Berkeley on your TV Screen

May 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

So a few weeks ago I was watching Bones on Hulu, and I noticed a scene that looked familiar:

It was UC Berkeley’s Valley Life Sciences Building! (Used as an establishing shot for a university in upstate New York, that is.)

I was pretty sure from the moment I paused the video that this was, in fact, a shot of UC Berkeley, but just to be sure I started Googling for an image of the building from a similar angle to confirm my hunch. It didn’t take long, for on the first page of Google Image hits I saw this image, which looked eerily familiar:

Hmm… same building, same angle, same trees, same water spot on the ground (next to the bicyclist in the second image)… the only difference appeared to be the people. And yet this second image is from the 1994 movie Junior starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film took place in San Francisco and Berkeley, and used many local buildings and landscapes in its filming.

But the similarity between these two images, one used in a 1994 film and the other in a 2011 television show, is still a mystery to me. Do production companies just have hours of stock “establish-the-scene” footage that editors can include in their films/shows? Did the Bones folks take footage from 1994 and Photoshop new people into the scene? INQUIRING MINDS, etc.

[ screenshot from Hulu; image from Film in America ]



March 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

It’s not like I need to add another TV show to my already-rigorous weekly schedule, but when my boyfriend told that NBC’s new show Parenthood was set in Berkeley, I knew I had to watch it! (As this blog makes abundantly clear, I’m one of those people who gets irrationally excited when things I like or know get mentioned on TV, in magazines, or in other random places. Exhibit A, B.)

The first episode was more dramatic than I was expecting—the ads had made it seem comedic—and I probably spent more time trying to spot local landmarks (such as Oscar’s and Children’s Fairyland; apparently North Beach Pizza was in there too, but somehow I missed it!) than actually paying attention to the dialogue, but I liked it enough to give it a second chance.

The second episode included a title cards sequence absent from the pilot, and although only the pilot was actually shot in Berkeley, the final shot of the title sequence is the image above. What a beautiful view of my fair city! (Shout out to the Campanile there in the middle!) Overall, I very much enjoyed the second episode. The family feels so lovable and relatable—exactly the kind of relationship I want to have with my siblings when I’m an adult—and the dialogue is actually fun and snappy!

[ screen shot from Hulu ]

Only in Berkeley

May 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was sitting at a bus stop today when a heavily-tattooed and pierced young guy walking by stopped to chat with a kind, normal, grandfatherly-looking man also waiting for the bus. They exchanged a brief greeting, then the young man handed the older man a flyer and walked away. A few minutes later, the older man walked up to me and showed me the flyer, which advertised a “Room Needed” for a “420 friendly prefered” apartment (translation for non-Berkleyans: a place that doesn’t care if you smoke pot), complete with a phone number. The first words the older man spoke to me were, “If you ever need to buy medical marijuana, this guy will deliver it to you. I’m old, so I don’t do drugs, except for the occasional Aspirin, but maybe your friends would want it?” He then handed me the flyer. Man, what a place!

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.