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Sixty-Something: TV, Cable Series and the Hamptons

T.J. Clemente

The author at Lunch, The Lobster Roll. (Courtesy Photo)

I am watching a cable TV series and boom, a scene about the Hamptons comes along and there is always something inaccurate that bugs me. I understand poetic license and all, however there are just some crazy mistakes that drives me nuts. I thought I'd share a few for some grins, wonderments and even a "what were they thinking?"

For years TV had an ABC network show titled, Castle. Castle was a novelist, who helped the NYPD solve murders. What drove me absolutely nuts was the episode when he is driving to the Hamptons from NYC and stops and pulls over and they shoot a scene with white snowcapped mountains in the background. Did anyone producing the show know the highest point on Long Island is Jayne's Hill, in the town of Huntington a whopping 401 feet above sea level?

I enjoy watching Showtime's The Affair. I loved seeing places like "Lunch, The Lobster Roll," being a huge part of the show, because I drive past it so often. Especially when I lived in Montauk. However, watching the episodes irk me. They had Alison Bailey played by Ruth Wilson riding her bike west to go home from "Lunch, The Lobster Roll," (located in Napeague on Route 27 in Amagansett) to her home in Montauk. Anyone who knows anything about the East End knows that's the wrong direction. For a while they did that sequence weekly.

On Showtime's series Ray Donovan, this last season they had a thread going on for two episodes where actor Jon Voight, who plays Mickey Donovan, actually plans and then proceeds to do an armed robbery on the Hampton Jitney. The whole thing is just hilarious. In the end, the huge haul totals less then $50 cash, from a full Hampton Jitney bus! Not even close to the tens of thousands he thought he'd score. The stereotype of the Jitney passengers is priceless in the scenes.

I love to ride my bike to many scenic beach spots in the Hamptons. Truth be told often I park in strategic spots so my rides are 20-25 miles. One favorite beach is Dune Beach on Meadow Lane in the Billionaire section of the Village of Southampton. The ocean front homes are in the $50M range and up. For over a year I watched a home get built to the east of the wooden walk from the road to the ocean at Dune Beach. It now is a reportedly 17,000 sq. ft, 12-bedroom cottage on the ocean. I would look at it and wonder where I went wrong in my 66 years that I could not even afford to own the shrubs on the grounds of this monstrosity of a beach house. That is why while watching the Showtime's series Billion" I jumped out of my chair when that home flashed to fill up my big 60" TV screen. Then there was Damien Lewis who portrays Bobby Axelrod on the show, walking the decks of the home, eating in the kitchen, etc. In fact it was like the show was showcasing the very home I watched being built.

There may be fans of the TV show Royal Pains that featured an on-call doctor of the Hamptons-based show. The canceled show was actually rarely shot in the Hamptons. Many scenes were filmed but 60 miles-up island, mostly around Oheka Castle and Huntington. That fact bothered me while watching that show.

The first TV show I viewed about the Hamptons was back in 1966-67 on ABC TV. The hilariously bizarre show was titled The Pruitts of Southampton. It starred Phyllis Diller and John Astin who later became a household name starring in The Addams Family. It was a about a flat-out broke family navigating living in Southampton Village. Go to YouTube and catch a few episodes. Oh, and it was actually filmed in Ashville, North Carolina.

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