The Heart of the City

Very smart words from Alex R.:

This is the second or third time I’ve noticed you refer to the NYC-LA-Miami “triangle” as mainstays for television shows. The first two I get, they’re easy.

What I wonder about is Miami. I’ll grant you that there are a few mainstream shows set in Miami. Burn Notice, CSI:Miami, Miami Vice, Dexter. However, all of these shows use Miami a simple backdrop without depth that is useful for filming aerial cut scenes and stock reel of expensive cars and women in bikinis. Though your larger point is that we don’t get to see much of cities outside this triangle, the truth is that no show has ever really shown us much about Miami. Particularly, not in the way that NYC and LA have received in depth treatments from a number of dramas both in television and film. Miami is the most superficially overexposed city in modern television, but I’m still waiting for a show that is set in something resembling Miami.

I’ve never actually been to Miami, so I can’t really speak to the true nature of the city. But I think this is an interesting point. And to extrapolate, I do wonder about the extent to which shows like the much-mourned Law & Order actually represent New York, even as it was deeply intertwined with the city’s arts community and economy. In a post-Wire world, the standards are higher, of course.