Union-Tribune Discovers TV Discovering OB

by on June 15, 2010 · 26 comments

in Culture, Media, Ocean Beach, Popular, San Diego

FX filming 6-13-10 jg 01

Filming of "Terriers" at the OB Pier on Sunday, June 13. Photo by Jim Grant.

The Union-Tribune has finally discovered that a film crew has been filming in OB for the past umpteen weeks. On today’s (6-15-10) front page is an article entitled, “TV discovers a San Diego star: O.B.”, with some cool observations and comments from the television stars and producers themselves, plus the OB Rag is mentioned along with some of our gnarly commenters.

Here are some great quotes – the first by actor Raymond-James:

“Ocean Beach has become a character in the show that is just as big, if not bigger, than Donal and I. There is a bit of a scruffiness and scrappiness about our characters that fits right into O.B.”

Los Angeles-based executive producer Shawn Ryan, whose other TV projects include “Lie to Me” and “The Shield,” said:

“The town was not originally written as O.B., but as a beach community that had not become overly commercialized.

“We looked at locations stretching all the way south to Mexico and all the way north to San Francisco, but the city of San Diego and Ocean Beach in particular seemed just perfect. It’s kind of a miracle that O.B. exists in the way it does, and we incorporated that into the story line in terms of our characters really caring about the preservation of the town and that way of life.”

Actor Donal Logue explained his feelings for OB:

“I feel protective about this place because I’ve always been aware of how special it is. We’ve had a good relationship with O.B. on this show, and I hope they feel well represented. Although I’m sure most of the residences would rather be a well-kept secret from the world.”

Ted Caplaneris, owner of the Old Townhouse Restaurant on Newport Avenue, which is featured prominently in the series, offered his perspective:

“The O.B. folks are a real grass-roots, ‘Keep Out Corporate America’ bunch, and I think they’re unaware of the good things that filming does. We’re in a recession, and I think everyone should be welcoming the notoriety. Look at ‘Top Gun’ and the Kansas City Barbeque. They shot that dive bar scene there almost 25 years ago, and people still show up so they can take their picture there. I hope that happens with us.”

The U-T article by Karla Peterson discusses how when our blog posted an article about the pilot being produced in OB last summer, we had a flotilla of comments:

Filming in Ocean Beach is good for “Terriers,” but living with a production crew hasn’t been easy for all the natives. When the O.B. Rag blog wrote about the production of the pilot episode last summer, response from locals ranged from super stoked (“You can’t tell me it won’t be awesome to say to a friend, ‘Hey, watch this show, my house is in the background!’?”) to totally ticked. (“A crew member parked in front of my driveway. The whole street is available for them. Jerk.”)

Peterson’s piece at the very end does poke at an issue dear to our hearts: “Could TV success spoil Ocean Beach?”

TV discovers a San Diego star: O.B.

by Karla Peterson / Union-Tribune / June 15, 2010

In “Terriers,” a new cable drama set in Ocean Beach, former “Life” police captain Donal Logue plays a hapless private detective and former “True Blood” psychopath Michael Raymond-James plays a recently reformed petty thief. And Ocean Beach? It just plays its own funky self.

A recent shooting day found Operation “Terriers” hunkered down in a battered alley between Mallory’s Consignment Shop and the Apple Tree supermarket, where director Adam Arkin led the cast and crew through two short scenes while Ocean Beach life swirled all around them.

Planes roared overhead. Shoppers stepped over cables and rattled their Apple Tree bags. Two barefoot surfers wound through the alley, keeping their boards as far away from a mint-condition 1967 Chevy Impala as the narrow space would allow.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

doug porter June 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

Actually the good news here is that this article makes the point that the mainstream media can no longer report on OB with out referencing the OB Rag Blog. We promise not to let this go to of collective heads.


Molly June 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

Say, all you nay sayers … looks like it’s the bums that draw the film crews to OB for our “eccentricity”. Do you get it? So all that money spent in OB and SD by the crews, the actors, the extras, comes via the interest in our homeless, our derelicts, our tramps, our tumbleweeds, our travelers. Soak that in, all you homeless-haters and business-owners complaining about the homeless.


OB Cindi June 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

*Soak that in all you homeless-haters* I couldn’t have said it better Molly!
Our little town was chosen over all the other beach towns by “Terriers” because this is the BEST ocean town they found AS IT IS TODAY. As things stand, the unemployed are growing in numbers. And guess what homeless haters? Those without four walls will continue to come to our mecca. So build moats and gator pits around your house for the apocalypse of homeless. Because Ocean Beach which will be as funky and filled with all walks of life as it was in the 60’s, another 50 yrs from now. I love what a local shared with me yesterday–“We are all just three paychecks away from being homeless in America.” Amen on that!!!


