Real vs Fake Sitcom Spots

It is interesting to think about how popular sitcoms were influential beyond the tv screen, and shows like Friends or I Love Lucy are still watched for comfort. After reading chapter 5 I was curious to explore how the imagery of media events were sometimes more influential than the actual events.  Are there specific moments in television that changed how you see actual events? How much power do sitcoms actually have on framing our perspective in the real world?

I like to watch How I Met Your Mother while I’m doing homework or need some background noise. How I Met Your Mother takes place in New York City, which is where I was born and raised.  Although the show is actually filmed in Los Angeles, they mention real places in New York throughout the series. This made me curious as to how they know what life is really like in New York, and I found a few articles mentioning the co-creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The co-creators used to live in an Upper West Side apartment and use that experience for inspiration. Bays and Thomas noted that they wanted to “write about our friends and the stupid stuff we did in New York.”


Why do people want to visit these places when the show was never actually filmed there nor were the actors in that spot. Have these spaces become more influential because of the series? Surprisingly there were tons of articles that list out guides to visit How I Met Your Mother spots in NYC. I was surprised that MacLauren’s, the pub where the characters regularly chat and meet up, is based on an actual bar, McGees, in NYC. They even have a menu dedicated to HIMYM, which includes foods and drinks!


Here are some of the guides I found:



Map to HIMYM Spots in NYC


Are there any places you have wanted to visit after seeing it on a sitcom show even if the actors never actually went there? Friends is another sitcom that has a ton of guides online and NYC spots, even though the show was filmed in Los Angeles. Friends I find has more incorrect depictions of New York. I added in a few Friends locations and NYC spots.

– Ziba Klein


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5 Responses to Real vs Fake Sitcom Spots

  1. mediaphiles says:

    This is a really cool blog topic. Often times people forget to take into account how the location of the shows affects the characters and even the viewer. I read an article somewhere that was arguing that considering the Friend’s character’s jobs, apartment, and lifestyle there is no way that they would realistically be able to afford how they were living. Producers tend to take this aspect completely out of sitcoms intentionally I think. Although the Friends characters are not portrayed as very wealthy in the show, if you realistically look at it they are very well off for living in such a popular city.
    Kendall Fischlein

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Wow, this is a really cool topic. I must admit that I would love to visit the diner that Booth and Bones eat at, even though the diner technically doesn’t exist in Washington, DC. I think the idea that people get attached to the places the characters frequent has the same play as people visiting historical sites. People want to be a part of things they deem important or meaningful to them. — Serena Daya

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that this is a really interesting and unique topic to point out. I also think it can be directly found in why we watch tv today. It is an escape and an attachment that we can make outside of our own lives, and the physical places where the tv shows take place are an equal part of this escape. As a result, we often elevate these places above others, even though they are mostly fictional. This just shows the impact television has on our minds and actions.
    -Lacey Worsham

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I haven’t even really thought about this that much, but it’s so thought-provoking! I feel like it’s almost the inspiration of a place that makes it special to fans, even if the actors never set foot there. I was actually thinking the same thing as Serena when I read this article. Being from Virginia, I have grown up visiting historical sites and always love being a part of our country’s history when I visit Monticello or Mount Vernon. I think places are extremely special to people–whether it’s a television set or simply the inspiration for the show.

    -Sam Moore

  5. marymdalton says:

    Good post!

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