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

Chuck Barney, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

Despite their indifference, it’s a reminder that — after a dismal year of empty ballparks — we’re actually able to enjoy baseball in person again.

'Big Little Lies'

When writer David E. Kelley adapted Liane Moriarty’s scandalously addictive page-turner for TV, he shifted the narrative from Australia to Monterey, largely because of its “hypnotic beauty.” … “Aesthetically,” he said, “we were looking to draw the audience in and say, ‘I want to go there on vacation.’”

Mission accomplished. Viewers of seasons one and two not only fell in love with the show’s A-list cast (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, et al.), but with its picture-perfect images of Pacific Coast beaches and Big Sur’s towering Bixby Creek Bridge. (Heck, they had us with those dreamy opening credits).

Prime “Big Little Lies” locales include Old Fisherman’s Wharf, where the gals gathered to chat over coffee, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. The latter is a charming stretch of shoreline where Jane and her son Ziggy (Shailene Woodley, Iain Armitage) shared a picnic.

While on your “Big Little Lies” tour, don’t miss Garrapata State Beach Park just south of Carmel, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Del Monte Beach (See Jane run!).

Where to watch: HBO Max.



Sarah Paulson stars as the scheming title character in this horror-filled “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” prequel. Produced by Ryan Murphy, the miniseries is so messy, nonsensical and luridly over-the-top that some may find it nearly unwatchable.

“Ratched,” however, is visually arresting, thanks in part to jaw-dropping ocean views and Big Sur-area scenery. Much of the show is set in the dinky village of Lucia, located along Highway 1 in Monterey County. That’s where nurse Ratched checks into the Lucia Lodge, a quaint and secluded family-run motel that clings to the coastal cliffs. Its owners claim that “no other Big Sur resort gets you this close to the sea.”

Take one look at the Lucia Lodge and you might want to check in and never leave.

Where to watch: Netflix.


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