(Click to open an enlargement)
Other than the fact that The Golden Girls was chosen over Miami Vice to represent Florida, what astounds me most about Kent State University scholar Andrew Shears’ recent map (above) associating U.S. states with the TV shows that may or may not represent them best, is that two of those programs--Jimmy Stewart’s Hawkins (1973-1974), about a wily West Virginia defense attorney, and Ken Howard’s Depression-era crime-fighting series, The Manhunter (1974), set at least partly in Idaho--are pretty darn obscure. I would be surprised if anyone younger than 40 remembers them. As far as crime dramas go, I’m less surprised to see In Plain Sight (New Mexico), In the Heat of the Night (Alabama), Memphis Beat (Tennessee), The Wire (Maryland), Justified (Kentucky), Hawaii Five-O (Hawaii), and Murder, She Wrote (Maine) on this map.
Of course, if I’d been in charge of putting this project together, NYPD Blue might well have taken the place of Seinfeld to represent New York, The Rockford Files would certainly have substituted for Baywatch in California, and Longstreet would’ve been tapped to represent Louisiana, rather than the lame Billy the Exterminator.
Subsequent to the release of his original “United States of Television” map, Shears altered his associations a bit to represent “popular feedback.” In the illustration’s second incarnation, Memphis Beat has been replaced by The Grand Old Opry, Breaking Bad has been substituted for In Plain Sight, and Hill Street Blues has bumped Roseanne from Illinois. Oh, and Miami Vice has kicked The Golden Girls to the curb.
What do you think? Are there any TV crime or mystery series you would suggest substituting for some of the shows that already appear on this map? Suggest changes in the Comments section of this post.