Megan McArdle (via Kay Steiger) points out that the North Carolina-filmed Showtime hit Homeland is a miserable failure when it comes to correctly placing its characters in the show’s Washington, DC setting. In particular, McArdle calls out the fact that a terror suspect who is also a university professor is said to live in Truxton Circle, where I currently reside.
From Megan’s post:
The anomalies started small. A marine sergeant and his young wife seemed to be living in a fairly sizeable ranch house on a large lot located fairly close to Washington, a configuration that I am not sure exists–but which I am really quite sure is not available on at E-6 pay grades. A terror suspect was described by a CIA officer as living in “Truxton Circle”, a neighborhood which happens to be just southwest of ours. However, the appellation is a new one, and since both Truxton Circle and my own beloved Eckington are both on the outer frontier of gentrification, I can testify from personal experience that it’s highly unlikely that a CIA officer who lives in Virginia would be able to name the neighborhood; if he called it anything, it would far more likely be something like “way the fuck over on New York Avenue”. Furthermore, if he did somehow manage to apprehend that a suspect’s address was in “Truxton Circle”, anyone he reported this to would respond with a puzzled stare. Right now, the area is known less by its name than by its notorious housing projects.
We will not even ask why someone who is supposed to be teaching at one of our fine local universities–all of which are located west of 20th street NW–would be living miles away in an area that is at least an hour from work via public transportation.
Though I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiments of McArdle’s post, I must use my rights as a more-local local to nitpick a couple of her observations.
1) Rather than being referred to as something like “way the fuck over on New York Avenue,” I think it might be more likely that the CIA officer would simply lump Truxton in with one of the more well-known surrounding neighborhoods such as Shaw. At the very least, that’s what I do when telling someone who I suspect doesn’t know much about DC geography where I live.
2) Granted, I’m a student and not a professor, but I live in Truxton Circle and commute to one of the fine local universities west of 20th street NW (well, pretty much at 20th street). On bike it takes 25 minutes and by metro it takes 35 to 40 minutes. I haven’t seen more than 15 minutes of Homeland, so I don’t know if the university is named, but I would also note that there are two universities east of North Capitol — Catholic University and Gallaudet University — that would have reasonable commutes from Truxton Circle.