TV's Most Realistic and Ridiculous Representations of New York City

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From Friends to Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, which TV shows most accurately depict life in New York City?

While Hollywood still sits on top of a celluloid empire, TV production is rapidly moving east. New York may not have the temperate filming climate that Los Angeles boasts, but it does offer producers a 30 percent tax credit, instated in 2008, and of course the authentic New York City backdrop against which many shows are set. This season, 23 prime-time series are being filmed in New York, up from a measly nine in 2006.

But flying a film crew out east and renting out a Brooklyn loft doesn't ensure that a show will get the aura -- or the facts -- right. New York shows have tried and failed to accurately portray New York City on screen, often apparently because they were too busy collecting a library of picturesque Central Park shots to pick up on the kinds of food New Yorkers eat, how much rent they pay, the way they talk to their neighbors, and the fact that most of us actually don't spend all that much time in Central Park. We've rounded up our favorite Big Apple shows and ranked them from realistic to laughable. Which city show do you think is most representative of the real New York?

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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