It recently came to my attention that I’ve watched an extremely high number of shows that take place in New York City. It makes sense; it’s easy for shows to get friends together to hang out and party in a city, and New York is the biggest city in the world. Still, I decided to rank all of the New York-Based TV shows I’ve watched, on a scale of affordability, quality, and tourism. Welcome to my self made scale!

9. Friends

Apartment Affordability: 5/10

Even though all of the people except Ross in this show had roommates, I still do not believe that they could afford to live in their apartments. They were big and beautiful, and for the most part these people did not have real jobs! There is just very little chance that they were paying their rent and living their lifestyle on these salaries.

Quality of the Show: 6/10

Friends absolutely did not age well. While this is a common thread in many of the shows on this list and in the early-2000s in general, there’s something about the distinct way Friends holds up that makes it worse than all the others. Ross is annoying! He ruins so much of the show! There are good parts, yes, but when I look back most of what I remember is the bad.

Tourism Draw: 10/10

I am DESPERATE to go to the Central Perk. This is marketing at its finest. The way that this cafe is portrayed is enough for me to make a trip into the city just to see it. Friends creates this pull to live in the city with a group of your besties unlike any other.

Overall: 6/10

It is FINE. Just Fine.

8. And Just Like That

Apartment Affordability: 9/10

These people can absolutely afford the houses they are living in. I can’t, but they can.

Quality of the Show: 6/10

The best part about this show is the memes. There’s so many messy plotlines and even the core cast isn’t as good as it used to be with the loss of Samantha. While I watched every episode of And Just Like That and I’ll watch the next season too, I just didn’t really love it. I do kind of love Che though. Sorry not sorry.

Tourism Draw: 1/10

Nothing about this show makes me want to live in New York. The glamour it is going for doesn’t work when everyone is rich and strolling through a world that couldn’t possibly exist for us normal people. It doesn’t bring me in so much as remind me of how the other half lives.

Overall: 6.5/10

Not every show needs a reboot.

7. Seinfeld

Apartment Affordability: 5/10

Jerry and Kramer were both able to afford their one bedroom apartments. Kramer rarely ever even had a job, and Jerry was a stand-up comedian. I simply do not believe it that they were able to pay the rent on their apartments! This show gets bonus points, however, for forcing George to move back in with his parents when he lost his job.

Quality of the Show: 8/10

Bonus points once again, this time for Julia Louise Dreyfus being extraordinarily hot. I think this show holds up better than most, and it made me laugh out loud multiple times. Nearly every episode was hilarious. They have the format down to a science, and it works every time.

Tourism Draw: 6/10

Was New York even in this show? Barely. When it was, it was for bad elements like restaurants that were going out of business and soup owners who forced you to follow a very specific ritual. Still, the idea of meeting friends in the same cafe every day is something I would love.

Overall: 7/10

The most solid core cast of all time.

6. Only Murders in the Building

Apartment Affordability: 7/10

Mabel Mora’s aunt pays for her apartment, and the other men are rich (or used to be). The apartments make sense. It’s a high quality luxury building, and I’m a bit confused why Oliver hasn’t moved to somewhere more affordable, but still. It more or less makes sense.

Quality of the Show: 8/10

An all-star cast and a plot that somehow worked! I truly did not think this show needed a second season, and yet it managed to pull out enough plot twists that it kept my interest throughout. I would highly recommend this drama/comedy, and that’s something I never would have thought I’d say when I started out.

Tourism Draw: 3/10

There was nothing about this show that made me want to go to New York. There were murders, for Pete’s sake! Still, the way it portrayed the city was nice enough, I suppose.

Overall: 7/10

Only 7s in the building.

5. Broad City

Apartment Affordability: 8/10

Abby lived with a roommate who quite literally never made an appearance in the show, and her roommate’s boyfriend. Ilana dates a guy for months simply because he has in-unit laundry. While I’m still not 100% sure how Ilana managed to hold down a job or live anywhere, given her general lack of work ethic, it was generally realistic.

