Los Angeles in popular culture
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Note: this list includes movies showing different perspectives of LA; does not include all films shot in Los Angeles. Also, please see List of films set in Los Angeles.
- Blade Runner (1982) depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019, in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants—visually indistinguishable from adult humans—are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other "mega–manufacturers" around the world.
- In the Terminator series, a hi-tech robot and a human named John Connor always engage a battle in densely populated areas in the city. A post-apocalyptic 2029 Los Angeles also appears (though only during the pre-opening credits sequence - to provide some background to series storyline).
- The 1997 movie, L.A. Confidential, centers on greater Los Angeles.
- Predator 2 (1990) centers on an alien battle in some densely populated areas in the city.
- In the production movie Demolition Man (1993), Los Angeles is referred to San Angeles. In this film, the city suffers a massive earthquake and its neighboring metropolitan.[clarification needed] Several battles occurred at some places, like Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard.
- In the movie Escape from L.A. (1996), the city suffers from massive earthquakes and divides the city from California. After that, highly known and deadly criminals populate the city.
- In the movie Independence Day (1996), the first city-sized alien spaceships arrived at U.S. Bank Tower. The invader then fires a powerful beam and destroys the tower, then the city.
- In the 1997 film Volcano, a volcano threatens Los Angeles after it forms in the famous La Brea Tar Pits.
- The main story of Blue Streak (1999) revolves around Downtown Los Angeles.
- In the movie The Core (2003), the space shuttle Endeavour mistakenly lands on the Los Angeles River.
- In the 2006 movie Crank and its 2009 sequel, Crank: High Voltage, the main events focus on the places of Downtown Los Angeles.
- In the apocalyptic film The Day After Tomorrow (2004), series of F-3 to EF-5 tornadoes devastate some densely populated areas in the city.
- In the horror-suspense movie Right At Your Door (2006), several dirty bombs are blown in different parts of Los Angeles, spilling toxic a substance.[clarification needed]
- In the 2007 giant monster film Dragon wars, devastation arrives first at Los Angeles Skyline after the giant monster dragons destroys and rampages through the city, then climbs the U.S. Bank Tower, after which the devastation continues to Downtown Los Angeles.
- In the movie Hancock (2008), Hancock's laziness and clumsiness wreak various destructions.
- In the 2007 movie Southland Tales, the US Bank Tower stands as headquarters for US-IDENT, a Big Brother surveillance agency under the guise of a national security think-tank. The film was set in downtown Los Angeles.
- In the 2009 movie 2012, Los Angeles is shown being ripped apart by giant earthquakes.
- In the 2010 horror movie Resident Evil: Afterlife, Alice and Claire arrive at Los Angeles after thinking they found Arcadia. Los Angeles is already in ruins thanks to the population of the zombies overwhelming it. A few survivors are hiding in the Citadel Correctional Facility (based on the real Los Angeles county jail) before deciding to head to the ship Arcadia.
- In the 2011 movie Battle: Los Angeles. LA is invaded by aliens, along with the rest of the world.
- In the 2013 comedy This Is the End, Los Angeles along with the rest of the world, is destroyed by the Rapture, including a deadly sinkhole that forms outside James Franco's home in the Hollywood Hills. The film makes references specific to the city or California such as street names or businesses.
- Hollywood story analyst Julie Gray notes "You can take the girl out of Hollywood but you can’t take Hollywood out of the girl."
(Alphabetized by artist)
- The video for Aphex Twin song, "Windowlicker" was filmed in Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Boulevard and Santa Monica.
- The David Guetta/Flo Rida/Nicki Minaj song, "Where Them Girls At" takes place at various places around Downtown Los Angeles.
- Settings in Madonna's music video for her song, "La Isla Bonita", were clearly filmed around Downtown Los Angeles.
- In the song "I Love L.A.", Randy Newman mentions places where the richest and the poorest live, and some famous boulevards in Los Angeles.
- Straight Outta Compton is the debut studio album by American hip hop group N.W.A, released August 8, 1988 on group member Eazy-E's record label Ruthless Records. Its title refers to the group's native Compton, California.
- "Straight Outta Compton (song)" (1988) is the award-winning lead single from N.W.A's eponymous second album with the same name. It also appears on N.W.A's Greatest Hits with an extended mix, and The Best of N.W.A.: The Strength of Street Knowledge.
- English group Massive Attack filmed the music video for the song Unfinished Sympathy in January 1991 on West Pico Boulevard, L.A.
- The Los Angeles band Red Hot Chili Peppers have referenced the city in their songs many times over the years, most notably in their 1992 hit single "Under the Bridge", which contains lyrics about the singers' relationship with the city.
- Progressive metal band Tool disparage the city in the quasi-titular track of their 1996 album, Ænima.
- The East Coast – West Coast hip hop rivalry was a feud in the early to mid-1990s between artists and fans of the East Coast and West Coast hip-hop scenes. Seeming focal points of the feud were East Coast-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (and his New York-based label, Bad Boy Records), and West Coast-based rapper 2Pac (and his Lost Angeles-based label, Death Row Records), both of whom were murdered.
In TV series
- FOX hit show 24 takes place in Los Angeles in seasons 1 through 6.
