8 Things All San Franciscans Must Watch on Netflix

If you are in the mood to experience the wonders of San Francisco but want to remain in the comfort of your own bed, then we suggest just watching a movie, series, or comedy special set in the City to fill your needs.

Because it’s important to live life through the prism of your laptop screen.

Be adventurous within the confines of your couch, and binge your way through this list of 8 movies and TV series set in San Francisco that all locals need to watch, like, right now:

1. Milk

Milk, which was the winner of the 2009 Best Screenplay Academy Award, tells the story of the life and death of the gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before his assassination. Sean Penn plays the San Francisco icon in an Oscar winning performance. This film is highly recommended for those who want to learn more about San Francisco’s history, the gay rights movement, and the complexities of City politics.

2. Zodiac

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Junior, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California (our beloved San Francisco included!) with a killing spree through the late 1960s and early 1970s.

3. Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats

Chelsea Peretti is a San Francisco born comedian and is, like, really funny. In her standup special One of the Greats, she pays tribute to her native City by the Bay by performing this nuanced, side-splitting comedy special in none other than our own Palace of Fine Arts.

4. We Were Here

We Were Here is a heart wrenching documentary that takes a deep look at how the AIDS crisis affected San Franciscans. This important documentary reflects on the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how San Francisco came together during a time of crisis.

5. Margaret Cho: Psycho


Born and raised in San Francisco, Margaret Cho is a significant comedian that all locals should be familiar with. Her body of work hilariously tackles the complexities of modernity, and she talks about her eccentric upbringing in the Bay. You’re not a true San Franciscan until you’ve familiarized yourself with this comedy icon. Not to mention–she’s coming to the Castro Theatre on October 21st.

6. Fruitvale Station


This film tells the story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was fatally shot in the early hours of New Year’s Day of 2009 by a BART Police officer in Oakland. This film hits close to home (literally), as it takes an intimate look at a monumental event that shook the Bay Area to its core, which occurred on the transit system familiar to all locals.

7. Ali Wong: Baby Cobra


Ali Wong is another wonderful comedian who was born and raised in San Francisco. In this acclaimed Netflix comedy special, Baby Cobra, Wong performs standup while 7 months pregnant and talks about work woes and relationship realities in a performance that is sure to be considered legendary for years to come.

8. Girlboss


Girlboss is a Netflix original series that is loosely based on the true story of Nasty Gal founder and #GIRLBOSS author, Sophia Amoruso, who got her career started in San Francisco. Though this series has some mixed reviews, it presents a romanticized pre-tech San Francisco sure to inspire nostalgia for some.

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