One of the best things about "The Rockford Files" and "Columbo" streaming on Netflix is the gold mine of second unit footage. Want to see 1970s Malibu and Los Angeles? It's all there. Shot on location in LA County (and sometimes beyond) the pacing of the shows is looser than today's TV, so there's plenty of time for drives through town and across the county.
Sure, there's retro clothes and vintage cars and embarrassing hair to marvel over, but for anyone who knows this place, it's the landscape that really grabs you. Our city, with a real estate market that now ranks as the costliest in the nation, looks geeky and gawky, lined with mom 'n' pop businesses and, even more shocking, empty lots.
Check out Paradise Cove in 1971. The 1983 El Nino has since transformed the pier, and Bob Morris erased the Sand Castle's sleepy vibe, but that stretch of beach in the final photo? Still the same. For a while longer, anyway.