We love The A.V. Club almost as much as we love The Onion. The former, of course, is the nonsatirical (well, mostly) and rather excellent culture section of the famed satirical newspaper/website. Today, The A.V. Club launches its fourth original video series (after "A.V. Undercover," "Inventory" and "A.V. Talk.") called "Pop Pilgrims." It's a clever idea for a travel show. In The A.V. Club's words:
The destinations are 36 sites tied to your favorite musicians, songs, films and television shows. "Pop Pilgrims" will visit one city per week for 12 weeks; stops will range from Los Angeles (the diner where the opening scene of "Reservoir Dogs" was filmed!) to New York (the corner where the Beastie Boys' iconic "Paul's Boutique" cover photo was taken!) to Austin, Texas, (the "Office Space" office building!). A new video will post on AVClub.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. While The A.V. Club selected the first 11 cities, fans will have the opportunity to help decide on the series' final destination by casting their vote at AVClub.com.
The show kicks off with a visit to the fictional Nakatomi Plaza from "Die Hard" -- which in real life is Fox Plaza, the headquarters of 20th Century Fox in L.A. It was conveniently under construction while "Die Hard" was being filmed, so "they could blow up and shoot around their own building," as film critic James Rocchi explains in the episode, "which had to cut down on costs and commute time." The show (and entire series) is sponsored by Fiat, which you'll figure out from the rather blatant product placement in the middle. Our favorite moment of the first episode: When Rocchi calls "Die Hard" a "great demonstration of classic Aristotelian unity -- you know, unity of time, place and action." He convinced us!
Episode 1 runs just over six minutes, but you can get a brisk 68-second preview of the entire series here:
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.