what goes on in the kitchen.  The Chef actually has say in both the kitchen and in front of the house.

Places like Red Lobster and Olive Garden do not have chef's and therefore the same management is in front and in back of the house which is deceiving until you work at fine dining.    A chef is actually addressed by all as "Chef" and never called with other titles or by first name in the true field.  It is a recognized title such as Doctor or Maestro for an orchestra leader.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #102 on: July 11, 2014, 02:30:17 PM »

Cheers was mentioned earlier in the thread so I'll mention something basic here:

As someone who has spent a decent amount of time in Boston, I would NEVER EVER EVER think of driving to the area where Cheers is located. Beacon Street along the Common is incredibly congested, overcrowded and parking is astronomically expensive. Despite these things, you would frequently hear characters talk about going to their car and driving. No one ever mentioned taking the T and rarely was a cab even mentioned. I assume that most (if not all) of the characters lived near or on a commuter rail, bus or a T stop.

Also, how in the hell did Cliff stop in Cheers mid postal route? Where did he park and how much money did he waste in doing so?

Maybe as a carrier he got to know a lot of people, including someone who paid for a reserved space but was never parked there during the day and told Cliff he'd be welcome to park there?

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Cliff made the US Postal service to be a low paying job which is totally untrue in real life.  Just like on Three's Company where Jack made being a chef look like a bad career choice in general, when in fact Chef's make over 30 grand or more a year in real life.

30 grand is not that much if you live in an expensive city or expect to support a family.

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Hollywood is not resourceful at all when it comes to getting local facts straight.

Mostly they're just not motivated.  People who know the area may laugh at them for getting it wrong, but it doesn't stop them from watching.

Re: Cliff

I don't know if Cliff would know anyone well enough to get a free parking spot in Boston. Go online now and look for a parking spot, particularly near Beacon St. on the Common. In a garage, you're paying at least $40 or so per day. There are people who legitimately buy parking spaces in Boston outright for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if we buy that Cliff befriended some rich person with a random parking space near the Common (which is a stretch since there was a common joke about Cliff being friendless), we still have to account for how everyone else drove to Cheers. It can be assumed that they were there at least 5 nights/week, if not all seven. If that's true then they were paying at least $200/week to park, which is an incredibly inefficient use of time/money/resources. I'm assuming that these prices were the same (adjusted down for inflation) or even higher in the 1980s - early 90s.

Minor point in the grand scheme? Possibly, but to anyone who remotely knows Boston, it does stand out.

And to be fair on Cliff's job, I think he's the only one on the show (aside from Coach, Carla and Woody) to remain gainfully employed with minimal breaks throughout the course of the show. Everyone else went through bouts of unemployment or unstable work. That's a pretty solid endorsement of the USPS.
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roadman65

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #103 on: July 11, 2014, 02:38:27 PM »

That is another issue you raised about people on Cheers unemployed, as Norm Peterson was unemployed for the longest period and hung out there more than Cliff did.  The bigger question was how he afforded parking considering he could not even pay for his beer as Sam ran him a tab that was in the thousands.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #104 on: July 11, 2014, 02:45:23 PM »

That is another issue you raised about people on Cheers unemployed, as Norm Peterson was unemployed for the longest period and hung out there more than Cliff did.  The bigger question was how he afforded parking considering he could not even pay for his beer as Sam ran him a tab that was in the thousands.

Yeah, Norm made no logical sense at all. You could almost excuse Frasier since his job is high paying so he likely just had money to blow. I don't know if they ever had Norm mention driving though. Given the amount of alcohol he assumed, I hope he took the T home.
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Big John

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #105 on: July 11, 2014, 05:43:48 PM »

There was an opening to one episode where Cliff and Norm were putting parking tickets on each other's vehicle.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #106 on: July 11, 2014, 05:58:17 PM »

There was an opening to one episode where Cliff and Norm were putting parking tickets on each other's vehicle.

So, Norm is astronomically rich, unemployed and can handle the streets of Boston while drunk?

VERY realistic.
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Pete from Boston

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TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #107 on: July 11, 2014, 07:02:14 PM »

You do all realize that Cheers was primarily on in the 1980s, right?  And that Boston then was not Boston now, right?

I can't speak for parking, but cost of living here has exploded since then.  The 1990s alone saw an upswing in real estate values that far outpaced the rate of inflation.  The cost of parking has a lot to do with the availability and value of land to park on, and there is less of it now that is worth much more.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 07:08:56 PM by Pete from Boston »
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roadman

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #108 on: July 11, 2014, 07:07:00 PM »

That is another issue you raised about people on Cheers unemployed, as Norm Peterson was unemployed for the longest period and hung out there more than Cliff did.  The bigger question was how he afforded parking considering he could not even pay for his beer as Sam ran him a tab that was in the thousands.
The writers made a feeble attempt to explain Norm's and Cliff's parking habits in one episode.  In the prologue (before the opening credits), Norm pulls up in front of the bar in a Honda Civic hatchback, and snags an on-street parking space in front of Cliff's postal truck.  He gets out, grabs one of several parking tickets that are on Cliff's truck, puts it under his windshield wiper, and walks into the bar.

