The song “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair” references a time of peace, love, harmony, and “trust abounding.” So it is fitting that executive producer John McNamara chose to name his 2015 television series, set in 1967 Los Angeles — two years before the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders cast an indelible pall over the city — in honor of the tune. Billed as historical fiction, “Aquarius” (currently streaming on Netflix) follows Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony) after his release from his second long-term prison stint, as he assembles his so-called “family,” attempts to start a music career, and begins to enact his reign of terror. Also at the center of the story is dogged Hollywood PD detective Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny), a World War II vet fixated on nailing Manson, as well as righting other wrongs of the period.
Decidedly darker than 2019’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” the most notable of recent Manson-centered productions, NBC’s “Aquarius” only lasted two seasons – and was denounced by Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, for its graphic depiction of the murders in Season 2. Despite the deeply macabre tone (which is only to be expected considering the disturbing subject matter), “Aquarius” is sharp, compelling, and well-acted. Where the series really shines, though, is its locations! Being set in the ’60s certainly has its perks and “Aquarius” takes full advantage of the era, utilizing countless landmark retro properties including the fabulous Lewis Estate in Encino, Los Feliz’s famous The Dresden, and Eagle Rock’s beloved Cindy’s Restaurant. One spot I was unfamiliar with, but instantly taken by was the striking midcentury modern house belonging to Sam’s ex-wife, Opal (Jodi Harris).
The sleek property first pops up in the Season 1 episode titled “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” when a furious Sam pays a visit there to confront Opal after learning that she has faked a serious illness in order to get their son, Walt (Chris Sheffield), called home from Vietnam. Though its appearance counts for less than a minute of screen time in the scene, one look at the pad’s clean lines, glass paneling, and smattering of eucalyptus trees, and I was smitten.
For more Dirt on Opal’s house from “Aquarius,” click on the gallery above.