Catherine June 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Yes, homelessness as a backdrop for economic development. I’m sure that will surely serve the homeless population well. Actually, I think the story makes pretty clear that the businesses are big attraction too, really the community as a whole, which includes the homeless, the housed, the restaurants and antique stores and funky coffee, acai bowl stands, Azucar and it’s delicious scones. I am not a homeless hater, but I do think the business complaints about the homeless are valid and as long as we hate on businesses for expressing those concerns, we’re going to keep getting more unfortunate stickers that dehumanize the homeless and don’t resolve the situation. The business arguments as to why filming here is a boon to the community are valid as well. Unfortunately, OBecians are like most people in that we don’t like to be inconvenienced (film crews blocking streets for reasonable periods of time. Hell No!) by anything even it it’s a plus for the community as a whole or a few local businesses in particular. Oh, but we totally support local businesses. Have you see all of our “boycott Starbucks” stickers? I don’t boycott Starbucks for the record. They employ my neighbors. And I can’t see a reason to boycott them in OB if I’m willing to drink it at the airport or the mall. but then I frequent pretty much every coffee shop in the neighborhood.


Frank Gormlie June 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Agree with most of what you said, Catherine. I think the point that Molly was making, though, is good, that with all this dissing of the homeless, it turns out the TV crews are attracted here because of them, and because of everything else too about OB.

There was a very active and fairly successful boycott of Starbucks back at the turn of the century (sounds like a long time ago doesn’t it?) – and your comments do not reflect an understanding why there was such a boycott.

Since OB Starbucks opened on Newport on 9-11 (that’s right the very day the jets were flown into Twin Towers in NYC) and for many moons afterwards, people boycotted the storefront because of what it was doing to local business property rates on Newport Ave. It wasn’t because they had bad coffee, Cath, but because Starbucks was bad for businesses on Newport. If Starbucks was allowed to rent out space for a high amount, that would encourage other property owners on Newport to raise their rates as well. ‘Hey, if Starbucks can pay that much, other corporate franchises could too.’ The boycott was also an attempt to stem the flow of corporate franchises onto Newport Ave. (A film made by the OBMA in promoting OB’s funkiness a few years back, even proudly touted that “OB doesn’t even have a Starbucks!” Although greatly hampered by the tragic history that unfolded once they opened, we heard that the storefront was operating in the red for years, but the giant coffee company did not want to lose face, did not want to admit defeat – even when they were forced to close like 400 storefronts just a little over a year ago, they still wouldn’t close the OB one. Many OBceans understood the boycott and still won’t go there.

If you still wish to buy their coffee, fine, Cath, but please now try to understand why there was such a boycott of $tarbuck$ and why people were trying to prevent Newport from becoming franchise city – just like every other beach town in southern cali. It was efforts like these that enabled the film crews to find OB still without many corporate look-alikes that destroy communities.


Catherine June 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Sorry Frank, didn’t mean to imply that people boycott Starbucks because the coffee is bad. I know it goes much deeper than that. Although I wasn’t in OB at the time (it was a mere twinkle in my eye), I am familiar with the rationale for boycotting Starbucks. I love that OB is not a chain destination and I know it’s the work of dedicated community members making it so (barring Wings and Starbucks, but at least the latter has a decent product (pastries excluded) and semi-good employment policies, minus the whole tipping issue). And I have seen some of my neighbors hard at work there and don’t see how Starbucks has negatively affected other coffee shops in the hood, which I frequent. I was trying to make a point at what I see as something of a conflict in this sticker discussion, and didn’t do a particularly good job of it.

We talk a lot about supporting local businesses (a la Starbucks boycott) but then when our local businesses tell us that homeless people are camping on their doorways, leaving behind messes and hurting business, we don’t support businesses so much and tell them they should get over it because that’s how OB is and it’s the beauty of OB. and then we’re suprised that they have such a strong anti-homeless attitude. I’ve been a little startled to hear a couple of business owners/workers use some strong language against the young, traveling homeless population in particular. Even the “T” word that I won’t use. That struck me and I was surprised, but it says they have a real issue that’s not being addressed. The fact that it doesn’t bother many of the rest of us as we wander around the neighborhood happily drinking coffee and thinking about how great and interesting life is here, doesn’t mean it’s not a real problem. So if we’re going to talk about supporting local businesses and keeping them in business so the neighborhood isn’t taken over by the Gap, I don’t think we can ignore the real impacts that having a bunch of homeless street kids sleeping on your doorstep likely causes. If I were a business owner, I’d probably be looking for the police to start moving these kids along. But we the community, who say we support local businesses, would likely say that is unacceptable. The street kids must be allowed to sprawl on the sidewalk and bug people for money to buy booze and drugs. Cause that’s what makes OB beautiful, apparently. Not the pier, or the many awesome street fairs that OBMA puts on, or the many varied businesses that serve every need imaginable (groceries, enterainment, clothing, furniture, gifts, jewelry (hello Noon!), dry cleaning, spa/hair, gym, etc, etc) and make it such a walkable community. Or the amazing little gardens people have tucked into their tiny front yards from Muir to Orchard.

