Sunset Boulevard stretches about 35km, from Hollywood through Beverly Hills (the famous Sunset Strip) to Downtown Los Angeles. It is one part place and two parts myth.
Geographically, it is one of the most affluent suburbs in the world, boasting some of the most luxurious houses ever built and a notorious nightlife. In narrative, and enshrined in pop culture, it is a hedonistic attitude to life.
In the ’50s, Billy Wilder made a film in the street’s name, entering it into the American ideological canon.
Rolling Stone magazine, a gatekeeper of the America Dream, documented the extensive escapades of stars in the ’80s, among them “singer, Jim Morrison, balanced on a railing on the roof of a 16-storey building on the Strip as if it were a tightrope” or Led Zeppelin who would famously rent out rooms at Hyatt House and run riot creating a “…television-smashing, motorcycle-down-the-hallway-driving den of debauchery”.
The Hollywood sign features in numerous films, and the most recent to romanticise what it represents is the film La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Whether nostalgically in noir or in celeb crazed contemporary society, the strip is a sensational, largely inaccessible world to us mere mortals.
This was until producer Adam DiVello (The Hills) decided to approach real estate twins Jason and Brett Oppenheim (Million Dollar Listing) with the idea for a reality TV series.
Selling Sunset, which began on Netflix this month and consists of about eight episodes in season 1, follows the brokers at the Oppenheim Group. Among them are Mary Fitzgerald, Christine Quinn, Maya Vander, Heather Young and Days of Our Lives’ Chrishell Hartley (above). In case you haven’t already guessed they’re all as drop dead gorgeous as the California sunset.
The programme lets viewers into the Hollywood Hills mansions of the firm’s wealthy, often celeb, clients. Selling Sunset with its $100-million homes staged to perfection, stunning agents with scintillating love lives, and A-List clientele, is a real life amalgam of property, interior design, celeb and soapie.
Among the Oppenheim brothers’ most recent clients were Kris Humphries, who sold his Beverly Hills estate to Neil Kadisha for $8.3m; Orlando Bloom who put his Beverly Hills home of two years on the market for $8 999 999; and 30-year-old Nicole Nightly of SugarBeanHair vitamin success, who bought a house and then bought the house next door as well.
From Beverly Hills to Malibu, this documentary type soap takes full advantage of its stunning locale and is definite candy floss for when you’re on the couch.