When I moved to Orange County many years ago, I had to answer for New Jersey.
Now, when I visit my family in New Jersey, I have to answer for Orange County.
The reason for the former was the movie "Atlantic City."
The reason for the latter is "The Real Housewives of Orange County."
It's a shame what a TV series or movie can do to the reputation of a place. If you don't believe me, ask the Turks what "Midnight Express" did for tourism.
This led me to ponder what other places have suffered at the hands of filmmakers and TV producers.
Here are 10 Chamber of Commerce disasters that you'll never find in a travel brochure:
1. "The Out-of-Towners" (New York City): The Big Apple could have an entire column all its own because there have been so many disparaging images of the city portrayed in movies and television. For every beautiful shot of a bridge in a Woody Allen movie, there have been thousands of negative scenes in other movies. For me, it was the 1970 film "The Out-of-Towners." I don't think the city ever looked less appealing, and that includes "Midnight Cowboy" and "Escape From New York."
2. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (Las Vegas): TV shows like "Vega$" and "Las Vegas" could have been made by the local Better Business Bureau, but the original "CSI" makes Sin City look like Sewer City. Anybody who moved to Las Vegas after seeing this side of the city must really love playing video poker.
3. "Scarface" (Miami): We're talking about the 1983 Al Pacino film, of course, which depicted Miami as a gangster-run, cocaine-driven cesspool. But that was the 1980s, so I'm sure there are no more drugs or gangsters.
4. "In Cold Blood" (Kansas): After reading Truman Capote's book, and then seeing this chilling 1967 film about the real-life murders of the Clutter family, I not only would never consider moving to Kansas, but I haven't been near a farm.
5. "Cold Case" (Philadelphia): Although "Rocky" is a toss-up on how the City of Brotherly Love came off, this CBS cop show is not out to glamorize the city. I grew up near Philly, and I never heard of half of the "bad" sections mentioned in this series.
6. "Deliverance" (the South): It's certainly unfair to paint an entire region with a single brush based on one movie, but I still won't climb into a canoe.
7. "Medium" (Phoenix): I knew the city was overrun with people in the witness protection program, but I never realized how many dead spirits were haunting the city.
8. "The Office" (Scranton, Pa.): It wasn't that Scranton had a bad image before this popular TV series. It had no image at all.
9. "Fargo" (Minnesota and North Dakota): Nothing scares off visitors like a good old-fashioned wood chipper.
10. "Chinatown," "Boyz n the Hood" and "90201" (Los Angeles): It doesn't matter what part of the city you live in; someone has made a movie or TV show that makes it look undesirable.