The Influence Iconic Cities Have Had on Entertainment and Pop Culture
There are certain cities that we’ve visited a hundred times over, even if we’ve never set foot within their boundaries. New York, London, Paris, Las Vegas… We’ve been to them so many times before – in movies, television shows, through our favourite books and games.
These iconic cities have had an incredible influence on entertainment and pop culture, shaping not only the tone and aesthetic of the media we consume but the way we view the world around us.
Through shows like Gossip Girl, we’ve lived the privileged life of an Upper East Side teenager; through movies like The Hangover and its sequels, we’ve experienced the unpredictability and excitement of Las Vegas. Everywhere we turn, these legendary settings have left their mark.
We take a look at some of the most iconic cities in the world and the impact they’ve had on entertainment and pop culture.
For locals, London is more than just the place we call home: it’s iconic, immersive, and entirely unique. There’s no other place quite like the capital, and no other city that has been so extensively depicted in the entertainment sphere.
Not only has London acted as the setting for hundreds of movies and TV shows but its impact stretches back well before the advent of cinema. An ancient city with an incredible history, it’s also the backdrop for thousands of stories, including a number of famous classics.
What would Oliver Twist have been without the dark back alleys of Victorian London to offset it? Or Great Expectations, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes? In each, the city was a character in and of itself, its murk, smog, and bustling, gas-lit streets creating and crafting the very essence of the tales that were told.
Like London, Las Vegas is a character all of its own. Intrinsically tied to its famous Strip and the extravagant entertainments that take place there, it acts as a ready-made set for some of the world’s most famous, lavish, and hedonistic stories.
Acting as the backdrop for books, movies, and TV shows, it also features heavily in the world of gaming. An obvious example is Fallout: New Vegas, released in October 2010. One of the many spin-offs belonging to the popular franchise, the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic city, where gambling is still the number one form of entertainment.
As well as a slew of video games set in the city, there are a host of slot games too. Some online directory sites, such as Vegas Slots Online, even pay tribute to the setting in their names, with many of the titles ranked and reviewed on-site reflective of this trend. These sites navigate through the wealth of information available to provide a rating for the various slot titles. Alongside this, they also provide information about casino bonuses and the latest news in the sector so that the consumer has the power to make well-informed decisions.
Is there any city more iconic in the world of cinema than New York? While Hollywood may be the traditional home of filmmaking, New York is the industry’s favourite setting, with innumerable blockbuster hits set against its instantly recognisable backdrop.
Who can forget, for example, The Age of Innocence? Beautifully bringing to life the city’s Gilded Age, when it was at the pinnacle of American society and spilling over at the seams with wealthy oligarchs and drawling, glamorous socialites, this tale of social mores, duty, and love denied features appearances from all of the area’s most famous landmarks.
Or what about classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where Holly Golightly cannot help but sigh over her love of New York? Helping generations of film buffs to fall in love with the city, the entire movie is an ode to the style and aesthetic of one of America’s most iconic settings.
When it comes to shaping the mood and feel of any form of media, it’s fair to say that location and setting play a fundamental role. When it’s an iconic city that performs this purpose, half of the work is already done for the content creator, thanks to the connotations and associations inherent in using such a backdrop. To quantify the influence that iconic cities have had on entertainment is therefore impossible – it is, quite simply, limitless.