Of course, the folly of all this is twofold:  First, in Boston, already having a parking ticket on your windshield doesn't matter - the local revenue agents meter maids will give you another one in a heartbeat if you're in violation.  Second, finding an open on street parking space in that area (let alone two) is nearly impossible, even on a Sunday morning.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 07:09:07 PM by roadman »
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The Nature Boy

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #109 on: July 11, 2014, 07:08:55 PM »

You do all realize that Cheers was primarily on in the 1980s, right?  And that Boston then was not Boston now, right?

Did the state of parking in the city take a tumble over the past 20-30 years? I can't imagine it being MUCH better back then.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #110 on: July 11, 2014, 07:12:34 PM »


You do all realize that Cheers was primarily on in the 1980s, right?  And that Boston then was not Boston now, right?

Did the state of parking in the city take a tumble over the past 20-30 years? I can't imagine it being MUCH better back then.

I edited to explain, but you posted first.  All I can say is there was more vacant land in general then, and it was worth much less, for whatever that means for parking lot costs.

There's also a trend now to demand-price parking, extend meter hours to 8 or 10 pm, and replace individual meters with car-specific tickets (no picking up someone's leftover time). So street parking, at least, is definitely pricier.
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roadman

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #111 on: July 11, 2014, 07:15:04 PM »

You do all realize that Cheers was primarily on in the 1980s, right?  And that Boston then was not Boston now, right?

Did the state of parking in the city take a tumble over the past 20-30 years? I can't imagine it being MUCH better back then.
It wasn't.  Since about 1972 (IIRC), there has been an EPA-mandated ceiling on the total number of parking spaces allowed within the City of Boston.  They've since relaxed some of the rules for certain off-street developments, but the total number of on-street parking spaces and "public" garage spaces has remained stagnant.  It's treated as a zero sum gain by the EPA - if the City does street improvements that result in fewer spaces in one place, they are allowed to replicate the spaces they lose elsewhere.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #112 on: July 11, 2014, 07:34:00 PM »


You do all realize that Cheers was primarily on in the 1980s, right?  And that Boston then was not Boston now, right?

Did the state of parking in the city take a tumble over the past 20-30 years? I can't imagine it being MUCH better back then.
It wasn't.  Since about 1972 (IIRC), there has been an EPA-mandated ceiling on the total number of parking spaces allowed within the City of Boston.  They've since relaxed some of the rules for certain off-street developments, but the total number of on-street parking spaces and "public" garage spaces has remained stagnant.  It's treated as a zero sum gain by the EPA - if the City does street improvements that result in fewer spaces in one place, they are allowed to replicate the spaces they lose elsewhere.

I forgot all about that parking freeze, probably because there is so much parking built as part of developments it is hard to remember that the cap exists.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #113 on: July 11, 2014, 07:37:23 PM »

Yeah, I understand that the cost of living skyrocketed in the 80s because of the development along the Route 128 corridor. I'm sure that Carla's nonexistent house near Logan (if such a thing existed) would be worth six-figures in 2014. :P

The cost of living in Boston is a pain in the ass though and I say that as someone who is actively looking for apartments in the area.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #114 on: July 15, 2016, 09:38:16 AM »

In order to block out road signs in the 21 Jump Street movie (shot in New Orleans) they are driving on the LEFT bridge.  Watch the chase scene, all the signs are backwards.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #115 on: July 15, 2016, 01:05:10 PM »

It wasn't.  Since about 1972 (IIRC), there has been an EPA-mandated ceiling on the total number of parking spaces allowed within the City of Boston.  They've since relaxed some of the rules for certain off-street developments, but the total number of on-street parking spaces and "public" garage spaces has remained stagnant.  It's treated as a zero sum gain by the EPA - if the City does street improvements that result in fewer spaces in one place, they are allowed to replicate the spaces they lose elsewhere.
Did only Boston have such a restriction or was such also applied to other cities?  In the near-26 years I've lived in the Philly area; there has definitely been an increased number of overall parking spaces in Philadelphia (mostly in the form of above or underground garages).

Yeah, I understand that the cost of living skyrocketed in the 80s because of the development along the Route 128 corridor. I'm sure that Carla's nonexistent house near Logan (if such a thing existed) would be worth six-figures in 2014. :P
The episode when she moves in (5th season, early 1987) took place right when real estate prices in the Greater Boston area were skyrocketing.  Cliff's "It's a sellers' market" quote during the episode gives reference to what real estate prices, as a whole, were doing at the time.

