Food & Culture

Pop Culture in the PNW: Books, Movies, and TV Shows Set in Seattle

Our city is the setting for some of media's most notable new stories

By Kasee Bailey June 20, 2016


If you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps don’t make a daily commute into the city, you might not have heard the buzz about the filming of scenes from the latest in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Fifty Shades Darker, which happened last month in Pioneer Square and on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The film is the second in a trilogy based on the widely read books by British author E.L. James and features a story and characters set in Seattle.

But it’s not the only recent pop culture phenom to take place in the Emerald City. Check out our list below and be on the lookout for your favorite neighborhood haunts featured on the big screen (or on the page).

The Living Dead
On the heels of the recent zombie trend is the CW’s “iZombie,” a 2015 series currently in the middle of its third season. The show’s main character, Olivia, is completing a medical residency in Seattle when she is turned into a zombie at a party. In consuming human brains to stay alive, Olivia discovers an unexpected gift—visions about the deceased person that eventually help Olivia aid the police in solving crimes.

In Control
Infamous Second Sun is an open-world action PlayStation game that allows gamers to explore and influence a detailed Seattle landscape, playing as protagonist Delsin Rowe, who is a superhuman being hunted by the Department of Unified Protection. The game was released in 2014, but is set in the year 2016.

History Repeating
Drawn directly from history, Sunil Yapa’s 2016 fictional novel, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, is a highly anticipated story surrounding the conflict of the city’s 1999 WTO protests. In plural points-of-view, the author weaves various character stories and brings the reader inside the heated conflict to draw upon themes of humanity and violence.

Paging the Doctor
Grey’s Anatomy: current? Yeah, we know. The show technically has been on air since 2005, but in 2016, the show entered its 12th season, and has been one of TV’s highest-rated dramas. The story, of course, follows a group of surgical interns at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. While most of the show is taped in California, shots of Warren G. Magnuson Park and Fischer Plaza have been featured in episodes of the show.

What did we miss? Tell us your favorite current set-in-Seattle book, movie, game, etc. on social media.


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