"There are eight million stories in the Naked City. And this is one of them."
The City: full of people, tall buildings, and limited parking (except for our heroes
You're more likely to be the victim of a crime, so this is where most Crime and Punishment Series
are set. When a Sitcom
is set here, it tends to feature a younger, hipper crowd than the usual Dom Com
. People are also more cynical in The City, and the Deadpan Snarker
abounds. There is also public transportation, which is a good place to get Post Robbery Trauma
. Combine with a bit of dystopian
political corruption and a Rogues Gallery
of unrepentant lawbreakers, and it's the perfect place for the Superhero
to set up shop.
In the land of television, The City is also full of really big apartments which even a twentysomething who's just starting out professionally can totally afford
A few cities have their own special quirks (especially CSI
's Las Vegas). For the most part, The City will feature sprawling central business districts, vibrant ethnic neighborhoods, industrial zones and decaying ghettos.
Note that the distinction between The City and Suburbia
is not always clear-cut; many shows set in The City
might deal more with the residential neighborhoods, making it feel like Suburbia
with rowhouses (Full House
, The Cosby Show
, Family Matters
). At the other end of the spectrum, a show set officially in Suburbia
may show an assortment of local businesses, events, and institutions
that you would typically only find in a city (The Simpsons
, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
). However, these towns tend to be fictional; Springfield in particular
tends to go from largish city to suburb depending on the needs of the episode.
The peculiar interplay of aspects of Suburbia
and The City in the real-world city of Baltimore, Maryland (rural sensibilities + high population density = wacky crime) has made it a popular choice in recent years for Crime and Punishment Series
(Homicide Life On The Street
, The Wire
). While not primarily a cop show, police work typically figures into the B-plots of Joan of Arcadia
, which is set in a fictional Baltimore suburb. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Joss Whedon of detective/crime shows
is a Baltimore native who wrote a number of non-fiction works that many of those shows are directly based on.
City-related tropes include: