Some time ago, I commented on the ABC special Earth 2100 and how, like other dystopian sci-fi visions, it at the end embraced Upstate New York as some sort of idyllic promised land for people to escape to in the event of asteroids, global warming, nuclear war, etc. Nobody else will be living up here, and it will be the perfect place for brave urban castaways to settle down and build new lives.
I can’t help noticing that more TV shows seem to be using Northeastern locales. The shows occasionally include Upstate in their geographies, such as The Office and its “Road Trip” episode which stopped at “Utica Branch.” Sometimes the geographies are fanciful or downright demented, however. My latest guilty TV pleasure in the Boston-set Fringe on Fox, which mostly stays in Massachusetts (or “Massachusetts,” ahem), but whose central dramatic event occurred at a fictional frozen lake west of Albany, somewhere north of Westerlo. Pretty cool… except that the lake is allegedly located just near an ocean beach. Okay, whatever! And this map from an alternate universe in Fringe seems to indicate something horrible has happened in the greater Buffalo area. (Wait, maybe that’s our universe.)
I used to assume that General Hospital‘s Port Charles, N.Y. was meant to be on Long Island. With ship’s bells and so many unsavory characters hanging out at “the docks,” wouldn’t you assume so? Nope, apparently it is supposed to be Rochester – on the rough and tumble coast of Lake Ontario. (Not that Rochester is on the coast…) All righty then!
Any other fantastical Upstate locations or landscapes out there in popular culture? (I’m thinking maybe it’s not worth discussing Slap Shot for the umpteenth time and instead focus on the probably far greater number of TV and movie productions that just make stuff up.)