Top 5 Kooky References to the South Bay in Pop-Culture

Photo of Stan Rezaee
9 January 2017

When it comes to its portrayal in pop-culture, the South Bay is too often overshadowed by the iconic movies and TV shows set in San Francisco or the rap / hip-hop stars that come out of Oakland. Thanks to its diverse community, growing tech industry and a rich history, South Bay now boasts a few memorable moments in pop-culture as well. We take a look at five of the best.

24 (Season 2)

Set 18 months after the events of Season One, a group of terrorists are plotting to detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, unless Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) stops them. A side-story during the season revolves around Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) trying get to her Aunt Carol’s in San Jose after learning of the terrorist threat. However, this escape is made complicated when she tries to rescue Megan Matheson from her abusive father. Despite Kim’s determination to escape Los Angeles, the South Bay is never featured as a setting.

Silicon Valley

From the brilliant mind of Mike Judge comes an HBO sitcom that follows six friends as they attempted to establish a startup. Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch) has created a revolutionary data compression algorithm that gets the attention of venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) and tech titan Gavin Belson (Matt Ross). Using Gregory’s money and influence, Hendriks uses the opportunity to establish his own company. Silicon Valley brilliantly captures the culture and lifestyle of the tech industry, similar to what Entourage did for the entertainment industry.

Valley Of The Heart’s Delight

Based on the kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart, along with the public lynching of two men accused of the crime, this 2006 drama brings to life a dark chapter in San Jose’s history. As Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes await trial, an angry mob is growing, with plans to lynch the two men. A young reporter attempts to pressure local government officials in calming the growing tension, until the two suspects have had their day in court. Valley Of The Heart’s Delight was directed by Tim Boxell while staring Gabriel Mann, Pete Postlethwaite, and Emily Harrison.

Vanishing Point

No, not that iconic action road movie but the post-apocalyptic novel by local author Michaela Roessner. The story is set three decades after 90% of the world’s population disappears in an event known as ‘The Vanishing’. The survivors have attempted to cope with the events by either trying to solve the mystery of what happenned or gravitate towards the many religious sects that have been established. Most of the plot focuses on a group of survivors that have established a community at the Winchester Mystery House, in the hope of rebuilding the world.

Palo Alto

This collection of short stories by James Franco is a reflection of his life growing up in Palo Alto, told through the eyes of several characters who navigate through life as teens in the community. Each story introduces viewers to a new character that either represents Franco himself or a close childhood friend. The book was adapted into a film directed by Gia Coppola and stars Franco along with Emma Roberts and Val Kilmer.