If you pay attention while watching Death Note, you may spot some landmarks—the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, or Seattle's Great Wheel.

Some of us now have a lot of time on our hands, even as the idea that we live in Seattle becomes more abstract. (We live in our homes now, Seattle is an idea!) Here are ways you can reconnect with the city through a screen: with Seattle-filmed, Seattle-based, and Seattle-inspired films and TV shows. You can find them on the stream services listed, including Kanopy, which is free through Seattle Public Library. 

10 Things I Hate About You

In 10 Things I Hate About You, a tale as old as Shakespeare, Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger tromp all over the city: paintballing at Gas Works Park, prom at the Paramount Theatre. It’d be easy to mock it for landmark collecting, but this comedy’s too damn charming for that. Disney+


Set here, shot in Vancouver, this reflective comedy follows Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who gets diagnosed with cancer at 27. As his body deteriorates, he reckons with his relationships. Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick play the vulgar best friend and just-starting-out therapist. Hulu

Death Note

Adapted from the Japanese manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, this Seattle-set Netflix original movie reimagines the story of a typical college student who gets ahold of a lethal notebook—the killer simply needs to jot down the target’s name. While some rightfully criticized the film for whitewashing, director Adam Wingard’s artistry and eye for all things horror, in tandem with a talented cast, helped create a Donnie Darko-esque vibe. Netflix 

Drag Becomes Him

Drag isn’t all death drops and lip synchs. Performed well, it expresses a deep sense of the artist, no matter the size of their wig—or whether they wear one at all. This documentary follows Seattle’s Jerick Hoffer as they become Jinkx Monsoon, the famed Little Edie Bouvier Beale impersonator and season five winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Learn what started Hoffer’s bejeweled career and see how their drag persona connects them with a rich family history. Amazon Prime 

East of Occidental

This documentary about the Chinatown-International District covers the historic struggle Asian Americans in Seattle (and elsewhere) faced—and continue to face—in American society. Local and regional filmmakers, with the help of archival material, reveal why the C-ID is much more than a food destination. Kanopy

Fist of Fury

Released in 1972, this martial arts action film stars Seattle legend Bruce Lee. The fight scenes are realistically choreographed and make for much of the movie’s hype, but it’s not all brawn—though the hero, Chen Zhen (Lee), sends his enemies flying across the room with a regularity appropriate for the genre, the story also touches on the ugliness of bigotry during Japanese colonialism over parts of China between the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth. Hulu   


Once Cheers ended, Dr. Frasier Crane moved back to Seattle, itching for a fresh start (in this spin-off). He moved in with his ex-cop dad and got a gig hosting a psychotherapeutic radio show. Cue obsessive chess matches, eccentric physical therapists, and a whole lot of pretentious behavior—along with a good deal of charm. Hulu

Grey’s Anatomy 

It’s sappy, it’s over-the-top. But if you can get past the web of love triangles, trauma, and excessive ferry references, it’s also lovable. The 15-season show follows the careers of a group of medical professionals—from interns to top dogs—with no shortage of drama. If you watch through all the ebbs and flows, you will see why longtime fans have such a deep, conflicted relationship with producer Shonda Rhimes. Netflix

Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives

Before he took to comedy full time, Kondabolu spent two years in Seattle doing standup at night while working as an immigrant rights organizer by day. In this 2018 special, filmed at the Neptune Theatre, he takes that justice lens to the stage. Yes, it’s political; yes, it’s very funny. Netflix

Harry and the Hendersons

A family returns from its hunting trip with an unlikely family member—Bigfoot. Naturally, Harry is sensitive and sweet, leading the family (played by John Lithgow and Melinda Dillon, among others) to hide their furry friend from law enforcement and a lifelong Bigfoot fanatic. Say what you will about the Northern “wild man” legend; this movie is straight-up cute. And the Harry and the Hendersons house, on a sleepy Wallingford street, is a minor Seattle landmark. Hulu

