March 10, 2016

5 Best Shows Showcasing New York City

In my not so humble opinion, New York City is the greatest city in the world. They often say "New York City is another character" when a TV series or movie films in the city. And I agree! There's something about New York City that you can't replicate on a soundstage in Hollywood. I really don't know why shows try to keep doing it - it often takes me out of it since I can tell it's not real. But I digress... let's appreciate the shows that do shoot here and do a wonderful showcasing all the splendors of New York City. In no particular order:

Louie - Louis C.K. has been a long-time resident of New York City although he's originally from the Boston area. He has talked about his love of the city and that is really present in his FX series. You see all walks of life, mostly gritty, parts of the city. He's a big foodie so you see lots of the old establishments like Katz's Deli as well as the Comedy Cellar as seen in the opening credits. Unfortunately, the show is on hiatus while Louie pursues other ventures but there are five seasons for us to enjoy.

Broad City - Probably one of my favorite shows on right now shot in NYC. Unlike, Girls, it shows the diversity of the city even though the two main characters are white females. That is what is so great about this city so I don't know why other shows try to take that out. Similarly to Louie, the show often shows the not-so-glamourous side of New York City. People often comment on how gross their apartments and they really Illana and Abbi said that those are even nicer than the actual ones they lived in lol.

Mr. Robot - My new obsession! Another amazing thing about New York City is that so many shows and movies can be filmed here and none of them will look, sound or feel the same. Case in point: Mr. Robot. Major props to Sam Esmail and the directors of the series. They really captured another side of New York even I haven't seen captured on screen. Bonus points: they shoot in the actual New York City subway system UNLIKE some other shows. Also, if you want to nerd out a little, this IndieWire article breaks down how the creator breaks the "visual rules" that I found pretty fascinating. Can't wait for Season 2 this summer!

Master of None - Aziz is often spotted about New York City and his appreciation for the city comes through in his critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. Aziz said he intentionally filmed at locations he and his friends actually hang out at so it would feel authentic so there are places featured that are less well-known. I definitely felt like it was authentic to his life. It was also more representational of the real New York, or at least the New York that I know (i.e. multi-cultural). Glad it got renewed for a second season!

Honorable Mentions: Sex and the City - I'm sure you all thought this would be number one on the list since it's so iconic. I was living in Los Angeles when the show debuted and it definitely made me long for New York (like so many other single gals). However, now that I'm at the age of the women on the show, my 30-something single life is nothing like that of the show. Maybe because we're not a sex columnist, or a lawyer, or an art gallery curator (there is a publicist though). But I give it an honorable mention since it is more of a rose-colored glasses way to look at New York City.

The beauty of New York is what you make of it. I often get "so you still like living in New York?" followed by a surprise "humph." It's not for everybody and that's why I love it. New York is unapologetic. It has been here and will always be here with or without you. If you can't hang then it will happily rotate in the next resident.

What New York shows do you love?

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