For the past couple of months, my younger sister has been working as a tour guide on the WB VIP Tour. It wasn’t until my parents came to visit that I finally saw her in action on one of her tours. Needless to say, she was absolutely wonderful – super knowledgeable about the various shows and sets, providing us lots of fun and interesting facts; extremely accommodating to the whole group, making sure everyone got a chance to see what they wanted, ask any questions, and take lots of pictures; and of course very friendly, patient, and funny – loved some of her little jokes. My sister has always been a little shy around strangers so it was amazing to see her so comfortable leading a whole group of them!
Even though this was the first time having my sister as a guide, this was my second time doing the tour. I knew going into it that the guide asks you what are some of your favorite WB shows and then tries to cater the tour around what the group likes.
One of my favorite shows/guilty pleasures is Hart of Dixie which I believe is the only CW show shot at the studio. My sister tells me very few people on her tours watch the show or even have heard it! As a result, she doesn’t often get a chance to show the sets since as I said the tours are catered towards the group’s tastes. With shooting starting for the show’s third season, we were both very excited to see the sets! My sister was somehow able to show our group not just one Hart of Dixie set but two!! If you watch the show too, I’ll try to not to spoil too much – but the sets have definitely changed! I can’t wait to see what this next season has in store!
The other sets we got to walk through was The Big Bang Theory and Pretty Little Liars. It was so interesting to see how a sitcom is shot with a live audience. I can’t believe they actually will shoot an entire episode in chronological order with the audience there for 6-10 or however many hours it takes. Compared to how it looks like on TV, the sets seem so SMALL! Also everything was covered up because at the time, contract negotiations were still going on and they hadn’t started shooting anything so there wasn’t too much to see but the main sets (Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment, the stairway, etc) were recognizable. They also still had up the burned down comic book store from last season. Oh what I would give to be able to participate in one of these tapings! Sure they might be long, but at least they feed you (whoo pizza!) and you get to a chance to see TWO episodes before they air (not only the show being taped that day, but the previous shot episode as well so you have an idea of what’s going on in the storyline)!
Hour long drama shows like Hart of Dixie and Pretty Little Liars are shot sooo differently! I don’t watch PLL but it was still really neat to walk around the various school and character bedroom sets! Unfortunately, you can’t take any pictures of the sets BUT you can take all the pictures you want of the outside lots. The above photo is the exterior of the Rosewood High School in Pretty Little Liars.
This blue house is used as Zoe Hart’s (Rachel Bilson) medical practice in Hart of Dixie, Sookie’s house in Gilmore Girls, James Dean’s house in East of Eden, Boss Hog’s house in the original Dukes of Hazzard series, and Jill’s sorority house in Chuck. <– thanks to my sister for refreshing me on these and many other facts while I wrote this post <3
The above is what they call a “tromploy” (not sure about that spelling…) but it’s French for “to fool the eye” – our eyes see in 3D but the camera sees in 2D, therefore, if they paint a wall to look 3D then it’ll actually look real on camera especially if it’s in the background. Just thought that was pretty neat.
The above right is where the iconic upside-down Spiderman kiss was filmed. The above left shows the full alley which is called Tenement Alley. It’s been used for several musical numbers such as “It’s A Hard Knock Life” in Annie, “Sante Fe” in The Newsies with Christian Bale, and the “I Should Tell You” duet in the snow from Rent. That doorway with the red sign next to it the Alibi Room alley entrance from the TV show Shameless.
A highlight for many people is being able to see the original Central Perk set from Friends – you’ll be shocked at how small it is! Not only do you get to see it, but you can take pictures sitting on the couch with your family and friends! Of course, we did this– here are individual pics of me with my mom and dad. I know I have one with my sister too but can’t seem to find it 🙁
If you happen to be in the LA area, I highly recommend you checking out this tour!
What are some of your favorite WB shows?