Can you stand a second post of TV commentary?
I love the Mentalist. I love Simon Baker even more. And I love the idea that the show is set in California--Sacramento, in fact. At least that's where the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation, a completely fictitious law enforcement agency) is headquartered. And I live in Sacramento, right? Kind of cool!
Here's the thing, though. Most episodes take place in outlying parts of California. Tonight's show, for instance, involved gold mining and mineral claims. The quaint downtown area they showed looked like Truckee, a town not far from Lake Tahoe's north shore (think Donner Lake--where the Donner party spent their winter vaa-kay one year). Truckee is about a two hour drive from Sacramento. Even if we were talking Coloma where gold was discovered--about an hour from Sacramento. So how can the CBI team rush out of headquarters to catch a bad guy and arrive at the gold mining site so quickly?
In past episodes, they've made it sound like Oakland and San Francisco were just a hop, skip, and a jump away when in fact, they're about a two hour drive. Same thing with several other episodes set up north toward Redding.
Okay, I KNOW these TV shows are fiction. And I know they're written and filmed for entertainment rather than education. But gosh darn it! I'd really like to believe in this stuff a little more. Or maybe it's just that I'd like to believe Simon Baker may turn up in my neighborhood one of these days.
In any event, if you're planning a trip to California, don't believe everything you see on TV. We're a big state. Look at a map. And yes, our coastline is right on the Pacific Ocean, but there are a LOT of Californians who don't surf and rarely hang out at the beach. Really.