I know this is a difficult economy and I know that homelessness is a real and complicated issue, even for some of the street kids, who may appear and, in some cases, have other options. But I’m tired of hearing that it’s not okay to be frustrated, bothered or annoyed when street kids are clogging the sidewalks or bothering tourists who spend money here that keeps our local businesses afloat. Yep. I just expressed gratitude for tourists (even if they do take all the parking!). Expressing this frustration doesn’t make someone a homeless hater. And before I dig a big hole for myself, I would like to add that I don’t agree with the sticker, would never buy or display such a thing and think it is dehumanizing and in poor taste and will likely only exacerbate tensions.


Abby June 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

But the coffee is bad!


Frank Gormlie June 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Thanks Catherine. I hope you stay around, come back and comment often. You have a voice of reason and civility – which can elude the rest of us – including myself- at times. I don’t agree with everything you say, but that does not matter. Let’s unite all of our voices (see new post by Jack Hamlin) and address this complex problem – which is larger than one lil’ol seaside neighborhood.


Catherine June 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Frank. I really appreciate this blog’s contribution to the community dialog. It’s a great resource even though thinks get a little heated sometimes. But maybe that’s what they call “healthy conflict.”


Editordude June 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Not every online media source likes OB. Here’s a dissin post from SDNN, the Lohan of San Diego media: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-06-15/local-county-news/sdut-ocean-beach-the-lohan-of-san-diego-hoods-stars-in-television-series


bodysurferbob June 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

screw you, joesph (writer of sdnn article), just ’cause you don’t like shrooms, you don’t like ob. hey, me thinks you should post this long comment as an article in its own right.


Abby June 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Great, glad he left!

You either get OB, or you don’t. I knew I was home the first time I set foot in OB, but it’s not for everyone.

And we don’t need Debbie Downers like that guy!


Jon June 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Word Abby. i love when people complain about OB and say it’s trashy or this or that…I always smile to myself and think, “cool…one less jackass I have to live next to. Good riddance hater!”


Frank Gormlie June 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm



psd June 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Pretty much the essence of the comment I posted on the U/T site this morning…


OBT June 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm
Abby June 16, 2010 at 7:03 am

I’ve often suspected that the negative reviews about OB on sites like yelp are actually written by OBcians who want scare people away!


Frank Gormlie June 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

ha ha Abby. Actually, OB is not the only community that does that. If you know any old-timers from Alpine, they have a similar gig going. The sensor for smog for Alpine is down the mountain in El Cajon, and its readings as you can imagine are far worst at that location than the actual air in Alpine. But the folks in Alpine don’t want the rest of us to know that.


bodysurferbob June 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

…and now we have the ob rag discovering the u-t discovering tv discovering ob. whew! i’m tired after all this discovery, and i’m not even a civil lawyer.


Dave Sparling June 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

That photo if you look top right you see the old fenced steps of the old pool where Gitmo Dave films his Guantanamo videos.


doug porter June 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

the fake City Councilman is revealed by City Beat…. http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/the_character_of_ocean_beach/9365/


Frank Gormlie June 16, 2010 at 10:52 am

Back in the early 1970s, OB’s city councilman was Sam Loftin, who seems like he could have been the model for this guy.


Brian June 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I particularly enjoyed the part of the article where the two lead actors revealed that they like OB so much they stay in Mission Beach.


Frank Gormlie June 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Brian, great point! Maybe they couldn’t afford to … just sayin’…


Frank Gormlie June 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I think the issue at the end of the U-T article does need to be addressed: “will success spoil Ocean Beach?” With “success” could come more gentrification, higher rents, less parking, paid public parking, wall to wall condos – see Venice up in LA for models of what can happen to a beachtown.

With “success” can come demands for “cleaning up” the neighborhood – read ‘get rid of the homeless’.

And then the irony occurs: the very things that made OB funky could be destroyed. The very aspects of this community that attracted those actors and producers would be in danger of disappearing.


Tracy June 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Ted and Kathy at the Old Townhouse rock! Food is amazing and perfect to start off your day! Hope this show brings them notoriety. I can’t wait to see it!


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