'Stumptown' Doesn't Film in Portland — Here's How They Get That Northwest Vibe

Amber Garrett - Author

Apr. 21 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

is stumptown filmed in portland
Source: ABC

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, but aside for a few shows set in Seattle (like Grey's Anatomy and Frasier), it doesn't get a lot of love on the small screen.

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A handful of shows have been filmed in Oregon — most notably Portlandia — but the laid-back Pacific Northwest city has been the backdrop for a couple recent shows, such as Grimm and Here and Now. And the latest TV series set in the Beaver State is the heavily anticipated Stumptown. Centered on Dex Parios, a Marine veteran turned private eye with PTSD and a gambling problem, the show is set in Portland, affectionately nicknamed Stumptown by locals.

But is Stumptown filmed in Portland?

Naturally, fans of the graphic novels the series is based on wonder whether Stumptown is filmed in its namesake city. Unfortunately, aside from some establishing shots, it sounds like the majority of the show is filmed in Los Angeles.

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cobie smulders dex parios
Source: Instagram

Often, when shows want to have a Pacific Northwest vibe on a budget, they're shot in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadian city has the lush greenery and the moody vibe necessary for shows like Twin Peaks, iZombie, and Bates Motel, which were also set in real or fictional Northwest towns.

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However, while the pilot for the show was filmed in Vancouver, Oregon Live confirms the show is being filmed in Los Angeles, which looks nothing like the Rose City. It's not the only ABC show trying to pass off L.A. for the PNW. Other than establishing shots and the rare location shoot, most of the Seattle-set Grey's Anatomy is filmed in Los Angeles. And so is Stumptown, which you can really tell from the landscaping in this clip.

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Tim Williams, executive director of Oregon Film, says the state agency was eager to make the case for filming in PDX, but never got the opportunity to discuss incentives. "We never got to that conversation," he said. "On the one hand, that's comforting, because I hate it when it just comes down to money. But to do my job, I would have loved to have that conversation."

What makes the Pacific Northwest exclusion all the stranger is that the show's star, Cobie Smulders, is from Vancouver, so if anything, it would make a lot of sense to us if it was shot in her old stomping grounds of British Columbia than L.A.. However, shooting in Los Angeles may be far more convenient for her personal life, since husband Taran Killam's show, Single Parents, shoots in L.A. as well. The couple has two daughters, the eldest of whom is 10 years old, so she's probably well established in a school in L.A.

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cobie smilders taran killam
Source: Getty Images

Despite not being shot in Portland or Vancouver, the show seems to capture the vibe of the graphic novels from what the early reviews say. Cobie's character Dex is a whiskey swilling gambling addict "taking unnecessary risks and one-night stands," which is pretty in keeping with her portrayal in print.

And, just as she is on paper, Dex on screen will be bisexual. Cobie confirmed as much on the 2019 TCA Summer press tour. However, don't expect any stable relationships. Her character is said to use casual sex as a way of coping with combat-related PTSD.

Stumptown airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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