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6 degrees of Wilmywood: How Hollywood is tied to this North Carolina town

Over the years, I have observed a pattern that celebrities have created—completely oblivious to its existence. Actors always find themselves coming back to this place I call home: Wilmington, North Carolina. We’re kinda like Hotel California, but way less creepy. If the stars have yet to visit, they soon will. Little do they know, they are already connected. Much like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, plenty can be said about the ties Hollywood has with Wilmington. Maybe that’s why we call it Wilmywood.

So let’s have some fun to prove my theory (I’m quite sure Mr. Bacon won’t mind) by binding the highest-paid female actors to my hometown. Let the games begin!

#1 Sofía Vergara
Vergara is raking it in at No. 1 on the list, earning $30 million from more than her Modern Family salary. This woman is smart when it comes to endorsement deals. We’re talkin’ sodas, makeup, furniture—she’s got her name on everything! Let’s see how she fits in. Vergara, whom we absolutely love in Modern Family, played Inez in the movie Chef, which Jon Favreau wrote, directed and starred in as Carl Casper. He also directed Iron Man 3, which was shot in Wilmywood. (1 degree)

kaley-cuoco_240# 2 Kaley Cuoco (Tied)
Cuoco is one of my favs, and she does indeed make a pretty “Penny” in more ways than one. Forbes has her in the No. 2 slot, making $11 million last year alone. Not only does the adorable blonde rake in $300,000 per episode, but the reruns secure her millionaire status. How many degrees does it take to check in, but never leave? Cuoco, who is the fabulous Penny on The Big Bang Theory, played “a little girl” in the movie Picture Perfect starring Jennifer Aniston, who rocked the RV in We’re the Millers, which was shot here in Wilmywood in 2012. [Coincidentally (or not), Kevin Bacon was also in Picture Perfect.] (1 degree)

# 2 Mariska Hargitay (Tied)
Also bringing home a cool $11 million is TV detective Olivia Benson of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. And this one, well, it was just too easy. Hargitay played Cynthia Hooper on 13 episodes of ER (1997 to 1998), which Neal Baer executive produced. He, in turn, is also the EP and showrunner of Under the Dome. Bam! (1 degree)

letterman-tina-fey# 3 Tina Fey (Tied)
Ten million dollars a year for this hilarious and gorgeous lady! Another easy one. Fey, who plays the hilarious Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, works with Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, who was in the 2011 flick Hick, which was filmed in Wilmywood. Sidebar: Alec’s beautiful ex-wife, Kim Basinger, came to Wilmington for the 1985 film No Mercy. She ended up purchasing a gorgeous house at the very private and ritzy Figure 8 Island. After marrying Baldwin in the 1990s, they spent a lot of vacation time here. (1 degree)

Bethenny Ever After# 3 Bethenny Frankel (Tied)
Tying with Fey, this talk-show host also banked $10 million last year. Now, she was quite a challenge, but probably the most fun to figure out. Frankel played Jill in one episode of the alien-infused ABC comedy The Neighbors, in which one of the leading ladies was Debbie Weaver, played by Jami Gertz. She also played the beautiful gypsy star in the 1987 movie The Lost Boys, in which the Coreys (Haim and Feldman) took on vampires, then teamed up two years later for the Wilmywood-shot teen flick Dream a Little Dream. (2 degrees)

# 3 The Kardashians (Tied)
Also tied at No. 3 are the Kardashians: Kourtney, Kim and Khloe. When I first saw these sisters pop up, I thought, Whoa, this is gonna be tough. But actually, it’s easy-peasy. Kim, who is always “keeping up,” was on Drop Dead Diva. From there, you could branch out a million different ways. Also appearing in that drama: Sharon Lawrence (One Tree Hill), Moira Kelly (One Tree Hill), Brett Cullen (Under the Dome), Mackenzie Lintz (Under the Dome), Kevin Sizemore (Under the Dome), Sydney Penny (The Perfect Summer)—the list goes on and on. (1 degree)

# 3 Melissa McCarthy (Tied)
Seriously? Tammy. ‘Nuff said. (0 degrees)

ELLEN-POMPEO_240# 3 Ellen Pompeo (Tied)
Pompeo plays Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. Now, I could’ve gone the simple route and highlighted Sandra Oh, who acted in Tammy, which was shot here last summer. But no way, Jose. I’m lookin’ for a challenge! Let’s go with McDreamy. Pompeo’s costar, Patrick Dempsey, played Corbet in the 1985 movie Heaven Help Us, in which his costar was Andrew McCarthy, who also took the lead in the 1980s comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, which was shot on our beautiful beaches here in Wilmywood. (2 degrees)


Now, go on. See if you can replicate this with your hometown (if you live in L.A. or NYC, so not fair) and tell me your connections. Also, make sure to check out The Wilmywood Daily for the hot Hollywood happenings in Wilmington, North Carolina!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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