It’s promoting the much-anticipated spinoff to the incredibly popular “Walking Dead,” and while the 13-year-old zombie-lover inside me can’t freakin’ wait for series to start, the uptight angeleno geezer is sitting in his easy chair harumphing at what he expects to be another Los Angeles-based series that will inevitably wreak havoc on my native city’s geography/topography in part by focusing on recognizable areas of the city as if the greater sum of Los Angeles didn’t even exist.
The billboard however quiets that inner jerk a little bit. In it we see two youngsters playing a little late afternoon game of street basketball whilst in the background unbeknownst to them a not niceman cometh — and not to call “I got next!” And silhouetted behind him? The U.S. Bank Tower, meaning the scene is situated in Boyle Heights.
So? Well, what’s great about that is the subtlety. I mean, it’s been pretty well publicized that the show takes place in L.A., and what’s nice is that AMC’s marketing department has opted not to cram that fact down at least ours if not the country’s throats. For example, it would have been so easy for them to panic and locate this same scene with some iconic landmark such as the Hollywood Sign in the background. Or Dodger Stadium. Or City Hall. Or the Santa Monica Pier. Or Disneyland. Or the Watts Towers (wait — that would actually be incredible). Instead they offer up an image that could be anywhere. I mean, there’s not even a palm tree in the frame.
Does a single billboard a great L.A.-based series make? Of course not. But it does give one hope.