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20 Places That Aren't as Great as They Look on TV

Football Games

You don’t realize how glacially slow football moves until you don’t have commercials breaking it up. It’s even more intense at NFL games, where some of those pauses are specifically for commercial breaks. Besides, you’ll pay more for a single beer at the stadium than you would pay for a six-pack at home. Not to mention the incredibly long lines and crowded tailgating areas.  TV makes football games look like a wild ride when it's really just sitting in grimy stands and trying to navigate your way to the even grimier restrooms. But hey, it's SPORTS! So worth it, right?

 

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Golf Tournaments

We’re not trying to rag on live sports, but entire articles have been written about why golf is the world’s worst spectator sport. If you want to see anything noteworthy at all, you have to pinball around the 18 holes and just hope you’re in the right place when something interesting happens. At least you’ll get more exercise than the actual golfers. And isn't the point of watching sports to be rambunctious? Just be prepared for loads of shushing at the range. 

 

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Times Square on NYE

Sure, it’s awe-inspiring to see the throngs of people waiting around for the ball to drop, but have you ever been in a crowd that large? The pushing and shoving and collective body odor are bad enough before you combine that with all the drinking people do to ring in the New Year. People wait the entire day  to secure their spot behind the barriers; they can't even leave to use the bathroom! Better to catch this one at a party with a few friends who are less likely to give you a weird post-party flu. 

 

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Murder Trials

You can argue all day whether our fascination with celebrity court cases makes us terrible (it kind of does), but you can’t argue that catching the juicy parts of the latest high-profile trial on TV is a lot better than being stuck in the courtroom having to hear every word of every argument. The networks can complain all they want about not being allowed in courtrooms, but at least this way nobody has to realize how dull legal procedure gets.

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The Nightly News

Let’s be honest, it’s not just court cases. In general, watching the news is a whole lot better than being the news. Without all of the fancy lighting, color grading, or clever editing, the magic of interviews and news stories is completely stripped away to reveal the monotonous reality that's life behind the camera.

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The Old West

Everybody who watches Deadwood or Justified imagines they’d be a badass sheriff, but what’s the actual ratio of badass sheriffs to terrified civilians? We’re happy to live in a world with Wi-Fi. Actually, forget Wi-Fi, we’re happy to live in a world with showers and penicillin. And TV to watch these "Old West" depictions, for that matter. 

 

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Comic Book Universes

The CW  and Disney+ are killing the game with their oodles of superhero TV adaptations. From Arrow and The Flash to countless soon-to-be-released Marvel spinoffs, it's easy to be envious of these overpowered people and their crime-laden worlds. Unfortunately for us regular folks, we're much less likely to be the hero of a story than the inadvertent victim of a crumbling building that Superman just knocked over. And if you live in New York, there's an even higher chance of mass destruction taking place there. Hey, we don't make the rules.

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Los Angeles

There’s nothing wrong with Los Angeles. The sheer number of people who flock there indicates that there’s something sort of magical about it, whether it’s the perfect weather or the allure of Hollywood. It’s for that reason that L.A. is one of the most-depicted locales on television. However great it may be, it can’t be all of the things that it’s shown to be. Not to mention that even the version you see on Sanford and Son glosses over a lot of the city’s social issues, like the massive homelessness problem, in order to focus on Hollywood “phoniness” and ennui.

 

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The Bottom of the Ocean

There are all kinds of incredible life at the bottom of the ocean, but we don’t recommend trying to check it out without several hundred thousand dollars worth of specialized equipment and a James Cameron-sized obstinate streak. Better just watch Blue Planet on repeat.

 

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The 1960s

Even shows that deal with the era’s social turmoil like Mad Men can’t restrain themselves from depicting the decade as though everyone was personally dressed by Edith Head. It’s easy for younger folks to say they were born in the wrong era, but the truth is, we got to keep the good stuff (like the music) while ditching the rough stuff (like legal segregation). We’ll just keep watching Mad Men, thanks. And the uber-political war on drugs? Best not get into that one...

 

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The Eiffel Tower

Before you get defensive, just hear us out on this one. The Eiffel Tower is a highly respectable feat of art and architecture, now representing French nationalism in a way that citizens are proud to show off. However, the area around the landmark is not so ideal. Aside from the dense population of tourists, with their cliché photo ops and cargo shorts, but it's littered with trash! This city of romance is in need of a little more love, if you catch our drift.

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The Empire State Building

To be honest, this is just a skyscraper of offices.  That's really it. The view at the top is incredible, and we can personally attest to that, but the wind is both freezing and constantly slapping your hair into your face. As always, tourists clog the observatory, so getting a picture free from photobombs is tough. Go at night if you can, because at least all of the lights will make the city look more interesting than a sea of gray buildings!

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Mount Rushmore

Tourists.  Can you catch the theme here? It's kind of lame to complain about people visiting monuments because that's what they're there for, but come on! Common decency to not trash the place is necessary to make a visit to any monument worth it. Plus, having the faces of presidents on a rock face is a little too patriotic for some people, but dang that craftsmanship is iconic!

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Philadelphia Museum of Art

The main attraction of any art museum should be the exhibits, but the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a unique exception. Attracting thousands of film fans around the world, its stretch of stairs leading to the entrance is the center of attention. A word of advice: if you're going to sprint to the top like Rocky Balboa, don't eat a Philly cheese steak beforehand. It won't turn out well. 

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Egyptian Pyramids

Remember the opening scene of Despicable Me when someone gazing dramatically at the pyramids of Giza was promptly hit by a tourist bus? That's not so far from reality. While we can't confirm anyone getting knocked out by packed vehicles, this wonder of the world isn't nearly as remote or mysterious as the TV documentaries and films make it appear.  When a desert monument can be seen from the window of a nearby Pizza Hut, the mystique quickly disappears. 

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Amazon Rainforest

On a much more depressing note, the Amazon Rainforest is dwindling away with the rise of deforestation. Not only is this a giant environmental concern, because this forest is a huge help in dampening the effects of carbon emissions, but the biodiversity of the forest is disappearing. Don't let the idealistic TV spots fool you, the Amazon needs help!

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Dog Shows

Dogs are precious and need to be protected at all costs.  Companionship with a pupper naturally leads people to collaborate with their pets in competitions and shows. Unfortunately for us, dogs don't really know proper manners, so if they gotta go, they go. We still love them regardless.

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City Apartments

What do Friends, Seinfeld, and Gossip Girl all have in common? Completely unrealistic city apartment standards. Getting a studio in the middle of New York City for $2,000 per month is considered a generous price at this point. And multiple bedrooms with only one roommate? If the money's there, go for it, but don't fool us into thinking that's normal!

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Private Schools

Private schooling is a great investment for your child's future if you can afford it, but sometimes it's really not too special. The only true differences from public schools is that private education typically requires uniforms, stricter dress code standards that stifle individualism, and don't really have to listen to the government. Sometimes they even have less AP and college credit class options than their public counterparts. However, if you're aiming for a specifically religious education, private is really the only way to go, as long as you're willing to drop a pretty penny every semester for a decade. 

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The 1920s

The '20s have been all the rage for costume parties, themed dances, and films for a few years now. The decade, with their iconic fashion and lavish Gatsby-esque parties, it's no wonder that every old soul hipster or bougie fashionista fantasizes about traveling back to the period. But the Roaring Twenties weren't all Charleston dances and Jazz, it was marked by some troubling historical events we'd rather forget. From prohibition to the Red Scare and a comeback of the Ku Klux Klan, there are plenty of reasons that the decade was far from ideal.

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