Are you a geography nerd? It’s good, we’re happy for you. Now, if you could use your talent to go help the writers of shows and movies that suck in geography, we’d be just as happy. Because there, we can no longer burn our retinas with spatio-temporal errors that even a sixth-grade student would not make. It’s worth having a world map with scratch areas if you don’t even know where Lesotho is.
1. Emily in Paris
Series Emily in Paris is obviously not a model in terms of realism. Just look at the way Paris and its inhabitants are shown in this “lightly” fictionalized Netflix series. But in season 2, the writers completely broke their swim trunks. Already, they have created images of the Pont-Neuf in Toulouse, saying that it was Paris. But above all, they made Emily and her friends leave for the weekend in Saint-Tropez (which she confuses with Villefranche-sur-Mer by the way) to put them up in a hotel in Cap-Ferrat, 122 km away. . I don’t mind being nice, but after a while, at least know what you’re writing what.
2. Heartbroken Astrological Guide
I’m not going to lie to you, the idea for this top came to me because I was watching this Italian series on a rainy October evening. And how can I tell you that I was not disappointed with the trip during my viewing. During her first stay in Paris, the main character, Alice, takes us on a completely absurd itinerary. She leaves a restaurant in Montmartre on foot to go see the Eiffel Tower before returning to Montmartre. From there, looking for her way, she goes for a short walk to Place de la Bastille, only going from 2% to 1% battery on her phone. Then, she ends up returning to the 18th ending in Pigalle. I do not want to pass for the parigote who judges, but it is as if she made a Clermont-Ferrand – Nantes – Strasbourg in less than a day. Moderately plausible, even with all the good will in the world.
3. Game of Thrones
I already told you about the scriptwriting inconsistencies of the series, but Game of Thrones is not exemplary either in terms of reliable spatio-temporal benchmarks. We see it elsewhere when Jon Snow goes from Peyredragon to beyond the Wall via Eastwatch in two episodes while the White Walkers have been trampling for several seasons. And if like my colleague Timbo, who likes to destroy my work, you say to yourself that “it’s a series with dragons, nobody expects it to be realistic”, explain to me why everyone is crying when they see a Strabucks cup huh??
4. Jack Ryan
In this American series broadcast on Amazon Prime, which tells the story of a CIA analyst seeking to dismantle a network of terrorists, it is the whole department of Seine-Saint-Denis that takes a lot of money. It is indeed described as the “Muslim quarter” of Paris. Already, not nice to qualify an area of more than one million inhabitants as a “district” of the capital. But it is above all this racist amalgamation between Seine-Saint-Denis and the Muslim community, in a series which speaks of terrorism, which makes us cry blood. Okay Americans, when do you really take geo lessons?
5. Outer Banks
You’ll laugh, but even when it comes to their own country, Americans make geographical mistakes. This is what happened in the series Outer Banks which takes place in South Carolina. In episode 4 of season 1, the group of friends go to Chapel Hill by taking the ferry. Problem: The town of Chapel Hill is right in the middle of land in North Carolina, so there’s no way a ferry will get there. To justify himself, the creator of the series Jonas Pate explained that: “The world of Outer Banks is an amalgamation of the coasts of North and South Carolina. It is a geography imagined from a myriad of references from the coasts of Carolina”. Worst excuses I’ve ever heard in my life, in all honesty.
Hang on to your furs, because Vikings is no exception to the rule of missed geography lessons. Yes, because the village of Ragnar, Kattegat, is actually not even a place of residence but just an area at sea between Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It’s like showing Dijon and calling it the Mediterranean Sea. Completely stupid as an idea. But the series does not stop there in its blunders. At the end of season one, when the characters are in the Uppsala Temple, they are supposed to be in a mountaintop town. Except that this (large) Swedish city, which was even the capital of the country, is in the middle of plains, therefore with a culminating point close to zero. It’s still a bit annoying… But still less than when they talk about Russia when the name of this territory did not exist at the time. But that’s another story !
7. The Paper House
Small error, but error all the same: in an episode of season three of The Money Heist, as we see the entrance to the Bank of Spain, fans noticed that the flag of Panama was mounted upside down. Indeed, the blue star should have been at the top left and not at the bottom left. It’s still stupid when half of your characters have the names of cities around the world to make it look like they’re connoisseurs of the globe.
There are episodes that we would have preferred never to see, and that of season 2 of Homeland, where Claire Danes leaves for Beirut, is one of them. Yes, because instead of showing us the beautiful capital of Lebanon, the series actually shows us images of the market in Tel Aviv, Israel, which explains why we see t-shirts with Hebrew slogans and items for fans of Beitar Jerusalem, an Israeli football club. It’s strong, very strong.
I would have liked to talk to you about Lost and its geographical inconsistency between the Sydney – Los Angeles flight and the wreckage found in the Indian Ocean, near Indonesia, but I don’t have time to talk about this series to which no one didn’t understand anything, not even the scriptwriters. That will be for another time !