Los Angeles in popular culture

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This article aims to compile various depictions of Los Angeles in popular culture.

In movies[edit]

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.

  • Some parts of the 1970s movie The Amazing Spiderman, were filmed in LA.
  • 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. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) again depicts Los Angeles thirty years after the events of the 1982 film.
  • Teen Wolf takes place in Los Angeles.
  • In some of the Beverly Hills Cop movies, LA is seen in the background, as LA is just next to Beverly Hills.
  • 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).
  • Mr Bean ( the 1997 movie) was filmed in Los Angeles
  • GhostDad was filmed here, even though it is supposed to be Seattle. [1]
  • The 1993 movie The Mask, is centered on Los Angeles, although the term Edge City is used
  • The 1993 movie, Full Contact (starring Jerry Trimble) was also filmed in LA.
  • The 1994 movie Speed, an LA public bus is driven to LAX and destroyed by police; parts of the LA subway are also shown
  • The 1997 sequel to Speed, Speed 2, also features Los Angeles at the start of the movie
  • The 1997 movie, L.A. Confidential, centers on greater Los Angeles.
  • Miracle Mile (1988) shows depicts characters trying to escape LA during an incoming missile attack.[2]
  • 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 used in the first few moments of the movie and the city is renamedSan Angeles later in the movie.
  • 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.
  • In the 1997 film, Turbulence, the plane lands at LAX in Los Angeles.
  • 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 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 a toxic substance.
  • 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.
  • All the Rush Hour movies had scenes which were filmed in LA.

In music[edit]

(Alphabetized by artist)

In TV series[edit]

  • FOX's hit show 24 takes place in Los Angeles in seasons 1 through 6.
  • 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
  • The Bold and the Beautiful is a soap opera about a major fashion company that takes place in Los Angeles.
  • The action of Californication, featuring David Duchovny, takes place in Los Angeles.
  • City of Angels centered on the lives of the medics at Angels of Mercy Hospital in Los Angeles.
  • Columbo followed the cases of a disheveled, unassuming and repeatedly underestimated homicide detective in the Los Angeles Police Department.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles, the spinoff show from NCIS, is set in LA.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills follows the lives of upper-class residents of one of America's most exclusive communities.
  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians is an American reality television series that airs on the E! cable network which follows the lives of the wealthy Kardashian family with most of the show produced in Los Angeles and various locations in California.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fear the Walking Dead is an AMC original series which during its first season is set in Los Angeles during an early onset of the apocalypse and follows a dysfunctional family who live there at the time.

Miniseries, specials or individual episodes[edit]

In video games[edit]

In literature[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]