Jo Koy: Live from Seattle

Before his national tour Break the Mold, stand-up comedian Jo Koy shared his raunchy humor and childhood anecdotes at the Moore Theatre for this Netflix original special. Having grown up with a Filipino mother and a white dad in the Navy, Koy merges his own upbringing with his tried-and-true thoughts on parenthood, puberty, and being a mixed race kid. Netflix 

The Killing

Moody, grim, caffeinated, this crime show exaggerates the Seattle temperament to a degree bordering on parody. Two Seattle Police detectives, each with their own difficult pasts, set aside their individually hard-nosed methods to solve a murder case hanging over the city like, well, a fog. Spoiler alert: it takes more than a few episodes to find out who did it, but you've got time. Hulu


Lynn Shelton’s 2014 film about a highly-educated but desperately aimless 28-year-old befriending a squad of high school girls might just be the kind of low-stakes drama needed right now. Megan (Keira Knightley) has one week to make a major life decision. So, like most people under pressure, she hides out with her pubescent pals and discovers that having a crush on a friend’s dad (Sam Rockwell) isn’t that weird; and that finding a place in the world is a life-long process. Netflix, Hulu 

Once Upon a Time

This show, largely set in Maine, headed to Seattle in its seventh and final season. In it, 10-year-old Henry is deemed childish for believing his mother is the offspring of Snow White and Prince Charming, only to find out that the small town’s population is entirely comprised of fairytale characters (Captain Hook, Robin Hood, Cruella De Vil) who are stuck in time with no recollection of their former lives. Netflix


Somehow Seattle became the setting for, among other things, a lot of bedraggled rom-coms. So 2018’s Prospect is a fine departure: a sci-fi western directed by two former Seattle Pacific University students. The story follows Cee and her father as they mine for a precious mineral on a green moon with a toxic atmosphere (they filmed near the Olympic Peninsula’s Hoh Rain Forest and in a Fremont studio). But when another miner tries to rob them, things grow menacing and darkly funny. Hulu, Kanopy

Rick Steves Europe

In tone, Rick Steves belongs in a class with Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross—a paragon of public access kindness. But the Edmonds native’s career-long project also merges with the title of his 2009 book, Travel Is a Political Act. His goal is to erode U.S. ethnocentrism. If you want to travel without getting up, you can find no more enlightening and indefatigably cheerful a companion. Hulu

The Ring

Is Gore Verbinski’s 2002 adaptation of a Japanese horror movie actually a dive into globalization in post-WTO Seattle? Maybe. Is it an atmosphere-heavy genre piece starring Naomi Watts as a Seattle PI journalist who discovers a video tape that actualizes a deadly nightmare for those who watch? Absolutely. Netflix


This comedic series explores serious topics like internet trolls, body image, and toxic relationships. Based on the memoir of former Stranger writer Lindy West, the story traces the trajectory of Annie (Aidy Bryant), who reinvents what a career in journalism can look like. Hulu 

Twin Peaks

A cult favorite from the early 1990s, Twin Peaks is at least superficially a crime procedural about the murder of a young woman in a Cascades lumber town. Though that’s really just a framework in which creator David Lynch explores psychodrama, dark comedy, soap opera satire, art-house surrealism. If you run through Netflix’s pair of seasons, Showtime brought Twin Peaks back in 2017 and picked up the story—or at least a story with some of the same characters—25 years later. Netflix, Showtime


A widowed mother in California suburbia decides to become the neighborhood pot dealer in order to maintain her family’s 'Keeping Up with the Joneses’ lifestyle, taking them on a strange, multi-season trip all over the world. In the sixth season, after some serious debauchery, the family resettles under new identities, jobs, and moral compasses in pre-legalization Seattle. Netflix

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

First off, yes, Maria Semple's book is better. But the movie has plenty of aerial shots of the Space Needle in this story about a woman who loves her house...and her family, but that house: she really loves that house. The movie drops an unexpected adventure into the laps of a handsome family (hey Microsoft daddy) who set off in search of what actually matters. Hulu

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