Top 10 Fictional TV Towns
So, your home town; does it have a bric-a-brac shop that might be a gateway to an alternate plane of existence? Was it founded on the confluence of some crazy bundle of fault lines? Is it a magnet for all sorts of nefarious characters and a general hub of drama, catastrophe or ridicule? Does your antiques dealer run the local brothel? Is one charismatic bastard The Devil Himself?
Let’s face it; at least two of these scenarios ring true for almost every town in Ireland, particularly in the Midlands. We here at Ramp.ie believe that while truth is indeed stranger than fiction, fiction is more entertaining, less effort, plus you don’t need to leave the safety of the sitting room to enjoy it. So check out our eleven Top 10 Fictional TV towns and decide for yourself if they’re worth your precious couch time.
11. Capeside – Dawson’s Creek
Why would anyone want to hang out in Capeside with all those saps? We hear you, but hear us out, okay? Dawson’s Creek is unctuous in the extreme. Pacey was alright, but the rest of them? Nuke ‘em all, we say. We just want to hang out in the way that Bill Murray did in Scrooged when he was being shown his past, present and future – unseen observers that don’t have to interact with Dawson, Joey, Jen, McPhee and all the horrible rest of them. We’d laugh at Dawson’s tears, nudge each other and snigger at Pacey bending it in to his teacher (niccccce), laugh at the angst as they all tried to *pfffftLOL* find themselves. It’s not even decent angst. - Is it too late to strike this one from the list, Ed?
10. Eagleton – Parks & Recreation
This may well be the most contentious entry on the list. Eagleton is to Pawnee what Shelbyville is to Springfield. Sure, we love Pawnee and all, but if the Parks Department wasn’t there would we even care? Really, the citizens of Pawnee are a bunch of jerks. You know that smell of hops from the Guinness brewery that floats over Dublin? Nice right? Eagleton has a cupcake factory. It smells like vanilla all the time. Their parks are decent too. They have free hot air balloon rides guys.
9. Stars Hollow – The Gilmore Girls
Believe it or not, there was a time a person could look at Lorelai Gilmore and not hear the words ‘Fuck me Santa!‘ They were simpler times, and Stars Hollow was a simpler place – a town filled with gentle eccentrics, fast-talking pop-culturalists and honest, hard-working folks. They even had their own troubadour. Be warned, if you are one of those people who doesn’t want to know their neighbours or pet their dogs, this isn’t the spot for you. The folk of Stars Hollow are all up in each other’s shit, having town hall meetings and getting into harmless public spats at any opportunity. This is a place where Lorelai fucking Gilmore is the centre of scandal, and one of the main causes of civic chagrin is taking the piss during movie night. Hey maybe it’s not such a bad thing, you cynical swines.
8. Bedrock – The Flintstones
If you don’t want to visit Bedrock after the opening theme then that’s your business and we’ll say no more about it. Apart from this – DINOSAURS!
7. Sunnydale – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Even if you’ve never heard of a ‘Hellmouth’, you can probably surmise from the name that it’s bad juju. Well Sunnydale is built right on top of one of the fuckers! The juju is supernatural of course, in this case located underneath the library of Buffy’s high school. Needless to say the site had a long history of demonic to-ing and fro-ing before Buffy came on the scene. Really though, unless you’re keen on taking part in these tussles Sunnydale is just another place to drink coffee and all that, so play it however you see fit.
6. Royston Vasey – The League Of Gentlemen
Named for renowned philanthropist and human rights campaigner Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown, Royston Vasey provides the dystopian setting for The League of Gentlemen’s roster of dark and demented characters. No messing now – Royston Vasey is a scary place, just a sliver of normality away from full-blown chaos. Enter the local shop at your own risk. Probably avoid the butchers too. Maybe stay at Pop’s place. Over three series and a fillum Royston Vasey hosted some of the most messed-up shenanigans and seedy personages the BBC has ever seen. Be prepared to fall into the mouth of madness. ‘You’re my wife now’… fuck.
5. Twin Peaks – Twin Peaks
Damn fine coffee. That’s what we came for. We stayed for the bonkers inhabitants and brisk Washington air. Sure there’s murder afoot and a malevolent entity called BOB rampaging around inhabiting peoples bodies, but there’s also the less soul-endangering side. Special Agent Dale Cooper is pretty sound, the diner serves good pie, the Log Lady is agreeably nuts, and Audrey Horne is indeed worthy of the name. One would do well to avoid the seat of all evil that is the Black Lodge, but aside from that Twin Peaks is a nice place to visit rather than stay – best to leave after one season and remember it fondly.
4. Eerie – Eerie Indiana
Eerie has a population of 16,661 – that’s suspect for a start. Our hero Marshall Teller and his odd but loyal little friend Simon are the only two people in town who seem to be aware that something just ain’t right in Eerie. Exhaustingly, their efforts at enlightening the adult population fall on deaf ears. Get this: Eerie’s town boarders have the same geometric shape as the Bermuda Triangle. Elvis and Sasquatch are buzzing about the place. Other dimensions lurk just beyond the veil of reality and that idyllic suburbia is just a façade. Marshall knows that and we know that, and act accordingly. Still though, Forever Ware is a pretty nifty bit of Tupperware, if eternal life is your wont.
3. Cicely – Northern Exposure
When arrogant New York doctor Joel Fleischman took a position in Cicely, Alaska as part of a student loan repayment deal he thought he’d be out of there in no time. He didn’t bank on meeting Maggie O’Connell and sparking off the most entertaining won’t-those-two-just-kiss-already scenarios on the small screen. Most of their courtship took place in the bar, or in a house, or in a shop, or outside – just like Fair City really. What a town though – it was cold up there in Cicely but they had a pretty decent radio station and a one-man film studio in Ed, and did we mention Maggie flew a plane? Cold new home for Joel, big warm hearts for all of us.
2. Trinity – American Gothic
In the mid-nineties Channel 4 screened a TV show so good we felt the need to re-watch it, so bamboozled were we by the content. American Gothic was that show, and it wasn’t all that complicated after all – someone just fucked up when they aired it and the episodes were shown out of sequence. Turns out it’s even better when they’re watched in the correct order. Lucas Buck is the town sheriff and he’s a wrong ‘un. He might even be The Devil Himself, but we reckon he’s just a minor supernatural pest, disrupting people’s peace and interfering with an intense young fella’s future. This town is gas though –sultry schoolteacher Miss Coombs is of the good-hearted-but-corrupted variety; there’s a kind of hot benign ghost knocking about; there’s a ballsy journalist woman and a doctor fella engaged in your typical Good vs. Evil battle with Sheriff Buck; there’s a decent bit of sex, murder and intrigue. Still though, a lovely wee town if you can manage to stay off Buck’s radar.
1. Deadwood – Deadwood
Okay so maybe Deadwood isn’t strictly fictional (in that it’s real), and even though some characters were based on historical figures, not all of them were so we’ll allow it. The town of Deadwood sprang up from the dust of a gold-mining camp, and as it grew gathered scoundrels, whores and opportunists. Never in the field of entertainment was such profanity uttered to so many by so few. A brothel, a couple of bars, a hotel; from this nucleus Deadwood exploded into a hotbed of drug-taking, fussin’, cussin’, fightin’ and – consarn it – good ol’-fashioned putting down roots. How the town fathers managed to slap some law onto the place and cobble together some form of local government took no small amount of skulduggery, but needs must. Deadwood – a town in which to indulge all of your base pleasures.