TV shows set in real-life cities generally have one problem; they exaggerate the violence or unsavory elements of the cities where the stories are set. In this third installment of a series of articles about real-life cities that are nicer than their TV counterparts, the cities of Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Langley, Toronto, and Kamakura are shown to be pretty nice places to live. No matter how they are portrayed on TV, these cities aren't all bad.
Albuquerque, New MexicoAlbuquerque is famous for two things: a name that is notoriously hard to spell, and schoolteacher-turned-meth cooker Walter White. The version of Albuquerque seen on "Breaking Bad" is very bleak. While there are some affluent people, nearly every person on the show is either addicted to meth, involved in the production of drugs, or endangering their lives by being involved in the war on drugs.
But despite all the scenes of cartel violence and seedy motels, the real Albuquerque is actually a pretty nice place to live. In 2009, Kiplinger placed the city at the number two position on one of their "Best Cities" lists. In fact, "Breaking Bad" has been instrumental in gentrifying the city, thanks to the legions of tourists who flock to the city each year to see where their favorite show takes place.
Las Vegas, NevadaVegas gets a bum rap as being seedy, greedy, and violent. And while the city certainly had some dark days back in the days of widespread mob control, today's Las Vegas is not only quite safe, but family friendly. Despite all the violence of "CSI," Vegas isn't the scary place it's so often portrayed as on TV. However, it is true that the city's violent crime index is consistently higher than the national average.
Langley Falls, VirginiaLangley Falls, the setting for "American Dad," is a parody of the real-life Langley, Virginia. While the CIA headquarters really is located in Langley, the real city lacks the sneaky aliens, talking koalas, meter maid scandals, or near-weekly explosions of the fictional Langley Falls.
Toronto, OntarioFor some reason, a lot of the crime dramas set in Toronto have a supernatural twist. In addition to not having as many active serial killers as TV shows might suggest, Toronto also lacks the vampires of "Forever Knight" and "Blood Ties."
Kamakura, JapanLocated on the coast about 90 minutes south of Tokyo, the city of Kamakura is a tourist hot spot prized for a great beach, as well as festivals that celebrate the skill of Japan's medieval archers.
Kamakura is used time and time again as the setting for some seriously weird Japanese shows. In "Twin Spica," Kamakura is the site of a rocket crash, while in "Elfen Lied," the city is home to a race of mutants. Despite all the violence and weirdness that TV programs show happening in Kamakura, the city is far more peaceful in real life.