The Mountains Outside Dallas Award

It’s that time of year again.  This morning, writers, actors and directors awakened at insane hours, not to be at the set on time, but to listen to the nominees for Ye Olde Oscars.  It’s that whirlwind season of awards galore:  Grammy’s, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Razzies…..  So why not add a few more commendations to the honors already bestowed on Film, Music and TV?

But unlike the major awards, we at It’s My TV….It’s My Peanut Butter understanding that properly recognizing a work means going beyond the best (or worst) actor in a limited time period, looking deeper than just the best adaptation of last 365 movie watching days, and seeing more than just the ubiquitous on-screen kiss.  Some elements of film and television are so rarely captured, that not every year yields an example truly worthy of an honor.  The absence of awards for these –how shall we phrase this?– “less mainstream” elements means that we are forced to look backward to pay homage to the great works before as well as to present day efforts.

And so, we submit to you the first of many very different award categories here at It’s My TV….It’s My Peanut Butter:

The Award for Outstanding Geographic Inaccuracy In a Feature Film

Once upon a time a girl, transplanted from her life in Texas to a new life in Virginia went to see a movie about alien conspiracies.  She settled in, surrounded by native Virginians as the lights dimmed and the film began.  And when it was over, she was the only one left thinking that the real conspiracy lay not in the massive alien space-ship hidden under an ice-shelf in Antarctica, not in the alien-virus-take-over plot allegedly being enacted by a shadow government.  No, the darkest, most sinister, un-explained phenomenon was the fact that Dallas, Texas was shown in the middle of a desert….with massive mountains behind a skyline which looked nothing like the real thing.

And no one else in that theater was confused.

Geographic Inaccuracy.  It plagues everything from animated features, to your favorite weekly TV series.  Sometimes there are just limits to how many places you can imitate using only Southern California, or the Greater Vancouver area, but some errors are so heinous, so erroneous that you question whether even the most remedial geographic education would be able to help the folks in Film and TV who managed not to care enough to right the wrong.

In the Category of “Outstanding Geographic Inaccuracy in a Feature Film” we are pleased to honor X-Files: Fight the Future for its stunningly inaccurate portrayal of Dallas, Texas.

A city with an average annual rainfall of between 32 and 48 inches, located in a region where the elevation ranges from approximately 450 ft. to 800 ft. above sea level (across the entire Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex–an area covering thousands of square miles).  And yet, flying in the face of common sense and what would probably have been minimal impacts to budget, the X-Files folks still decided to try and pass off establishing shots of a desert-mountain backdrop with a bone-dry desert foreground for this well known, flat and (relatively) green Texas city. Wow.

For this shocking abuse of basic geography, we at It’s My TV….It’s My Peanut Butter shall, henceforth, refer to this illustrious category not simply as “Outstanding Geographic Inaccuracy” but as   “The Mountains Outside Dallas Award” for Outstanding Geographic Inaccuracy in a Film.  Congrats.  Your lack of simple research brought a whole new conspiratorial level to this already paranoia-heavy picture.