Maryland Film/TV Showdown: The Avon Barksdale Region
By Quinn Kelley
It's March Madness time, and that means an excuse for our favorite Baltimore movies and TV shows to duke it out. Yes, some are more iconic than others (props if you've seen "Family Rules"), but it wouldn't be March Madness if the underdog didn't have a fighting chance. The criteria: movies, TV shows and miniseries that take place in or were filmed in Charm City. We'll update the bracket with every tournament round, so come back to vote. Just remember, "You come at the king, you best not miss."
The Avon Barksdale Region
Best of Baltimore TV: Shows that take place in Baltimore
(1) The Wire vs. (16) Family Rules
Does "The Wire" need an introduction? David Simon's no-frills HBO drama came to define Baltimore (much to the chagrin of public officials and the pleasure of local pop culture buffs). "Family Rules" was a short-lived USA sitcom about a widowed Baltimore basketball coach.
(8) Roc vs. (9) In Treatment
"Roc," a comedy-drama from Fox, ran for three seasons and starred Charles S. Dutton as a Baltimore garbage collector. Season 1 of "In Treatment," an HBO drama about a psychologist's interactions with patients as well as his own therapist, takes place in Baltimore (the show also ran for three seasons).
(5) Hannibal vs. (12) Flesh 'n' Blood
The main characters of this prequel TV series about Hannibal Lecter try to catch the Chesapeake Ripper. (Is the "Chesapeake Ripper" a local drunk brunch special yet?) Although "Flesh 'n' Blood" sounds equally gory in this context, it was actually a 1991 NBC comedy about an adopted woman on a quest to meet her birth mother.
(4) House of Cards vs. (13) Cuts
Although Frank and Claire Underwood might appear to rule their twisted empire from the nation's capital, much of "House of Cards" was filmed in Baltimore (including in our newsroom). "Cuts" was a two-season "One on One" spinoff on UPN, but got the axe when the network merged with WB to form The CW.
(6) Veep vs. (11) Life's Work
Another political series set in the District and shot in Baltimore, "Veep" stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a former Maryland Senator who takes the White House. "Life's Work," a very '90s sitcom, stars Lisa Ann Walter as a Baltimore assistant district attorney balancing work and family.
(3) The Corner vs. (14) In The Beginning
David Simon strikes again: "The Corner" was an HBO miniseries, based on a book by Simon, with a focus on poverty and drugs in West Baltimore. CBS sitcom "In the Beginning," about a priest and nun running a Baltimore mission, only survived for five episodes in 1978.
Charm City Cakes made the city look delicious; although Duff Goldman ran the shop, Mary Alice stole the show. "One on One" eventually moved away from Baltimore, but for most of its run was set in the city and centered around a sportscaster-turned-full-time dad.
Based on David Simon's book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," the NBC show centered around the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit and ran for seven seasons. The Wikipedia page for "Men" sounds like a classic joke setup: "A reporter, a surgeon, a lawyer and a cop bond over a weekly poker game in Baltimore."
Quinn Kelley is a community coordinator at The Baltimore Sun, returning to the paper after a 2014 internship on the Metro desk. She is a University of Maryland alumna, where she served as general assignment editor of The Diamondback, the university's daily independent student newspaper. In addition to The Sun, she interned at Washington City Paper, The Chautauquan Daily, USA Today Magazines and NYLON. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio.