On April 24, they’re back, and here we’re giving you a few sneak peeks to prove it—Richard Hendricks, his awkward, dysfunctional, yet strangely lovable Pied Piper colleagues, and the investors and rivals who make their lives a nightmare. True, the HBO series is fiction, but more than a few traces can be found IRL. (That’s “in real life,” of course.)
1. Though the show is mostly shot down in SoCal, parts of the pilot were filmed in Palo Alto. News reports from March 2013 warn about the crew possibly tying up traffic on University Avenue, Page Mill Road, and East Charleston Road, which is just the other side of 101 from the Googleplex (one inspiration for the Hooli campus).
2. Speaking of the Googleplex, who can forget Jared’s misadventures in the autonomous car? If you wander around the Peninsula long enough, you may spot a self-driving car in the wild, but there’s also a prototype of Google’s version on display at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum.
3. Though Erlich’s address is given as 5230 Newell Road in East Palo Alto, the house shown is actually in the San Fernando Valley. But according to a Reddit thread, it resembles the hundreds of ranch houses built by post-war developer Joseph Eichler in southern Palo Alto—including one cluster on Newell Road.
4. In a rare location shoot, the character Russ Hanneman throws a temper tantrum outside the Rosewood Sand Hill, a hotel notorious (and singled out in Vanity Fair) for its bar scene. Appropriately, that episode was titled “Adult Content.”
5. For one episode, the producers re-created TechCrunch’s Disrupt 2013 conference on a Culver City soundstage. The original conference took place at San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center, which is now closed and slated for redevelopment. The now-empty building at Eighth and Brannan shares the block with former high-flyer Zynga.
Photos Courtesy of John P. Fleenor/HBO