Binge and Repeat: Netflix’s ‘Pretend It’s a City’ offers brief escape to New York

For those longing to get out of their homes, “Pretend It’s a City” offers viewers a tour about New York City through the eyes and sharp tongued narrations of critic and essayist Fran Lebowitz.

The Netflix docuseries created by Lebowitz and longtime pal, filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the city’s past and present through their lively conversations and Lebowtiz’s wry observations.

Not one to pull any punches Lebowitz chatters away about her experiences living in New York City from her real estate woes, to tourists, money, subways and the lengths she’ll go to avoid walking through Times Square. While expounding on her thoughts about how people no longer know how to walk or about how she was raised in a time where she was taught more about being a wife than how to manage her finances, Lebowitz litters her thoughts with historical tidbits about the city and personal anecdotes.

The series itself isn’t just one long conversation between Lebowitz and Scorsese, it cuts in snippets of films and past interviews Lebowitz had with others throughout her career. She speaks about everything from smoking to her disinterest in technology, which dates back to when typewriters were all the rage and how she’s never been able to find an apartment to accommodate all of her books.

Pretend It’s a City

Seasons: One

Episodes: 7

Episode length: 30 minutes

TV rating: TV-14

Language: English

Similar series: Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi

While Lebowitz chats in a club, Scorsese also shows footage of Lewbowitz strolling through the city, making note of the plaques embedded in the sidewalks as she comments on how the city’s architecture has evolved. The duo also wander through a model of the city where Lebowitz points out places she has previously lived and shares anecdotes about the different neighborhoods. The series adds texture to Lebowitz’s thoughts about her beloved city as viewers witness her stroll through the streets and browse for books in a library.

“Pretend It’s a City” is a limited series with one season available on Netflix. The docuseries is rated TV-14. Viewers might also enjoy watching Hulu’s “Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi” as the chef and host travels the country tracing the history of different recipes.