When and Where Does Julia Take Place?

Image Credit: Seacia Pavao/HBO Max

HBO Max’s biographical drama series ‘Julia’ depicts the life of chef and author Julia Child and the challenges she faced to establish herself as a famed television personality. The show mainly focuses on Julia’s efforts to launch her cooking series ‘The French Chef’ while dealing with the ageism and sexism of the period. Along with a detailed portrayal of Julia’s evolution from an author to a television chef, the biographical drama also offers an intricate depiction of a specific period in American history. Impressed by the historical element of ‘Julia,’ we dug in to find out more about the series’ setting. So, let us share all that we have gathered!

When Does Julia Take Place?

The narrative of ‘Julia’ begins in 1961, before ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ was published. Julia Child co-wrote the cookbook with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. After a flashforward, the narrative picks up in 1962. That is actually when the celebrity chef appeared on Albert Duhamel’s show ‘I’ve Been Reading.’ Following her well-received appearance on television, Julia tries her best to convince WGBH-TV producer Russ Morash to launch her own show titled ‘The French Chef.’ In reality, the three pilot episodes were telecasted in 1962, whereas the first episode of the series aired in 1963.

Image Credit: Seacia Pavao/HBO Max

Season 1 of the HBO Max drama is limited to the events that took place in Julia Child’s life during the production and broadcast of the inaugural run of ‘The French Chef.’ The first installment of the 1960s series concluded on July 20, 1963. In addition, the early 1960s witnessed the start of the women’s rights movement in the United States, which is reflected in the show as well.

In the Sarah Lancashire-starrer, Morash and his colleagues express their concern regarding Julia’s “non-television friendly” appearance. But she stands up for herself confidently and challenges the norms of the male-dominant television industry. Such commendable actions set the stage for feminist movements in the ‘60s. As a drama based on real-life events, ‘Julia’ brilliantly depicts the notions of feminism and equal opportunities of the ’60s. Julia’s disregard for the beauty notions of the time can also be connected to the feminist values that were picking up in those years.

Where Does Julia Take Place?

‘Julia’ primarily takes place in Boston, the capital city of the state of Massachusetts. The narrative begins in Oslo, Norway, giving us a short glimpse of Julia and Paul’s time in the city where the latter works as a United States Foreign Service officer. The storyline also takes viewers to Paris, the beautiful capital of France. Apart from these exceptions, the show is mostly set in Boston. As depicted in the first season, Julia actually lived in a five-bedroom house on 103 Irving Street in the Boston suburb of Cambridge.

Image Credit: Seacia Pavao/HBO Max

Julia and Paul’s house, situated in the area known as “Professor’s Row,” is a major setting of the HBO Max biographical drama. WGBH-TV station – another principal setting – is located in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. The captivating appearance of 1960s Boston incredibly enhances the historical appeal of ‘Julia.’

Read More: Is Julia Based on a True Story?