TV by the Bay: You watched the shows -- now get out and go

Chuck Barney, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In the early days of the pandemic, most of us probably couldn’t have predicted what a reliable quarantine companion TV would become.

But as the lockdowns wore on, there we were: Safely welded to the couch, binging and streaming to our hearts’ content as TV took us to places where we could find reprieve — including some places in the Bay Area.

Now that things are reopening, it’s a good time to get off the couch, get outside and rediscover some of the fun activities where shows like “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Silicon Valley,” “Big Little Lies” and others were filmed.

'Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist'

The whimsical San Francisco-set dramedy about a young woman (San Anselmo native Jane Levy) with offbeat musical powers is actually filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. But at least its melodic pilot episode had roots in the Bay Area.

One of the show’s most memorable scenes, in fact, occurs in North Beach. It’s where random San Franciscans on Columbus Avenue suddenly break into a rousing flash mob set to the Beatles’ “Help!” Totally freaked out, Zoey attempts to escape via a cable car and later flees down one of the city’s steep streets (with the bay beautifully framed in the background).


Another key scene has Zoey and a co-worker (John Clarence Stewart) engaging in a heartfelt conversation while strolling the Embarcadero. At one point, the famous, 60-foot Cupid’s Span sculpture is featured prominently — a not-so-subtle clue that a romance may be in the air.

Re-create their stroll and be sure to stop at the Ferry Building, so you, too, can enjoy a Cheesequake.

Where to watch: Current episodes air on NBC. Catch up via Peacock.

'Kung Fu'


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