‘Bless This Mess’ is a sitcom that airs on ABC and follows the story of a couple whose life is changed after the husband receives a farm as an inheritance. The protagonists of our story are Mike and Rio. After he gets laid off and subsequently comes to know about the inheritance, Mike lies to Rio about his true intentions, and leaving everything behind, they head out to Nebraska, hoping that a new life is waiting for them there. However, when they reach their new home, they discover that the farm is in shambles and that their ideal life will need a lot of work before turning into reality.
Starring Lake Bell and Dax Shepard in the lead roles, the show has been created by Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether. While humour and plot are important, the setting is the one true thing that drives the story. The move from the hustle and bustle of city life to the calm and laid-back environs of Nebraska presents a culture shock to the couple, who also realise that country life demands much more effort than what the Instagram posts of influencers generally suggests.
With the location being so important, the task to chose filming locations for the show becomes even more important. Here are the locations where ‘Bless This Mess’ has been filmed.
Bless This Mess Filming Locations
The story of ‘Bless This Mess’ revolves around a couple who trade their city life of New York in favour of simpler farm life in Nebraska. Their new home is in the town of Bucksnort, where they have to run the farm that Mike has inherited from his great-aunt.
“I’ve driven through Nebraska a lot. I just remember being in awe of the big wide-open spaces and the sky. To me, it was just the west. It was what being out in America and the farmland kind of is. So we decided that this couple was going to start a farm so it seemed like a perfect place to set it,” said Meriwether.
Despite the setting of the story in Nebraska, it is not the primary filming location for the show. The landscape of Nebraska is recreated in California to capture the story of Mike and Rio.
Santa Clarita, California
Over the years, Santa Clarita has proved to be a go-to site for Hollywood when it comes to filming TV shows. Due to its close proximity to Hollywood, and a number of other factors that include everything from the ease of budget to the availability of parking space, this location has served as home to a number of popular TV shows like ‘Firefly’, ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘Euphoria’, ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Santa Clarita Diet’, among others.
‘Bless This Mess’ is also extensively shot on location in Santa Clarita. In order to make the surroundings look more like Nebraska, special effects are used to remove the things that would otherwise seem a geographical anomaly. Explaining how the show uses this trick for their cause, series co-creator Elizabeth Meriwether explained in an interview, “We used as much visual effects as, like ‘The Avengers’ to get all the mountains out of the background. We’re trying to make that work as much as we can. There might be a couple mountains, and I apologise in advance [for that].”
The use of green screen allows the crew to make California seem like Nebraska, but those are just background details. When it comes to the real places where the story takes place, like the farm itself, it all comes down to Sable Ranch, which is a primary location for the show’s production. This is, again, a rather popular site and would seem familiar to the audience due to its use in a number of films and TV shows.
While Santa Clarita offers a very convenient location for filming, it came under jeopardy during the October 2019 wildfire that raged in California. Due to this, the production had to come to a halt for a while. But with everything back to normal, filming for the show resumed right back.