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

Chuck Barney, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

This reboot of the 1970s David Carradine series features lots of gorgeous establishing shots of San Francisco, but — bummer — it’s filmed in Canada, too. (Note to clueless filmmakers: It’s time to realize that Vancouver is NOT San Francisco).

In a gender-switch, Olivia Liang plays the lead character, Nicky Shen — a woman who kicks criminal butt in and around Chinatown, where her family runs a restaurant called Harmony Dumplings.

Of course, viewers are mostly seeing Vancouver’s smaller Chinatown, but it’s enough to entice us into passing through Dragon’s Gate and exploring the historic streets and alleys of the largest and oldest Chinatown in North America.

Where to watch: The CW.


San Francisco (the actual one) and Marin County figure prominently in this sci-fi techno thriller with locations including Mission Dolores Park and Alpine Lake. But the real “star” of the show is the redwood-studded campus of UC Santa Cruz and the lovely paths that wind through it.


“Devs” follows a young software engineer (Sonoya Mizuno), who investigates the secret development division of her employer, a cutting-edge Silicon Valley company. She suspects this company is behind the murder of her boyfriend.

Filming took place at McHenry Library, Quarry Amphitheater, Science Hill and other UCSC locales. According to director-writer Alex Garland, the site “worked beautifully for the campus of the tech company. It had very interesting and beautiful — sometimes brutalist — architecture in a forest. So it provided a lovely juxtaposition of brutalist architecture and nature.”

Where to watch: Netflix.



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