Thursday, May 19, 2011

Inaccurate mention of Columbia Heights on Bones

We're famous! Sort of. A reader sent this in, it's form the TV show Bones:
FYI:  On Thursday's episode, lead FBI agent Booth says, "A white man in Columbia Heights? He’d stand out like an onion in a bean field!"  The characters then review CH ATM footage and zero in on the five white males.
What?????!!!!   So silly that the writers of a show supposedly set in DC have never set foot in DC.
True that, as anybody who has ever walked around here will tell you. Or just look at the Census data, where the white population has grown by up to 300% since 2000 in some parts of the neighborhood.

Of course, this isn't the first time the neighborhood has been mentioned inaccurately on TV: on the Fox show Lie to Me, a character said she lived at "105 Addison" in Columbia Heights.


  1. I saw this episode too... I don't even live in Columbia Heights but spend enough time there to know how HIGHLY inaccurate that statement was. Bones is notorious for inaccurate comments about DC. It makes me want to throw things at my television!

  2. Bones and NCIS might be the worst offenders... on Bones, at least they sometimes reference real streets, but it's clear that none of them have ever been to DC before in their lives. (The episode where a key scene takes place on a subway car—which (a) references fake stops, and (b) is a New York subway car—is a particularly egregious offender.)

    On NCIS they're smart enough to avoid geographic markers for the most part (except the obvious military ones like the Navy Yard and Quantico), but they seem to think there are a lot of used car lots in DC that have slightly smog-obscured mountains in the background. (Hint to NCIS writers: None of them do.)

    I'm thinking of hiring myself out as a story consultant for DC-based shows, to tell them (a) when they're completely and totally wrong about something DC-related, or (b) which exterior locations in LA actually look like they could be in DC.

  3. In an earlier season, Bones depicted CoHi as "Little Havana" - so contextually for the show, it makes sense.

  4. Double wow! Even back in 1990, the white population was around 5% in CH and around 25% in Mt. Pleasant. That's hardly standing out -- black people have to deal with being outnumbered by those kind of ratios every day.

    Then again, maybe the writers were being doubly clever -- after all, it's really easy to hide an onion in a bean field.

  5. You have Bloggers who live in the neighborhood that are just as off. What's the big deal. :)

    W Jordan

  6. Thanks dude. I was waiting to watch this on Hulu. Maybe next time a *Spoiler Alert* Lie to Me is much worse offender than Bones.

  7. Ah, the troll William Jordan makes another appearance!

  8. Bones at least films a fair bit in DC, but yeah, I laughed at this statement - just like, crazy. What makes it better is that the FBI dude (Booth) lives in an apartment above Sportsman's Liquors in Mt Pleasant, neighbors with Russel Crowe from State of Play!


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