Tyler: Boston, According to Television

Boston is portrayed in so many ways through television. Nothing truly captures the full essence of this city, but here are some fun shows set in Boston that you can watch, anyway:

1 – Chasing Life: April Carver is an aspiring journalist, working her way up the ladder at The Boston Post; however, her life is turned upside-down when she is diagnosed with leukemia.

So this show is pretty bad, in my opinion. It only lasted for two seasons, and the plot is fairly basic. They didn’t fact-check well, so often there are some awkward sequences that don’t make sense. In the series’ opening scene, April is running to the Children’s Hospital (near the Fens) to interview a celebrity sports player, but she runs from Beacon Hill, through the Common, through Government Center, to the Waterfront. My first thought was, “you’re going the wrong way?” Simple misdirections like this and inaccurate Boston references were enough to keep me going, though. Oh, ABC Family, thanks for the laughs.

2 – Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Zack and Cody are twin teenaged-boys living in Boston’s luxury Tipton Hotel, and the series is all about their shenanigans.

Let’s throw it back to our childhood! Who can forget about the magical moments of London learning how to use a gearshift (“Do you mean the prindle?”), the haunted Suite 613, and That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana? And the best part: if you think about it, Suite Life takes place in OUR neighborhood. The Tipton Hotel was supposed to be right next to Fenway Park… Anyone up for a trip to Hotel Commonwealth?

3 – Falling Skies: Following a worldwide alien invasion, the newly-formed Second Massachusetts Regiment tries to take down their new enemy and reform the country they once called home.

This was a lesser-known series produced by Steven Spielberg that started very strong and died off. During its first season, it was ranked high with other newcomers like American Horror Story, which eventually surpassed it. Lucky enough for you, the first season takes place in Boston! The protagonist, Tom Mason, is especially cool since he was a BU history professor before the invasion. I won’t spoil any more for you, though.

4 – Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: On her 16th birthday, Sabrina Spellman goes from being a typical teen to a witch! Now she must balance her social life with her newfound magical powers.

Back to childhood once more! The more popular, early seasons take place in a small town outside of the Boston, but Sabrina spends her later years going to school and working in the big city! It probably has similar inaccuracies to Chasing Life, but who cares? I’ll watch it for the nostalgia. Also… Can we note how Sabrina went to school for journalism and DIDN’T consider BU? Yikes.

5 – Cheers: Former Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone turns to running a bar for a career, and the series focuses around his, his workers, and bar regulars’ lives.

This series embodies Boston’s pride and joy. Almost the entire series takes place in the bar, so you don’t see much of Boston, but the show is iconic. Winning countless awards, this series was the Friends before Friends, sprung the hit spinoff Frasier, and created the memorable Diane Chambers (a fictional BU grad. student!) and Sam Malone love story. Please watch it.

And although I haven’t watched it yet, I’m going to give a shout out to American Gothic. It just aired this summer on CBS, so it’s on my list. It was also created by a BU COM alum, so definite brownie points. And NBC’s Smash has a small stint in Boston during season one. This is a horrible show about Broadway that is still 100% worth the watch.

There we have it, folks! Get crackin’!

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