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Dillon, Texas. Pawnee, Indiana. Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
These are my favorite places to visit when I’m stressed.
Course - Towns - Bounds - TV - Screens
Of course, every one of these towns is entirely fictional and exists only within the bounds of our TV screens. Best as I can tell, most of us have a few of these places in the queue and, for an hour or two before bed, we escape there for a soothing trip into someone else’s life.
But not just another life. Another place.
Lives - Characters - Places - Pain - Drama
It’s not like the lives of characters in these places are utterly without pain or drama. In fact, the drama is often THE POINT. But I’m going to venture a guess that what we revisit again and again, when watching a favorite show, is not just a beloved bunch of characters and well-known storylines– it’s the place itself.
My hunch is that Americans are spending more and more time watching television series about small towns these days– because we are desperate for the sense of community embodied in those fictional places. And the soothing rhythm of life that, for all the stress of the actual characters’ lives, presents and antidote to the frantic pace of our own.
Places - People - Something - Meltdown - Democracy
Or maybe we just like to pretend that places still exist where people hang out and talk to each other about something other than the complete and total meltdown of democracy and public discourse. Can you blame us?
Some of my favorite shows are set in big cities too– I’ll go to D.C. with Sam, Toby, Josh and C.J. as many times as Netflix will take me there. If I die in L.A., then so be it–call the Fischer family to bury me and it will be like visiting old friends. And the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-– set in anything-but-small-town-New York City– is the best thing on the screen right now....
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