Quality of the Show: 7/10

This show was so cute! I deeply enjoyed the friendship between Abby and Ilana. It felt real because it was real, and many other shows fail to capture that. While it wasn’t anything incredible, it was pretty darn good.

Tourism Draw: 6/10

While New York was certainly a central tenant of this show, there wasn’t anything special about it. It never made me want to go into the city just to see that once thing!

Overall: 7/10

Started from a webseries now we’re here

4. The Bold Type

Apartment Affordability: 6/10

The girls of The Bold Type frequently live together, moving in and out of apartments in order to find ones that work. I’m not actually sure where in NYC Jane possibly found her apartment, being that it’s relatively huge, but other than that it just makes sense.

Quality of the Show: 10/10

This show was so well acted and written! Meaghan Fahy, Aisha Dee, and Katie Stevens are incredible breakout stars who deserve to be cast in everything from here on out. Kat’s relationship with Adena (and everyone else she dates) brings me immeasurable joy. I will most definitely be comfort rewatching this at some point in the near future.

Tourism Draw: 8/10

The screaming in front of the subway, the walking outside of the publishing house’s building, everything about it made the city beautiful. I wouldn’t say the city is a “character” the way it is on the others, there’s still something about it that pulls me in.

Overall: 7.5/10

Sutton + Jane + Kat are my babies.

3. Girls

Apartment Affordability: 10/10

Hannah is constantly stressed about rent, despite living in an extremely small apartment with a roommate. Shoshanna lives in a studio apartment even when Jessa comes to live with her. When Marnie moves in with her husband, they have a studio manufactured into a one-bedroom split. Hannah’s parents help pay for her. I truly believe that these 23 year olds are living that way in New York City!

Quality of the Show: 8/10

I know this might be a hot take in 2023, but I love Girls. There’s something so soothing about seeing people my age on screen absolutely fucking up, making mistakes, and figuring out out along the way. I don’t find anyone on the show likable aside from Jessa and Adam, but yet I’ve come to care about each of them deeply.

Tourism Draw: 8/10

There’s something about the way this show portrays being young in New York that, like Sex and the City, makes the city itself a part of the show. While i’m not sure if it’s ~tourism~ that it’s encouraging, per say, I do find myself captivated by the pull of the city and going out and wandering the streets and finding myself.

Overall: 8/10

Apartment realism just couldn’t drag this one up.

2. Sex and the City

Apartment Affordability: 2/10

Carrie Bradshaw absolutely could not afford her apartment. I refuse to believe it. She was a broke writer who barely put out one freelance article per week, and yet somehow she had her own apartment in New York. It’s something that was ignored, for the most part, but in this list I will not let it slip by unnoticed!

Quality of the Show: 9/10

I loved Sex and the City. Although I watched it long after it came out, the friendship and love between Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte filled me with warmth. This show is just so damn good! I love shows about friends who turn into family and the way the romance felt like nearly an afterthought.

Tourism Draw: 9/10

The upside of having a 2/10 affordability score is the much higher tourism draw. This version of New York City is a place that I would love to live. It’s glittering with a magic that so few other shows capture. You don’t struggle in this version of New York, you skate magically through it.

Overall: 8.5/10

Higher than my Manolo Blahniks

1. Pose

Apartment Affordability: 10/10

Nearly everyone in this show was broke, and unlike most of the other shows on this list, they didn’t ignore that. The vast majority of the ballroom children lived with their house mothers. For once, I believe that these people could afford the apartments that they were living in.

Quality of the Show: 10/10

Pose is without a doubt my overall favorite show on this list. It was so incredibly crafted and acted. Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Indya Moore, and Billy Porter truly shined and proved that they deserve to be stars both now and well into the future.

Tourism Draw: 8/10

Despite the relative poverty of this world, I wanted to live in it. Watching this show, I was desperate to attend the underground ballroom performances as well as to meet the many characters. Life was hard, but there was a magic to it too.

Overall: 9.5/10

A nearly perfect show!