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

Chuck Barney, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

While we’re focused on universities, let’s give equal time to UC Berkeley and this beloved, multigenerational family drama.

“Parenthood,” which ran for six tear-stained seasons on NBC, is the rare TV series to be set in Berkeley. But again, it was sadly filmed elsewhere. (The Bravermans actually resided on Universal Studios sound stages in Southern California).

Still, we were thrilled when that Drew Holt (Miles Heizer), the son of Sarah Braverman (Lauren Graham), chose to attend Cal (Go Bears!). And the series did feature occasional exterior shots of the campus, including a lovely night-time shot of The Campanile (or Sather Tower) in its opening credits.

Where to watch: Peacock.

'Silicon Valley'

The dot.com satire, which ran for six hilarious seasons on HBO, is yet another series mostly filmed away from the Bay Area. To wit: The notorious Hacker Hostel, where Richard, Dinesh, Gilfoyle and Jian-Yang lived and worked, is supposed to be in Palo Alto, but actually is in Woodland Hills.


However, producers insisted the show convey a keen sense of place and cultural detail. To that end, they often trekked up north to capture specific images. Season two, for example, opens at the home of the San Francisco Giants — then AT&T Park — where the Pied Piper gang is wooed by fat-cat investors during a lavish bash.

If only those nerds appreciated it.

Dinesh: “We’re standing on the field of the World Series champions.”

Gilfoyle: “It’s totally lost on me.”


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