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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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Andrew / July 2, 2004 4:12 PM

It's technically an anonymous city, but the precinct building in "Hill Street Blues" was on the South Side.

A lex / July 2, 2004 5:41 PM

"Married...with Children" -- because I can't think of any others besides "E.R." or "Perfect Strangers" Cousin Larry!

christopher / July 2, 2004 8:03 PM

family matters

'That Ian' / July 2, 2004 10:26 PM

Well I'll have to go with Christopher and say Family Matters.

Pat / July 2, 2004 10:34 PM

I'm going to have to go with the statue and say Bob Newhart...

Honorable mention: If I remember correctly, the sitcom E/R which also starred George Clooney and Elliot Gould was set in Chicago.

Stretching a little too far: That 70s show is set in the fictional town of Point Place which matches most descriptions of the nonfictional town of Pleasant Prairie with it's proximity to Kenosha.

Bliss / July 2, 2004 11:57 PM

The Bob Newhart Show. Good TV, and "Hi Bob" was a great drinking game.

Lyle from Lisle / July 3, 2004 12:15 AM

I'd tend toward series that take pains to authenticize their Chicago-ness, even if only with a few plausible exterior shots. But really, it would require strenuous self-delusion -- the kind of abject striving that's expected from a Secondary City -- to feel "proud" of how Chicago is "reflected" in the inherently generic, interchangeable settings of these programs. Couldn't "Good Times" just as easily unfolded in Cleveland, and "The Drew Carey Show" here? Why not, but for a few details superficially etched into Studio City boilerplate?

I love that Joan Cusack's* "What About Joan" (2001) was entirely shot here, at her bequest. I'd be lying if I said the show dripped Chicago-ness. (It might've nailed a certain middle-class North [as opposed to NorthWEST] Suburban aesthetic, but that's just splitting hairs, unproductively). Then again, the show didn't really get a chance to fully become itself.

Another one that sticks out in my mind is "Chicago Sons" (1997), which assayed for max Chicago cred factor: three brothers live in a Wrigley-VIEW apartment. (And co-lead D.W. Moffet hails from Highland Park.) I vaguely remember it being not particularly funny, despite the exertions of pre-comeback Jason Bateman and David Krumholtz ("Sidewalks of New York"), and director James Burrows ("Frasier").


Dan / July 3, 2004 8:12 AM

Perfect Strangers. You guys are crazy.

heather / July 3, 2004 12:49 PM

I find it difficult to forget the amazing ensemble series, "Cupid" - a Jeremy Piven driven vehicle, set and shot in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The main set piece was a lincoln park irish bar/grill, and it positively ooozed with chicago reality goodness.

Think "The Love Boat", exchanging the boat for Chicago, the cruise director and pals for the maybe-insane-person-possibly-human-incarnation-of-Cupid (Piven) and his newfound friends, and know that the guest stars are part of Cupid's plan to get back onto Mt Olympus by to making 100 people fall in love. without arrows or whatever cupid was supposedly using back in the day.

A native of Chicago, Piven shot EVERYTHING here, scouting locations himself while casting from the wealth of character actors that make the midwest theatre scene so gosh-durned wonderful. I'm not quite sure what killed the show, I'm betting it was its saturday evening time slot (reputedly the worst night of the week for television since, well, since The Love Boat itself sailed off the airwaves), but the network did try to shift it around the schedule a bit, and we all know multiple mid-season changes are death to all but the most fan-base-entrenched shows.

yeah. so. anyway. "Cupid" has my vote.

dce / July 3, 2004 5:33 PM

I can't remember what it was called, perhaps simply "The Paper". A guy would get a copy of the Sun Times from his cat, but it would be *tomorrow's* paper. Cheesy, but I liked it for some reason.

pat jurgaitis / July 3, 2004 6:11 PM

DCE, i do remember Early Edition filming outside the Rockwell brown line stop quite a bit... Don't actually ever remember seeing anything; but the excitement of having to walk to Western because they were filming a tv show in my hood was nearly palpable.

Ramsin / July 4, 2004 1:32 PM

I second Dave. Early Edition.

donna / July 4, 2004 5:53 PM

yup, i liked early edition too.
i remember on occasion seeing a sign saying "mc ginty's" hanging outside 'the hammer', which was a woodworking shop in river north. they used that building for the outside shots of the bar that the guy who got the 'early editions' owned.

but i'm still a bigger fan of ER.
ER filmed at the chicago stop of the brown line a lot.
that was my stop.
and noah wylie, he's a cutie - even better in person.

Dawson / July 5, 2004 8:24 AM

Good Times

Audrey / July 5, 2004 7:21 PM

I have to second Heather's vote for "Cupid." It was a very smartly written show about relationships -- and that's not an easy feat.

Aside from ER, I haven't heard of the other shows mentioned. How many t.v. shows have been filmed in Chicago? Why don't I ever run into George Clooney in the streets??

jennifer / July 6, 2004 8:34 AM

...temporary layoffs---Good Times!

Alice / July 6, 2004 8:39 AM

1. Chicago Hope, the "other ER"
2. Due South, about the Canadian mountie in Chicago
3. Early Edition
4. Punky Brewster
5. Cupid

Emily / July 6, 2004 8:51 AM

Life with Bonnie--another Chicago daughter who filmed in her home town.

Krissy / July 6, 2004 11:20 AM

A friend of mine who worked on "Cupid" now has the living room set from the show in her house. I never saw the show -- I never saw "What About Joan" either, although I'm a big fan of hers. I always meant to. I guess that makes me part of the problem.
I never knew Punky was set here! I guess that's my favorite, then -- until I see it in reruns and realize it sucked, which I'm sure it did.

Lisa / July 7, 2004 9:46 AM

I'm a little late on this topic, but I'd have to go with "Cupid" as well. I cannot understand why that show didn't work. The three other people I know who watched it agree!

Kris / July 8, 2004 3:46 PM

Punky Brewster was set here?! I had no idea! btw, the first season is out on DVD now, and from what I hear it does indeed suck big time, our fond memories bedamned.

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