The Nice Guys

One of my favorite comedies from 2016 has to be The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. The film takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, but production was split between LA and Atlanta. The auto show, where all hell breaks loose at the end of the film was shot at the Hilton Atlanta (above)!

Other notable locations are the empty lot where the supposed “Burbank Apartments” once stood…

…the Lollipop Paradise porn shop, which is actually a beauty product wholesaler…

…and the fire escape in downtown that Amelia climbs down before dropping on Jackson Healy’s car!

As seen on screen inThe Nice Guys (2016).

Filming in the South

As always when I visit a new city I map out some filming locations to visit. One towards the top of the list in Atlanta was the exterior establishing shot of JJ’s Diner from fav show Parks and Recreation! Pretty much all of the show was filmed in and around LA, for some reason they chose the Landmark Diner halfway across the country.

As seen on screen inParks and Recreation (2009 – 2015).

Another recent film shot in the ATL was the not-so-fantastic sequel Dumb and Dumber To. The apartment building of Harry and Lloyd was built on an empty lot in a residential neighborhood. Today, newly constructed homes (above) offer no trace of it at all.

In one scene Harry and Lloyd share a bike ride down the street to visit Harry’s parents’ house.

As seen on screen inDumb and Dumber To (2014).

The Vacation reboot from 2015 had one quick cameo from the original film’s star Chevy Chase at this house…

As seen on screen inVacation (2015).

In the 2011 raunch-comedy Hall Pass Owen Wilson’s character meets his soon-to-be crush at this cafe she works at!

As seen on screen inHall Pass (2011).

Dead in Georgia

With the return of the second half of season 8 of The Walking Dead next week, it seems only fitting to share some location highlights from the show I visited during my recent trip to Georgia! The city of Atlanta acted as home base for the show for the first few seasons before the characters started shifting to the more rural or suburban areas of the state. The skyline view above is unmistakable (even though the show took some liberties using CGI magic) as the crowded freeway in the show’s promotional posters. Rick is riding horseback into the abandoned city of Atlanta after zombies have already taken over. View the real poster by clicking the link here.

While not necessarily one of the “main” locations, my trip wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the one-time home of Rick Grimes. After waking up in the hospital in episode 1, Rick returns home in search of his family.

The small town of Senoia, about 40 miles south of Atlanta, is the real-life home of the Alexandria Safe Zone. When I visited, the show was currently in production so the metal wall was up surrounding the homes (yes, real people live in the homes!), but the rooftops of some familiar buildings were still in sight! And you don’t even have to look out for walkers!

The entrance to the walled-off community that usually appears on the show is visible from the public road, but don’t try to walk any closer or security will quickly turn your around! Note the “Alexandria Safe Zone” sign to the right of the entrance in the photo above!

Senoia was also home to Woodbury and The Governor back in season 3. The show took over Main Street and turned it into a post-apocalyptic town. The water tower is unmistakeable!

Senoia is proud of its on-screen fame and offers multiple walking or bus tours of The Walking Dead locations. Several stores sell maps that pinpoint each spot, and Main Street is scattered with TWD inspired shops. Be sure to check out the Woodbury Shoppe (48 Main Street) for all your TWD or Senoia souvenirs! They also have props from the show in the basement along with signatures on the wall from the cast. And yes, even the beautiful Lauren Cohan!

As seen on screen inThe Walking Dead (2010 – ??).

MLK’s Birthplace

Atlanta has museums scattered all over town with perhaps the most notable being the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site just east of Downtown.

Just down the street from the birthplace is Ebenezer Baptist Church. The building is open to the public and you can even sit in the pews!

TelAmeriCorp Offices 1

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In keeping with the sad news of my guilty pleasure show Workaholics‘ series finale, another easily recognizable location is the first building used for the TelAmeriCorp offices. Blake, Anders, and Adam spent countless hours not working and goofing off in this small parking lot until the business moved (but not before our favorite slackers completely trashed the cubicles in one last hurrah).

As seen on screen in: Workaholics (2011 – 2017).

Stop Slacking

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It’s the end of an era. The horribly amazing slacker/stoner comedy Workaholics came to end last night with the series finale featuring one last epic party. The now cult-famous main house where Adam, Anders, and Blake would frequently smoke and drink on the roof, is really on a quiet street in Van Nuys where (supposedly) the 3 show creators lived before the show hit it big. It’s rarely mentioned, but the show is set in Rancho Cucamonga, but for the most part, the entire series stayed close to it’s real-life home with locations all throughout the San Fernando Valley.

As seen on screen in: Workaholics (2011 – 2017).

Gothic Wilcox

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Hollywood Blvd. is LA’s tourism hub with almost every direction causing a sensory overload. Each side street has its share of historic buildings, hidden restaurants, and random sights to be seen. A couple of these face reliefs watch over the northern part of the Hollywood/Wilcox intersection!