The cost of living in Boston is a pain in the ass though and I say that as someone who is actively looking for apartments in the area.
Such has largely been an issue since the mid-to-late 80s.  I remember one local magazine article (it was either from Boston Magazine or Marblehead Magazine) that had an opening headline that read "Where Will Our Children Live?" that commented about the soaring real estate prices effect on young adults leaving their parents' homes (due to marriage, job, whatever).  I.e. more and more of them were forced to move further away.

Fast forward to about the mid 2000s and another article (this time from the Boston Herald) covered the exodus of young adults (ones that actually contribute to the tax base) from the state due to high real estate prices (including apartment rents).

Not much has changed in that (high real estate prices & rents) regard except that it's now expanded well beyond the I-495 corridor now.
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roadman65

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #116 on: July 15, 2016, 01:06:49 PM »

I was watching Kojak last night on MeTV when I noticed that both characters Crocker and Kojak talking on a NY City street corner, with large 12-12-12 traffic signals with back plates on them in the backround. 

New York City uses yellow, mostly 8-8-8, and no back plates.  It was clear that the production company shot most scenes with all the actors to make the one hour long crime drama in LA in hopes to pass it along to viewers that they are in New York.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #117 on: July 15, 2016, 03:01:42 PM »

Dexter which was set in Miami was filmed in Southern California. They had some outside shots establishing setting in Miami and they seem to do a decent job of avoiding mountains in background. But all the cars have front Florida tags. And Dade tags.. it was changed to Miami-Dade officially in 1997 and there is not even and option for County name any longer in Miami Dade. Standard issue is Sunshine State or In God we Trust
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #118 on: July 17, 2016, 12:26:16 AM »

The Purge has a scene where it's showing various cameras from various cities around the US. One that stuck out to me was where it showed a scene supposed to be set in Huntsville, AL, but the street they show has double lines on the side of it, which don't exist here in Huntsville from what I've seen. Not too major of a mistake, but there wasn't much else that I could see, especially since the scene is shot in such a way the street and sidewalk (along with a few parts of buildings) are the only things you can see. Though of course the only reason I was able to know about it was from watching a review of the movie, since I haven't actually seen the movie myself.
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bing101

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #119 on: July 17, 2016, 01:10:25 AM »

Mythbusters on Discovery some of their Bay Area Scenes take place in Vallejo, CA but is sometimes credited for taking place in San Francisco or Oakland.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #120 on: July 17, 2016, 04:39:53 AM »

A minor gaffe in the sitcom Martin. It was set in Detroit and used authentic outdoor shots, but the addresses and street names used were completely made up and don't exist in the actual city. In one episode their apartment building (which is actually in a somewhat upscale neighborhood from the exterior shot) is given an address on the non-existent 128th Street to make it sound like they're in the 'hood.

The cop drama Sirens was set in Pittsburgh, but actually filmed in the far flatter and less claustrophobic city of Vancouver. There's almost no similarity to the actual city.

The Detroit in the original 1984 version of Robocop bears no similarity, not even accidentally, to the actual city. It was filmed in Dallas.

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bing101

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #121 on: July 17, 2016, 08:58:13 AM »

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20160603/filming-to-begin-next-week-in-downtown-vallejo

A Netflix show featuring Selena Gomez was filmed in Vallejo.  My take here is that Vallejo is used as a backup city whenever other cities like San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are either too expensive to film or the scene they wanted in those cities were denied because of neighborhood complaints in those cited areas.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #122 on: July 17, 2016, 07:33:26 PM »

The Killing is set in Seattle and filmed in Vancouver. That's excusable given the tax incentive, but this is not:

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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #123 on: July 28, 2016, 02:36:38 PM »

On a cable channel, I recently saw the miniseries Rich Man-Poor Man (which originally aired on ABC circa 1976); which takes place during the late 50s/early 60s, but little or no effort was made to have things period correct... hairstyles in particular.  Stock footage of outdoor scenes would feature cars much later than the era (late 60s/early 70s cars in a late 50s/early 60s setting). 

The biggest gaffe was one scene where Nick Nolte's character is on a ship heading to NYC and a shot of Lower Manhattan shows the World Trade Center's Twin Towers; such weren't even under construction yet during the setting's era.
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Re: TV shows set in cities that get city features horribly wrong
« Reply #124 on: August 06, 2016, 04:37:37 PM »

I'm surprised no one's mentioned the S.F. chase sequence in "Bullitt" -- you know, the one that started down on Army Street, jumped right to Nob Hill, moved to Russian Hill (without crossing Van Ness!), and ended up on the south side of the Presidio -- only to segue directly onto San Bruno Mountain, where it ended in a ball of flame (incidentally, the San Bruno Mountain road had not been opened to the public at the time of filming; McQueen and company were among the first to use it).  Back about 1984 or so, a friend and I took a camcorder around the city trying to replicate the chase by landmarks; it took most of a day to locate about two-thirds of the shooting locations. 
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