Was Filme und Fernsehsendungen über Leben in New York verkehrt dargestellt haben

What movies and TV shows have misrepresented about life in New York


Despite what Girls and Sex and the City would have us believe, life in New York as a writer isn't the most glamorous.

  • New York City has long been the dream destination of many aspiring city dwellers, thanks to numerous films and TV shows set in Manhattan.
  • But the New York mental cinema, with all its twinkling lights, coffee houses and desire for fire escapes, is a far cry from what the city is actually like.
  • Here's what movies and TV have misrepresented about life in the Big Apple.


Pay out

Pay out

Pay out

Pay out

New York City has long been immortalized in film and television, inspiring generations of people to flock to the city that never sleeps.

But newcomers to town quickly realize that what they saw on the screen is often a distorted version of reality.

The most glaring inaccuracy? How easily can these characters afford rent in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country?

Other things, like escaping the fire and a whole circle of sofas in a coffee shop for you and all your friends, show that the New York in the movies and on TV is far from reality.

Sometimes the fact that a movie is set in New York is reason enough to see it - despite a terrible script.

But movies and TV shows often obscure the reality of life in the Big Apple...

A hit sitcom that depicts the lives of Manhattan residents is Friends .

The Central Perk Caffee, Rachel's groundbreaking haircut, Ross teaching us how to carry furniture up a flight of stairs - the show is near and dear to our hearts.

But the show is anything but precise when it comes to, for example, living in New York. Like the gang somehow has enough time to sit around in a café all day. Don't they have jobs...? The average New Yorker works over 10 hours a day.

And even if they go to work, how can a coffee server and a cook together afford a two-bedroom West Village apartment that would have cost about $2,350 in 1993?

Today that apartment would cost more than $6,000 a month...

And together, a chef and a barista in New York would earn an average of $6,631 before taxes today. (tax rate in NYC is around 50%)

At the newer end of the spectrum is the HBO comedy series "Girls," which follows the lives of twenty-somethings in New York City.

It was praised as a step in the right direction when it came to city life on TV...

...but it still has its inaccuracies. We're supposed to believe that Lena Dunham's character, Hannah Harvath, can afford a two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment on a freelance writing salary?

Alongside Hannath Harvath, freelancer Carrie Bradshaw is perhaps the epitome of what life in New York as a writer is NOT like.

Her life is the least believable of the four friends on HBO's hit series "Sex and the City."

Despite her art gallery curator's salary of less than $70,000 a year, Charlotte York comes from "old money," meaning she can afford her Upper East Side brownstone and anything else she wants.

Samantha Jones owns her own PR company, which allows her to earn a seven-figure annual salary.

Lawyer Miranda Hobbes also had a comfortable salary of millions. Partners in commercial law firms earn a lot of money.

A Sex and the City style night

But then there's Carrie, with her Manolo Blahnik shoe addiction, spacious Upper East Side apartment, and otherwise fabulous lifestyle. We're supposed to believe that writing one column a week is enough to buy $40,000 worth of designer shoes?

However, there are a few things that the show nails. You become desensitized to what you see on the street. What should worry New Yorkers isn't because, as Carrie put it, "it takes quite a bit to shock us." Spend a little time in this city and you'll be in the same boat. Other elements, such as the four women's love-hate relationship with the city and the dangers of New York's dating scene, make the series a classic look behind the scenes of the Big Apple to this day.


Pay out

Pay out

Pay out

Pay out

Don't let Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf's easy rise into New York's high fashion editorial scene fool you either.
Wealthy background or not, a seamless transition from college to overseeing high-profile fashion labels just isn't accurate.
In reality, climbing the career ladder is not an easy task. Labor markets across all industries in New York are among the largest in the country, which means they are also competitive. If you moved here to pursue a career, you'll probably work more than 60 hours a week.
If you've seen "The Devil Wears Prada," you know what that looks like.

It turns out the film's depiction is "scaryingly accurate." Top New York fashion editors confirm that 12-hour workdays, late-night phone calls and impossible tasks are a regular occurrence.

Also read...

The sad story of German immigrants on the Lower East Side

The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn tour is something unusual because from one minute to the next you move between poverty and wealth, between the most different cultures and architecture. German culture also had a great influence on New York, unfortunately with a sad end.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.