Top Streaming TV Shows for Economic Developers

August 11, 2016

Whether you need a break from studying for the Certified Economic Developer exam or are seeking some #econdev inspiration, here are five TV shows you can watch online that remind us of placemaking.

1. Parks and Recreation (Netflix)

Parks and Rec, Leslie Knope at desk

Starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, an overly ambitious city employee for the fictional Pawnee, Indiana, this comedy covers her parks and recreation department staff through city festivals, elections, budgets and scandals. The pilot episode is even about Knope’s dreams to turn an abandoned pit into a park.


2. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Netflix)


If your philosophy is to explore new places through your stomach, you can do so vicariously through ex-chef Anthony Bourdain on this reality show. While visiting locations ranging from Miami to Madagascar, Bourdain not only uncovers the local food scene, but also the location’s culture, economy, history and more.


3. Boardwalk Empire (HBO Now)


While we don’t condone mobster crime as an economic development marketing tactic, it’s extremely addicting to watch it happen in Atlantic City’s Prohibition Era heyday. The show follows local political figure, “Nucky” Thompson, as he controls nearly every business deal that goes down in Atlantic City.


4. Silicon Valley (HBO Now)


Economic developers looking to attract tech investment and talent will enjoy (and maybe even educate themselves) by watching this funny take on the San Francisco Bay Area’s “high-tech gold rush.” Inspired by real experiences, the show follows a group of programmers as they leave fictional tech giant, Hooli, to start their own company.


5. Portlandia (Netflix)


This sketch comedy by ex-SNL member Fred Armisen and punk-performer Carrie Brownstein parodies life in Portland, Oregon. While some of the sketches can be hilariously wacky and surreal, the show actually tackles real-world topics including city branding (in one episode, Fred and Carrie are tasked by the city to write a song for Portland) and innovation trends (in another episode, the Mayor of Portland buys the city a 3-D printer).


What shows (or movies) do you watch to get your economic development pop culture fix? Let us know!

Rebecca Gehman

Written by Rebecca Gehman

Rebecca Gehman is an Account Manager in DCI’s Economic Development division. Since joining DCI in 2012, Rebecca has played a pivotal role in content creation, media relations and marketing strategy work for clients across the globe.

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