- Popular CBS show Numb3rs was set in Los Angeles and followed FBI Special Agent Don Eppes and his mathematical genius brother, Charlie Eppes, who helps Don solve crimes for the FBI.
- Angel was set in Los Angeles and frequently drew parallels between the monsters that Angel and his colleagues hunted, and the Los Angeles inhabitants and culture.
- L.A. is the prime location in Oxygen's hit series, The Bad Girls Club.
- The Beverly Hillbillies is an American television series about a hillbilly family transplanted to Beverly Hills, California after finding crude oil on their land.
- Beverly Hills, 90210 (which aired October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000) was a popular teen drama set in Beverly Hills. The show spawned several spinoffs, most of whose titles indicated the L.A. neighborhoods in which they were set:
- Melrose Place (1992 TV series) (which aired from July 8, 1992, to May 24, 1999), centers on residents of an apartment complex located on Melrose Place, in West Hollywood, Los Angeles
- Models Inc. (which aired from June 29, 1994 to March 6, 1995) centered on a modeling agency located in Los Angeles
- 90210 (which aired from September 2, 2008 to May 13, 2013), centers on the lives of high school students who attend Beverly Hills High School
- Melrose Place (2009 TV series) (which aired from September 8, 2009 to April 13, 2010), in updated take on the original, eponymous 1992 series
- City of Angels centered on the lives of the medics at Angels of Mercy Hospital in Los Angeles.
- The action of Californication, featuring David Duchovny, takes place in Los Angeles.
- Entourage (TV series) (which aired from July 18, 2004 to September 11, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series that chronicles the acting career of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), a young A-list movie star, and his childhood friends from Queens, New York City, as they navigate the unfamiliar terrain of Los Angeles, California. Its premise is loosely based on Mark Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming film star, and the series deals with themes of male friendship and real-life situations in modern-day Hollywood.
- Private Practice, the spin off of ABC's popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy is set in the fictional Oceanside Wellness Group medical centre located in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. The building that serves as the location of the practice can be found at the corner of 4th and Wilshire.
- Law & Order: LA (September 29, 2010 – July 11, 2011), originally titled Law & Order: Los Angeles, was the first American Law & Order series set outside of New York City. As with the original series, the first half-hour of the show focused on the police investigation of a crime discovered in the cold open; the second half took place at the Los Angeles District Attorney's office and focused on the prosecution of the criminal suspect(s).
- In L.A. Law, a famous American television legal drama that ran from 1986 to 1994, the LAPD always patrolled and negotiated around Los Angeles.
- Nip/Tuck was set in Miami, Florida but filmed in Los Angeles. You can notice it by seeing some of the buildings in L.A..
- The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills follows the lives of upper-class residents of one of America's most exclusive communities.
- The Real World: Los Angeles is the second season of MTV's popular reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of seven diverse strangers living together for several months, as the cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships.
- Reptilian aliens posing as humans overtook the planet in 1983's V (the original miniseries) (1983), but the drama revolved around Resistance fighters based in Los Angeles. The aliens' imposing mothership constantly hovered over the city, residents were harvested for food, and the city's water supply was secretly drained.
-NCIS:LA, the spin of show from NCIS, shown on CBS. Is the main feature of the show, setting the scene for the team to fight international terrorism threats against the City of LA Los Angeles and also against the navy and marine corps members. This shows first aired in September 2009 when NCIS members Gibbs and McGee flew to LA
- Victorious is a Nickelodeon teen sitcom that follows a group of friends as they attend a performing arts high school called, Hollywood Arts High School, in the Hollywood Hills. Shots of the skyline can also be seen.
- The Bold and the Beautiful is a soap opera about a major fashion company that takes place in Los Angeles.
Miniseries, specials or individual episodes
- Ben 10
- "Perfect Day"
- What's New, Scooby-Doo?
- Monsters and Mysteries in America
- "Tennessee Wildman, Subterranean Reptoids"
- Totally Spies!
- "I, Dude"
- "Evil Airlines Much?"
In video games
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas the city known as Los Santos was based on Los Angeles. Los Santos re-appears in Grand Theft Auto V.
- L.A. Noire is entirely set in 1947 Los Angeles.
- Midnight Club II and Midnight Club: Los Angeles feature various parts of the city.
- Various Terminator video games are set in L.A.
- In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, the final mission takes place in LAX.
- In Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, the entire career mode is set in different parts of L.A.
- True Crime: Streets of LA: features a large part of Los Angeles.
- The Twisted Metal series prominently includes some settings based on Los Angeles. For example, Mount Lee can be seen in Twisted Metal 2.
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines features a group called the Los Angeles Camarilla
- In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a massive assault by hacked U.S Air Force drones and PMC infantry on a futuristic depiction of the city leads to the player escorting the President of the United States through the city amidst the attack.
- Los Angeles was one of the four playable cities in the videogame Driver.
- In Call of Duty: Ghosts, the second level of the videogame takes place on an enemy-occupied and geographically devastated Los Angeles.
- 1992 Los Angeles riots in popular culture
- List of television shows set in Los Angeles
- List of films set in Los Angeles
- Gray, Julie (July 3, 2014). "Stories Without Borders: Emergent Israeli Films". Script Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
You can take the girl out of Hollywood but you can’t take Hollywood out of the girl. I was looking for a hook, a selling point that might interest American distributors.