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The Best And Worst Shows To Binge Before Moving To NYC

If you’re like me, a lot of your expectations as to what living in New York would be like was based on what you saw in television shows before moving to the Big Apple. From Friends to Katy Keene, New York City has been immortalized on our TV screens. Here are the three best and worst shows to binge about New York City, based on how accurate and entertaining they shape up to be.


Broad City (Best)

Broad City is a must-watch before making the move from a small town to a big city. The show follows two best friends, Illana and Abbi, as they make their way through life in their twenties. The two girls split their time between multiple boroughs, as Illana lives in Brooklyn and Abbi resides in Queens. This gives viewers an essential glimpse into what life is like outside of Manhattan before moving to New York.

What makes this show so special is their display of both the mundane and exciting aspects of NYC. While the girls do go on extraordinary adventures, such as the episode in which Abbi hangs out with Kelly Ripa, Broad City has a heavy focus on everyday life. In fact, one of the most memorable episodes is made up of Abbi and Illana simply walking from the top of Manhattan to the bottom. If you are looking for an honest interpretation of New York that abandons the rose-colored glasses, Broad City is the way to go. 


Gossip Girl (Worst)

The chances that your life will be anything like Gossip Girl once you move to New York is extremely rare. While the show does do a good job at capturing the lifestyle of the rich and powerful in New York, it is not an accurate representation of a regular person’s life. Die hard Gossip Girl fans will be disappointed that lunch on the MET steps is not a regular occurrence for most New Yorkers. Nor is black tie parties, especially for college students.

Gossip Girl is entertaining, and should still be treated as such. However, it fails to show what life is actually like for New Yorkers and can cause disappointment for those moving in for the first time.

How I Met Your Mother (Best)

While How I Met Your Mother is filmed on a very obvious sound-stage, it treats New York City like one of the gang. NYC is heavily featured as part of the story. After all it is only in a city like New York where Ted could pass by the mother several times throughout the years, before actually meeting her. Plotlines are often focused on what it is like to date, work, and socialize in New York.

If you would like to see how life after college is like for most New Yorkers, look no further than How I Met Your Mother. Unlike most shows that present New Yorkers as having constantly exciting lives, How I Met Your Mother is honest in its centering of most episodes in a dive bar on the Upper West Side.

Sex and The City (Worst)

The biggest inaccurary about Sex and The City has to do with how expensive New York is. When watching Sex and the City before moving to New York viewers are entranced by Carrie’s chic Upper East Side apartment and Charlotte’s designer style. When watching Sex and the City after moving to New York, this is all forgotten in lieu of trying to figure out how Carrie affords her place on a writer’s salary.

In Sex and the City, the girls spend money like its paper. Unfortunately, residential New Yorkers are well aware that most of the girls’ activities cannot be supported by an average person’s salary. At the time of syndication, Sex and the City offered an honest glimpse into the dating lives of New Yorkers. However, at this point in time the show has become horribly outdated and no longer offers a true picture of New York.

Brooklyn 99 (Best)

The problem with a lot of shows set in New York is that they fail to take into account any other borough outside of Manhattan. That is why it is refreshing to watch Brooklyn 99, which is primarily set in Brooklyn. The crew occasionally dips into Manhattan, but the majority of the show focuses on what it is like to build a life away from the busiest part of the city.

If you are scared of how busy and intense Manhattan will be, watch Brooklyn 99 before moving and consider choosing Brooklyn as your borough. Members of the 99th Precinct enjoy the spontaneity of New York and the craziness that can emerge, but are also fully settled in residential lives, with characters such as Terry living in suburban areas. Based on how a lot of tv shows end their portrayal of Brooklyn right after the Brooklyn Bridge, this show is special in its portrayal of ordinary life in the New York communities we don’t normally see on TV.

The Mindy Project (Worst)

For someone who’s entire life is centered in New York, Mindy hardly spends any time exploring the city in her show. Throughout the course of the show, New York is cast to the background as Mindy splits her time between her office and various apartments. This is actually pretty accurate for a lot of New Yorkers who simply travel between their workplace and their home without much change, but for a first timer to the city isn’t a benefit to watching the show.

In The Mindy Project, the setting could be changed to any major U.S city and there wouldn’t be too much of a difference in the show. It is important to have accuracy in a show, which The Mindy Project offers, but it’s dismissal of what makes NYC so unique forces this show onto the “worst” list of shows to binge before moving to the Big Apple.

Welcome to New York!

After binge watching the best picks from this list you’ll be set and ready for your move to NYC, no matter which borough you’re settling down in. Once you’re accustomed to the New York lifestyle feel free to tackle some of the worst picks from this list, since by then you will know better. 


Maggie Salko

Marymount '22

Maggie Salko is a junior studying both literature and business. She can normally be found napping between the stacks in the 2nd floor library. She'll tell you that her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, when it is actually A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn.
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