Many a beloved show has a special spark because of an extra character we know and love: New York City!
This week brings the fall returns of two of my favorite shows set (and actually filmed) in NYC, 30 Rock and Ugly Betty. For these Big Apple premieres, we thought it'd be fun to take a look at many a great show set in NY that show how much they heart NY, whether it be sarcastically with how much they love people throwing trash at them or truly as they stroll through Central Park (or Central Perk!) in the fall.
Check out SideReel's Top 10 Favorite New York shows below, and add your comments to let us know which of these 10 are your favorites, or of the many other shows set in NY, which of is your very fav.
1. 30 Rock
30 Rock is an inside look at the fictional and hilarious lives of those working at one of the most famous NYC locations: 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Not only do we get a peek at what life may be like inside with a comedic spin, we get a comedic spin on life in New York City with the misadventures of a single 30-something woman, the amazing Liz Lemon, plus the good life with the classic NYC suit, Jack Donaghy... among other crazy NY-showbiz-style characters.
Friends is the quintessential friends in the city comedy. Like 30 Rock, it often played its plot and jokes off the city as one of the friends would have a massive disaster when it came to dating in the city of so many bitter souls, a weirdo in Central Perk moment, or entertainment via far too tight NY apartments (cue Ugly Naked Guy)!
Sex and the City made New York a character like no other show. The foundation of the show was Carrie's love affair with her city from her deep love for the incredible NY fashion as Carrie and the girls bought their $400 Manolos to more dating disasters in the cynical city, to getting those $400 designer shoes stolen in a good ol' NYC alley mugging. We could survive losing any man from Carrie and the ladies' lives as long as they had each other and their beloved city.
HIMYM, due to its buddy comedy style and setting, is basically the new Friends. It goes for more of a silly approach, but they still play with the city to an excellent degree including one of my favorite bits featured in various episodes - the famous New Yorker's (specifically Ted's) disdain for New Jersey.
5. Gossip Girl
Like Sex and the City, New York fashion becomes an enormous essential to the personality of this show! Gossip Girl is 50% featuring the dramas of being a rich Upper East Sider, and 50% featuring the clothes they wear because of that life. Oh to be a Chuck Bass or Blair Waldorf!
6. Ugly Betty
Ugly Betty is yet another NYC show all about the fashion - but with the special spin of following a girl who grew up gazing across the bridge at the sparkling lights and fashion divas of NYC. Now that in recent seasons they're actually filming in NY, this one's definitely a NY classic in the making.
Did I mention New Yorkers are cynical? While Miranda of Sex and the City puts up a fight, Seinfeld takes the cake for representing not what happens to the nice people who love the city but have to take its scum, but actually featuring those awful people running around yelling at taxi cabs, being the weirdo in the bizarre NY dating story, and hanging at the cafes causing a scene. And yes, featuring the insanely delicious and snooty restaurants of the city as well - "No soup for you!"
While they jump all over the world on Heroes (especially Hiro!), NYC is home to most of the heroes, providing some excellent moments of falling from great heights of the NY skyline, flying or dashing around NYC traffic and buildings, and occasionally fighting with the naturally placed NYC thugs. The imposing and dreary ways of New York fit perfectly as a backdrop as the heroes contemplate their fates and the fate of the world resting on their shoulders.
9. Mad Men
Mad Men shows us the shiny, exciting, martini-filled, and wife-threatening New York City of the 1960s. This was New York fashion at its height of class in a way that these days is just utterly changed, and also shows the lives of a seriously different NY businessman than you'd meet today. It also shows the way a stereotypical 60's businessman could use the city to continue his life as a philandering bachelor, being so far away from home in the suburbs, pre-modern transportation.
10. Rescue Me
Rescue Me, a bit like Heroes, gives a more harsh and bleak portrait of the city, though there's still a huge amount of love for it from the characters to a very interesting and complicated degree as it features post-9/11 NYC firefighters struggling with mixed emotions from the disaster. This is one of the more real and gritty New York shows displaying NY and life in general as the harsh, yet resilient thing it can be.
What do you think of our choices? Are these your favorites as well or do you have others we left out?