As I round out my first year in San Francisco, I’m still amazed at the sights, sounds and smells of the city. Its scenery, characters, nightlife and culture all intermingle to make it the unforgettable place that it is. So it’s no wonder that so many shows have been inspired by or filmed here. Check out this list of the top TV shows that take place in and around San Francisco.
10. Million Dollar Listing San Francisco: Whether you watch it in awe because of the ridiculous housing prices or the silly story lines that only Bravo could create, San Francisco’s edition of Million Dollar Listing is all kinds of cray cray. Like we need another reminder why we’ll never own a home in SF.
9. Murder in the First: One of the newest shows to make San Francisco home, Murder in the First started airing in June 2014. This detective drama series is incredibly addictive, and the city scenes are awesome. I mean, how could a gamer-themed mass shooting in Japantown or an inside look into a drug ring in Potrero Hill not pique your interest?
8. Nash Bridges: Another police drama show starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin? Yup! We’re not sure what we liked more about Nash Bridges—all the iconic scenes of the streets of San Francisco, Nash’s yellow Plymouth Barracuda, the amazing list of guest stars or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s appearance on the show.
7. The Real World: San Francisco: Back when this series was actually bearable to watch, The Real World: San Francisco (1994) portrayed the standard scenes: hooking up with roommates, racial tension and explorations of the city. However, the intense story line around roomie Pedro Zamora brought some realness to the Russian Hill home with the first-ever same-sex commitment ceremony and his struggle with AIDS.
6. Monk: Deemed one of the greatest detective comedy dramas of all time, Monk follows the life of a former homicide detective / current consultant for the SFPD. Adrian Monk’s crazy case of OCD and never-ending list of phobias are what really make the show. If only the series actually shot more episodes in San Francisco.
5. Silicon Valley: The Gold Rush is alive and well in the Bay Area, and Silicon Valley portrays the tech and start-up struggle in the most comedic of ways. If you’re in the tech world, you can definitely relate to the idiosyncrasies of the people running and ruining the industry. Algorithms, valuations, hackathons, disruptions of the industry: it’s all in good fun until someone’s funding runs out.
4. Party of Five: A show about five incredibly good-looking orphans, Party of Five follows a group of siblings through puberty, love and loss as they struggle to keep their family restaurant afloat. This show was one of the best things to happen to kids growing up in the ’90s, especially with the introduction of Jennifer Love Hewitt to the world.
3. Full House: How could you write a list of the best TV shows in San Francisco without including Full House? Despite not actually even being filmed in the city, Full House made San Francisco’s Alamo Square internationally famous. Even Uncle Jessie still visits the Painted Ladies today to take it all in. While you may still be embarrassed by the story lines and outfits, we’ll always have love for this goofy family and all their one-liners.
2. Streets of San Francisco: Three words: Seventies Michael Douglas. I don’t know what makes the show—a ravishing and youthful Mr. Douglas or all the goofy acting. The crime drama ran for five seasons and was shot all over Golden Gate Park, the Sunset, downtown and elsewhere. If you’re into crime shows, SFPD detectives and/or Michael Douglas’s chiseled face, I highly recommend you revisit this San Francisco treasure.
1. Looking: From the sounds of the Muni and BART to the random pods of seniors doing qigong in the Park, Looking makes San Francisco residents really freaking proud to live here. The production team perfectly created a story line and images to incorporate the warped dating scene here, Russian River adventures, foodie obsessions, Truffle Guy in Dolores Park and so much more. And we’re not even mad at how many times Karl the Fog made an appearance. Hot half-naked bodies, sex positivity and shots of the best streets of San Francisco—what more could you ask for?