True story: I have a lawyer friend in Philly who has, on occasion in his capacity as a public defender, defended some of the better known alleged organized criminal elements in that fair city (In the spirit of "everybody's entitled to a fair defense").
A few years ago, as "The Sopranos" was gaining momentum, I attended an annual party at my friend's house in one of the more upscale neighborhoods in Philly. Two couples who belonged to the alleged criminal organization were sitting at the table next to mine.
While I did not see any FBI agents walking the streets writing down license plate numbers, I could not not eavesdrop on their fascinating conversation (although I did wonder if I might well find myself asked to be a witness for the prosecution). Finally, it dawned on me what it was that they were discussing: The latest episode of "The Sopranos."
Life imitating art imitating life. Or something to that effect.
Now, life imitates art imitates a Google Maps mashup.
Not That Kinda Mashup
According to AdAge, HBO has figured out a whole new way of using Google Maps, becoming the first advertiser to leverage the useful tool for promotional purposes by "celebrating the New Jersey sites of some of the Sopranos' most infamous deeds."
The Sopranos' Google Maps mashup -- which includes a wide shot map of New Jersey -- is expected to help viewers track the actions of Tony, Carmela, Dr. Melfi, and others from the show, providing markers on the Google maps that correlate to key plot points. When you click on the markers, they provide a popup with information on the episode, including video clips. (How about just getting me to the Garden State Parkway???)
Recognizing that the series has been off the air since May 2004, HBO is evidently doing everything they can to help viewers find their way back to the new season and back into the storyline ("You remember, Tony is Tony's cousin who is Janice's brother!")...let's just hope no innocent but curious fans find their way to the wrong neighborhood and get whacked.
Bada Bing Bada Boom.