Pubs in TV Shows

Published by in Offbeat
25th Nov 2016

In most ensemble cast TV shows, some of the action takes place in pubs, clubs and cafes frequented by the cast members, and in some cases, mostly for economic set or location usage, the same bar will be used in many episodes.

In real life, we do tend to have regular haunts and meeting places, though few resemble those used on TV. Often the cast of the show get to use the same seats in a bar every visit. There are actually few other customers, unless required by the plot, and only a few extras. In some cases, if you look closely, the same extras are used in many episodes. They never seem to communicate with the other regulars.

Publicans may be seen wiping the same glass down constantly with a rag or towel, or providing an attentive ear when customers tell their sorry story.

In the Soaps regulars never get barred, even for fighting or bringing their family troubles to the boil in front of the customers.

In comedies, the bar staff are violent men, or buxom women, and usually depicted as being very stupid.

Here are some of the best known, and a few more obscure TV pubs and clubs.

THE BRONZE – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Frequently where vampires seduce away their victims, so watched closely by Buffy and her gang. The bar attracts loud rock bands, but whenever the cast talk to one another the music conveniently muffles to pleasantly audible background noise.

CHEERS BAR – CHEERS

A quiet bar that would probably close for lack of trade, with most of the cast being its regular barflys.

THE DRUNKEN CLAM – FAMILY GUY

In many ways, an echo of Moes in The Simpsons, epicentre of the action for the male cast, who usually go insane when unable to get in, as when it briefly turns into an English Theme Bar overnight.

EXCELSIS – LIFE ON MARS,

Upbeat name for a basic boozer. Filmed in the Angel Inn, Royton, and Manchester.

THE FAT OX – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE LIKELY LADS?

One of the few TV pubs to be seen being killed off as the lads lament its demolition in the film spin off to the series.

THE GRAPES – EARLY DOORS

A series filmed almost entirely within the pub, with stories focussing on staff and customers involved in some theme night activity. The quiz night episode is typical.

THE HANGMAN’S KNOT INN – THE NEW STATESMAN

Sadly under-used, with a great jokey name and inspired by real life executioner Albert Pierrepoint’s ownership of a pub after retiring from his more macabre duties.