There’s a reason that, historically, for every show set in Florida, there are approximately five bajillion shows set in California. LA and the Hollywood Hills are where the majority of American series and movies are filmed, for one thing. And for another, Orange County, San Francisco, San Diego and other Californian destinations are arguably that much prettier than their equivalents in Florida.
But that’s slowly changing, as Florida native Monica Castillo writes in Vulture: “Even simple steps like setting a show’s narrative in Florida feel like leaps and bounds from only hearing about my state in punchlines.”
Here are six series that embrace Florida in all its hot and sweaty glory: “Given the shows’ mix of weirdos, outsiders, heat, rivers, and water parks, these stories could only emerge from the swamps of the Sunshine State,” Castillo concludes.
Four broke women living in Florida begin to question their life choices when their only ambitious friend moves away to follow her dreams. Time magazine called this show “the most fun you’ll have in front of the TV this summer”, and with only 10 episodes of 20 minutes each, it’s a quick, pleasing binge-watch.
Look at these outfits: they’re proof you can’t go wrong with this show.
This comedy-drama is Kirsten Dunst at her very best. She plays Krystal Stubbs, a determined young widow who will do whatever it takes to give her daughter a better life than she had growing up. To supplement her minimum-wage income from the water park where she works, and also as a way to get revenge for her husband’s death, Krystal takes his place in the cultish pyramid scheme that he was obsessed with before he died. Before long, she’s rising through the ranks, and proving that she’s a lot more ruthless than anyone ever suspected…
The first two seasons of the football comedy-drama starring Dwayne Johnson were filmed – and set – in Miami, Florida. Quintessential Floridian scenes involving beaches, boats, palm trees and wild parties are the name of the game in Seasons 1 and 2.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness – Netflix
While the majority of this mind-blowing documentary series is set and filmed at Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, the “murder” in the title allegedly took place in Florida, at Joe’s rival Carole Baskin’s Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue centre.
Bloodline S1-3 – Netflix
This dark drama is all about family secrets and scandals. Danny Rayburn, the black sheep son of a well-respected hotelier family, threatens to expose the skeletons in their closet when he returns to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for the hotel’s 45th anniversary. Islamorada is a village that includes six of the Florida Keys and is surrounded by coral reefs – so the scenery in the show is appropriately dreamy.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes S2, episode 1 – Netflix
This reality series showcases the world’s most luxurious, unbelievable homes. Unsurprisingly, a number of mansions in Florida made the list, including the Spencer Residence in Sarasota, which completely opens up to the sky. The USA episode, which is the first of Season 2 Part A (Seasons 1 and 2 Part B are also on Netflix), also takes us through three other Florida dream homes, including an upmarket house built – of course – on stilts.