Los Angeles Is Not New York

Back in February I wrote a blog entry called "Vancouver Is Not the Bronx," commenting on the lameness of the so-called "Hollywood North" city substituting for my fine hometown in the Jackie Chan martial arts movie Rumble in the Bronx.  Many places have acted as cheaper stand-ins for other, more exotic and more expensive locations.  The Los Angeles Times show business blog "Company Town" reports that the TV series The Whole Truth, which is set in New York, is actually filming in L.A. 

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and many cities have been stealing business away from Hollywood for years as more and more productions flock to other localities that offer more financial incentives to optimize their budgets. So it seems only fair that Los Angeles would swipe shows that were previously filmed in the great metropolis of New York and bring them to sunny California.  I already wrote about the bitter disappointment of seeing the long running original Law & Order, which was a mainstay of the local NY acting industry, replaced by a new West Coast spin-off, Law & Order: Los Angeles.

Replacing New York outright with L.A. is one thing.  But having the City of Angeles pretend to be NYC is something else.  As my Bronx homeboys would say, "Boo, hiss, and hell no!"  I've seen mock-up studio sets made to look like New York, and although some of them are impressive and might be able to fool casual viewers from around the world, New Yorkers can tell a fake when they see it. 

Location manager Veronique Vowell was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as she described the problems of making the streets of L.A. look like the Big Apple: "It's a challenge. New York doesn't have bougainvillea and palm trees." 

Actually we do, in the Conservatory of our Botanical Garden.  New York can substitute for many places around the world.  But it is another matter when those same places try to mimic the unique look and feel of the City That Never Sleeps.  They shouldn't even try, because it's a hopeless endeavor.  There is just no place like New York. 

So if the script calls for it, go for some authenticity and film here.  Los Angeles is a beautiful place, but it's no NYC.