Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Netflix ratings: Favorite TV series in Bay State cities

I'm addicted to the "local favorites" lists on Netflix's Web site. I don't know how scientific they are, but they do show some interesting patterns. I looked for the highest ranked TV series in every Bay State town on the site, and here's what jumped out at me. The terrorism thriller 24 is especially popular away from Boston (the city where a terrorist attack seems most likely to occur), ranking highly in Chelmsford, Fall River, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester. HBO's The Wire, which is concerned with drugs rather than dirty bombs, is tops in central Boston, Roslindale, Milton, Somerville, and Waltham. And The Sopranos seems to appeal more to towns where one might find Tony's McMansion than in cities where Satriale's Pork Store might fit in. It's big in East Falmouth, Holden, Lexington, Plymouth, and Webster. Is Berkshire County a hotbed of monarchists? For whatever reason, the miniseries Elizabeth I is a hot item in Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and Williamstown. And are wannabe actors concentrated north of the Hub? The Hollywood comedy Entourage is being queued up in Charlestown, Medford, and Salem. Other pairings: Battlestar Galactica rules in Allston, people are snuggling up to the British sitcom Coupling in Jamaica Plain, the western Deadwood is rounding up viewers in Arlington (hopefully not because it mirrors town government), and the college soap opera Felicity is popular in Cambridge. House, MD has a foothold in Haverhill (better get sick elsewhere), Prime Suspect is slaying them in Belmont (it's always the quiet suburbs with a taste for horrific crime), and Six Feet Under is the perfect fit for angst-ridden Amherst. Finally, The West Wing lulls Baby Boomer liberals to sleep in Greenfield.

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