Bandini Bridge

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The Los Angeles River winds throughout the eastern portion of the city. It goes between foliage-filled Griffith Park, super-urban downtown, and onward to the Port of Long Beach. The intersection of Bandini and Soto, by one of the river’s many curves, has a great view of the skyline paired with the Soto overpass!

Modern B&B

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Another show premiering its new season is Modern Family! During last season (season 7) Mitch and Cam starting renting out the recently purchased upstairs portion of their condo. Chaos ensues, of course, when multiple weirdos come and go. In real life, the ivy covered home can be found across the street from the Fox Studio lot where the show’s interiors are shot! For those that care, you can also check out my post of the Dunphy family home here!

As seen on screen in: Modern Family (2009 – ??).

Nick’s Griffin

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Tonight is finally the season 6 premiere for one of my favorite shows — New Girl! While I posted about the gang’s loft building a while ago (see it here), I’ve yet to post about the gang’s hangout — The Griffin. For the first couple seasons of the show we only saw the interior of the bar that Nick would eventually come to own (interior scenes filmed at The Prince in Koreatown toward the beginning of the series), but recently they’ve added some exterior shots that were taken of this Atwater Village local landmark. We finally learned of the bar’s name for the first time in season 5 which explains the real life griffin sign on the bar’s corner!

As seen on screen in: New Girl (2011 – ??).

Korean Bell

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The Korean Bell of Friendship which sits atop Angels Gate Park in San Pedro, has some of the best ocean views around. This massive bronze bell was given as a gift on October 3, 1976 to symbolize friendship between Korea and America, and to celebrate this county’s bicentennial. The park, which is part of Fort MacArthur, is open for events and, of course, is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument!

A Clockwork Orange

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Working my way through the AFI Top 100 Greatest Films of All-Time!

#70 — A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Better Call Saul

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After Breaking Bad became the smash hit that it was, AMC decided to make a spinoff/prequel with original creator Vince Gilligan. Better Call Saul definitely keeps up the high standards of the original, and of course it uses the Albuquerque as its backdrop! Like the White family residence from Breaking Bad, the prequel has a main home as well — Chuck’s house. In real-life, it looks exactly the same as it does on the show except for the mailbox that every character uses to “ground themselves.”

Albuquerque, NM

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Another familiar spot from Better Call Saul is Mike’s parking lot ticket booth which is the bane of Jimmy’s existence!

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Though not one of the “main” show locations, the Valliant Printing Shop where Chuck passes out due to the florescent lights is from an unforgettable scene.

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The show’s biggest tie-in to Breaking Bad came when the skateboard kids and Jimmy followed the hit-and-run driver to this house when who should answer the door, but Tuco.

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Another Tuco hangout is the El Moreno Mexican Restaurant where he does his dealings with his partner in crime Nacho right beside him. That is until Mike purposefully hits Tuco’s car in the parking lot thus sacrificing himself and getting the beating of a lifetime. Tuco was arrested, but Mike’s problems were just getting started.

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As seen on screen in: Better Call Saul (2015 – ??).

Breaking Bad 3/3

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Three of the most iconic locations from Breaking Bad are easily Hank and Marie’s awesome hillside adobe house, Gus Fring’s front fast-food restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos, and of course the White house itself!

Albuquerque, NM

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Twisters — a chain located all over New Mexico — was chosen to play the chicken eatery. The location is one of the smart few that is banking on its television fame. The left up one of the wall decals which is the first thing you see when you walk inside, they added big arrows and a sign pointing out the exact booth Walter liked to sit in, and they even have posters for sale!

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The holy grail itself — Walter “Heisenberg” White’s house! It still looks almost exactly the same except for a gate added to the front entryway, some private property signs, and a slight color change. It’s known by the locals that the owners sit out front all day, every day to deter would-be vandalizers or trespassers. Luckily I stopped by at just the right moment to snap some photos of the show’s main location seen in all 62 episodes of its 5 season run!

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As seen on screen in: Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013).

Breaking Bad 2/3

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Some more Breaking Bad spots I was able to check out while roaming around Albuquerque were the A1A Car Wash that acted as the front for the income Walt earned as a dealer! Though the owners have changed, as has the color scheme, it’s still instantly recognizable!

Albuquerque, NM

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Saul Goodman’s one-time shopping center office is now a sports bar and sadly the inflatable Statue of Liberty is nowhere to be found.

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Tuco’s headquarters is actually a coffee shop.

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Jesse’s favorite hangout — local favorite Dog House — actually is a hot dog stand!

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The tragic demise of Walt’s frenemy Lydia took place against the window’s of this real-life restaurant. Somehow Walt sneaks some ricin poison into a sugar packet that Lydia then dumps into her morning coffee. Don’t worry though, the real eatery’s sugar packets are safe!

As seen on screen in: Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013).