Martin Daley of Dallas wears a pig mask and rides a mechanical bull at The Trophy Room on Sixth Street in Austin, TX on Saturday, March 15, 2014 during the 2014 SXSW music festival.

Martin Daley of Dallas wears a pig mask and rides a mechanical bull at The Trophy Room on Sixth Street in Austin, TX on Saturday, March 15, 2014 during the 2014 SXSW music festival.

Ashley Landis/Special Contributor

Maybe you've been there: That awkward moment when the movie, television show, book or musician you're digging goes off the deep end with a wildly inaccurate depiction of the Lone Star State. 

How Netflix show 'House of Cards' gets Highland Park all wrong

An example on many television viewers' minds this week is how House of Cards has visualized Highland Park in its infectiously bingeable new Season 4. Fans have loved Dallas-born actress Robin Wright's non-stereotypical portrayal of North Texan Claire Underwood. But, when the show followed her "home"  ... things went off the rails. 

Some have defended the choice -- maybe it's meant to be an estate outside of Dallas or the family's ranch -- but we're still not buying those horse stables, lush lawns and tree-covered hills. 

Here are 7 other times "Texas" just didn't look like the Lone Star State we love.

Know one we missed? Want to defend an unlikely favorite? Tweet us. 

Dr. T & the Women

Richard Gere plays a gynecologist who drives over the Houston Street viaduct into a tornado and ends up in a desert and delivers a baby. There, now you never have to watch that movie, ever, just like everyone else. Also, Farrah Fawcett's character has a breakdown and splashes around naked in the fountain by the Godiva (see what they did there?) at NorthPark. 

Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas is a beautifully shot film about heartache, longing, regret and many other feelings that might kick you straight in the heartstrings over its lengthy two hours and 45 minutes. So, this inclusion is no slander to its German director Wim Wenders and Texan star Harry Dean Stanton. Set in California, Houston and the Mexican (?) desert, the movie itself isn't about the very real town of Paris, Texas; that's more of a symbol. But the characters do take a moment to meditate on a photograph allegedly from there. The Lamar County town is many, many things, but it is definitely not barren desert. However, we're willing to accept the inaccuracy as intentional, another symbol regarding the protagonist's state of mind. 



The 2015 update of the classic 1983 Vacation rambles through a cattle ranch on an ATV with an unlikable Texan and drops into a McMansion that looks more like a hunting lodge than Shops at Legacy. Sure, there are bigger properties around and near the city's outskirts, but this is definitely not how we picture Plano. 

Office Space

It's not explicitly clear where the 1999 cult classic is set, but most signs point to Austin, where much of it was filmed. Other shots were filmed in Las Colinas, which is probably why you'll see Ron Livingston's Peter Gibbons sitting in an LBJ traffic jam near the Preston Road exit. Maybe we'll just chalk this one up to the same wonderful ways the movie's writer/director Mike Judge likes to make Texas amalgamations (think: Arlen, King of the Hill's fictional hometown that's a mix of several D-FW 'burbs). 


It's hard to talk historical accuracy when it comes to Hulu's adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a high school English teacher who time-travels into the past to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy  -- which itself is kind of an adaptation of a Twilight Zone episode. But, proper disbelief suspended, the series' on-location filming did result in a flub or two, and we don't just mean the horrific traffic jam it caused last summer. The most notable one? That Reunion Tower makes an appearance or two, despite the fact that it did not exist until the late '70s. 


It's a pretty funny line, we'll give them that. The 2009 dark comedy opens with a character's voice-over that muses, "I'm in Garland, Texas. And it may look like zombies have destroyed it, but that's actually just Garland." 

That character is actually supposed to be a college student in Austin, but it seems unclear why he never actually seems to be there. (He stops off in Garland as part of his trek to Ohio?) And, all of the filming was done in Georgia. Go figure. 

Boston Legal

The Season 1 episode "Death Be Not Proud" is widely considered by fans to be one of the long-running TV hit's best, but David E. Kelley's  beloved Emmy Award-winning legal drama sadly did not always exhibit a solid understanding of the judicial system. James Spader's character, Alan Shore, travels to Texas to argue for a stay of execution for a potentially innocent man. We're not legal scholars, so we'll leave those inaccuracies alone. But, we do find it suspect that a busy lawyer working on an emergency case would find time for some kitschy tourism, which he does at a Billy Bob's-style joint. Actually, the character addresses that question for us: 

"I'm not about to go to Texas and not ride the mechanical bull, Chelina. That would be like going to Los Angeles and not sleeping with Paris Hilton."

Fair play. 

Spader and the Shat rock some beautiful Rockmount pearl snaps. 

Spader and the Shat rock some beautiful Rockmount pearl snaps.

Sarah Blaskovich, Todd Davis, Dom DiFurio, Alan Peppard, Sara Frederick-Burgos, Ann Pinson and Britton Peele lassoed ideas for this Texas-sized roundup. 

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