Tuned In

Vacation Robo-Post: The United States of Television

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Unless Robo-James sabotaged my vehicle, the Tuned In family is spending this week in North Carolina, part of my plan to vacation this year only in electoral battleground states. (Look out, Missouri!)

Because it’s almost July 4 weekend—as you read this, not when I write it—I was thinking about regional television, and how much of the vast sweep of America TV has and has not covered. There are plenty of TV shows set, as Woody Guthrie sang, in California and the New York island. But what about, for instance, the Tar Heel State, where I’m currently visiting? It took me a little while before I recalled that Mayberry—of the Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.—was fictionally set here.

Growing up in Michigan, I always felt a bit slighted by Hollywood, but eventually Martin, Home Improvement and Freaks & Geeks all included us. Go farther afield, though, and it becomes an interesting game to find what states have and haven’t been featured on TV. Maine? Kingdom Hospital! Oregon? Hello, Larry! Georgia? Carter Country! New Mexico? Breaking Bad! Arizona? Alice!

Once we get to the Great Plains and Appalachia, though, I start drawing more blanks. Can you think of any TV series that have been set in some of those states? Any states that have been criminally overlooked? Do you live in a region that’s never been discovered by a TV series—or has a TV series discovered it and you wished it hadn’t?

Apologies to our overseas readers for the exclusion, but, you know, on our Independence Day, we Americans feel entitled to ignore the rest of the world’s geography. Kind of like on the other 364 days of the year!

As for the rest of you, enjoy your July 4th weekends, and I’ll be back on Monday.