Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sisters (1991-1996)

Set in Winnetka, Illinois, this drama focused on The Reed Sisters - Alexandra (Alex), Theodora (Teddy), Georgina (Georgie) and Francesca (Frankie) who were close as can be despite their different personalities. Since their father, who died prior to the series beginning, always wanted sons, he gave his daughters male nicknames.  The series had a unique aspect of showing the sisters interact and watch younger versions of themselves in flashback sequences.  It also had several comedic moments, many provided by Mother Bev, intertwined with the sibling drama.  An anchor of NBC's Saturday Night lineup, Sisters was quickly picked up after an initial spring tryout.  Storylines progressively became more soap opera in tone and by the series finale, was vaguely resemblant of what the show was initially.

Location: Georgie Reed Whitsig's House
Address: Warner Brothers Studios Backlot - Midwest Street, Burbank, CA

Georgie, the voice of reason sister, became the breadwinner of the family working as a real estate agent after her husband John has a breakdown and quits his job in hopes of becoming a lounge singer.  Together, with their two sons and dog Watson, they reside in this spacious dwelling.  In the pilot, a different house was used and shot on location (and is on my need to find list).  Once it went to series, it changed to the Warner Studios lot, where the show was filmed...

This was also Sam's Mother's House on Nightingales (1989) and is also seen in Gremlins (1984) when Billy walks Kate home.

Location Visited: October 2016

Still Need To Locate:

Georgie's House from Pilot
The Reed House from Pilot
Mitch's Fish Market
Halsey Manor

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Madonna - Secret (1994)

Having received a giant load of backlash from her Sex book, Erotica album and cinematic turd Body of Evidence, Madonna found herself in a sticky situation.  Had she gone too far with her sexcapades?  Had her audience finally tired of her music?  Would she recover from her little fuck up on Letterman?  You wouldn't know it from the single's cover, but The Queen of Pop toned down the sexual themes for her sixth album, exploring R&B sounds and recruiting 90s go-to hitmakers Dallas Austin and Babyface.  I didn't care so much for Bedtime Stories when it was originally released nor for any of the singles, except for Take A Bow.  But years later, I've come to enjoy several of the tracks, particularly songs that weren't released as singles.  

While Secret is not in my Madonna Top 20, it was refreshing to hear a different sound from her.  For the video, shot in black and white, Madonna sings at a jazz club interspersed with shots of her combing the streets of Harlem before reuniting with her lover and a child, who may be Madonna's secret or just her lover's depending on who you ask.   

Secret was filmed in New York, NY

Location: Harlem Establishing Shot
Address: 347 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th Street, New York, NY

Harlem has been gentrified tremendously since the video was shot there so not much is recognizable today but the International Bar & Lounge sign was a nice clue for the opening shot of the video...

Location: The Jazz Club
Address: 288 Lenox Avenue between 124th & 125th Street, New York, NY

The Lenox Lounge was a staple of the Harlem scene since the late 1930s. It was finally shuttered in 2012 due to rent increases.  While plans were made to reopen at a new location, they never came to pass and the iconic hangout was demolished just earlier this month.  A Sephora is rumored to take it's place...

Location: Madonna Peruses Harlem
Address: 310 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY

The Solomon's sign was another gift and made this location where Madonna takes to the streets simple to find.  Unfortunately it looks nothing like it used to...

Originally, Madonna had sported a Marlene Deitrich look but director Melodie McDaniel was dissatisfied and felt it didn't go with the theme of the video.  Initially she kept it a secret ;-) from Madonna, but as the day went on she broke her silence and it was revamped.  I think she made the right choice...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Serial Mom (1994)

I actually have not seen many John Waters films, but my repeated viewings of Serial Mom certainly make up for it.  Beverly Sutphin is the June Cleaver of the 90s, advocating for seatbelt wearing, recycling and bird watching. But unlike Mrs. Bates, she would harm a fly.  And that's just the beginning of Beverly's reign of terror all over Baltimore.  Cross her family or wear white after Labor Day and you're sure to get on her bad side.

Despite some critics hating Serial Mom as much as Beverly hates the brown word, Kathleen Turner delivers an unforgettable performance with a killer supporting cast ;-)  A satirical look at suburbia and the country's obsession with crime, each murder left you hanging, like a runny nose (Mrs. Jenson's is my favorite) making it clear that Beverly knows more about serial than just Rice Krispies.

Serial Mom was filmed in Towson and Baltimore, MD

Location: The Sutphin House
Address: 600 Lake Drive, Towson, MD

Location: Rosemary Ackerman's House
Address: 602 Lake Drive, Towson, MD

No room in the kitchen to recycle my ass...

Location: Dottie Hinkle's House
Address: 618 Lake Drive, Towson, MD

I was searching a while for 4215 Pussy Way with no luck.  Turns out the house was just down the street from Beverly and Rosemary's ;-)

Location: The Shopping Center
Address: 917 Taylor Avenue, Towson, MD  Lock Raven Plaza

The parking spot that started it all...

Location: Chip's High School
Address: 69 Cedar Avenue, Towson, MD  Towson High School

23x Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps attended Towson High School.   Michael Phelps Way was named in his honor...

Location: The Whiz Car Wash
Address: 8611 Loch Raven Boulevard, Towson, MD   Captain Car Wash

Beverly turns off of White Oak Avenue before washing away the evidence...

Location: The Sterner House
Address: 7010 Copeleigh Road, Baltimore, MD

The address on the house made this location easy to track down...

Location: The Church
Address: 1401 Carrolton Avenue, Towson, MD  Church of The Good Sheperd

Location: Video Americain
Address: 400 West Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD  

Soundscape is still there, but the video store is sadly now a Smoothie King. Having worked at Blockbuster Video for three summers in college, I completely understood Chip's plight dealing with customers who didn't rewind videotapes (noun,  magnetic tape used for storing video and audio).   I wonder how Mrs. Jenson would feel about watching Bill Cosby pictures now...

Location: Hammerjacks
Address: 1101 S Howard Street, Baltimore, MD  

Another location that is unfortunately no longer around...

Location: The Courthouse
Address: 400 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD 

Location: En Route to The Courthouse
Address: Loch Raven Boulevard & Yakona Road, Towson, MD 

The B& K Electronics sign was a nice clue in tracking this street down.  Turns out it was right across the street from the car wash...

Locations Visited: February 2017