Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Real World: Hawaii (1999)

The eighth season of MTV's hit reality show said aloha to Hawaii.  Another group of seven strangers assembled in a decked out residence near Diamond Head in Honolulu.  But it wasn't all surfing and luaus.  The gang was put to work, booking in-store entertainment for a local clothing apparel company.  Volatile castmate Ruthie and her drinking was one of the main story focuses of the season.  I had an internship at Bunim-Murray Productions in the story department during this season and was later hired temporarily as a story assistant.  It was a very interesting experience to see how they constructed storylines from shooting 24 hours a day.  Let me tell you, there was plenty of skinny dipping footage that didn't make it into the show. 

Location: The House
Address: 3169 Diamond Hill Road, Honolulu, HI

The house seen when the show aired was torn down about ten years ago.  An even fancier dwelling now sits on the lot...

Le Ahi Beach Park is right next door to the house, which allows you to go around and see the back...

...which has a pretty spectacular view...

Location Visited: July 2018

Related Location: 

The Real World: Los Angeles (1993)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)

Sportswriter Raymond Barone plays defense against his exasperated wife, bumbling brother, manipulative mother and cranky father in the long-running sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.  Family arguments and marital discord took center stage each week.  While not exactly groundbreaking, the series delivered the laughs and remained in the Neilsen Top Ten for most of its run. I stumbled upon the show during the third season and remained a regular viewer for several years, mainly thanks to Doris Roberts.

Location: Raymond & Debra Barone's House
Address: 135 Margaret Boulevard, Merrick, NY

Location: Frank & Marie Barone's House
Address: 135 Margaret Boulevard, Merrick, NY

Just across the street...

Locations Visited: January 2019

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Pleasantville (1998)

A pair of 90s siblings get transported back to the simpler, pleasanter 50s after a freak accident with a remote control.  They find themselves on David's favorite television show - Pleasantville, where it's always sunny and 72, no one misses a basket and nothing ever burns.  But soon after David and his twin sister Jennifer arrive, the idyllic town begins changing from black and white to color as people encounter new experiences and emotions, causing great chaos and discrimination for the newly "colored" people.  They ultimately claim victory and Jennifer decides to remain in Pleasantville, while David returns to present day.

Pleasantville is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I love suburbia-gone-awry films like The Ice Storm (1997)American Beauty (1999) and Far From Heaven (2002) that dealt with issues still prevalent today.  Too preachy for some people's taste, but I enjoyed the story and the solid performances, which was sadly overlooked come Oscar time.  No one can play repressed housewife like Joan Allen.  If the opportunity were to present itself, I would be first in line to go back in time... preferably to the 80s.  

Pleasantville was filmed in Pasadena, Burbank, Valencia, Calabasas, Montrose and Stevenson Ranch, CA

Location: Main Street, Pleasantville
Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA

I was surprised to find out Pleasantville's Main Street was not filmed on a studio backlot (with the hills in the background, I figured it was Warner Brothers).  Instead, the entire, magnificent set was constructed in Malibu Creek State Park.  At the time I visited, I was not aware of this, so the shots are not matching but it gives you an idea...  

This area was also used as the rest stop from Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998).

Location: Pleasantville High School
Address: 600 South McAdden Place, Los Angeles, CA

John Burroughs Middle School

Location: Pleasantville Bowling Alley
Address: 2334 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose, CA

I didn't have high HIGH hopes of seeing this location since it is normally only available for filming and private events, but one just happened to be ending when I stopped by.  I did feel like I was in Pleasantville when I walked inside...

The production designers certainly used the actual location for inspiration when recreating it at Malibu Creek State Park...

I actually grew up not too far from an actual Pleasantville...

Locations Visited: March 2016, October 2018