From Abbi’s post-dental surgery drug haze shopping frenzy at the Gowanus Whole Foods in Broad City to Hannah, a young aspiring millennial writer serving coffee at Café Grumpy in Girls, Brooklyn is the backdrop for numerous TV shows. Before Girls, Broad City, Younger, The Affair, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Two Broke Girls, and the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt there were many shows set in Brooklyn.
Enjoy binge-watching these old school TV shows about Brooklyn.
This 1950s sitcom is a timeless classic. Bus driver Ralph Kramden and his wife Alice live in a modest apartment at 328 Chauncey Street in Bensonhurst (even though that street is actually in Bedford Stuyvesant). The comedy chronicles the life of Ralph, Alice, and their upstairs neighbors and good friends, Ed and Trixie. Although the show was filmed in a TV studio in Manhattan, it’s truly a Brooklyn show. Laugh yet empathize with Ralph’s get-rich-quick schemes, and marvel at the relationships in this show, which are the heart of this beloved show.
The Patty Duke Show
The premise of this family-friendly comedy from the 1960s is probably the craziest of any sitcom ever created (even Alf), but it's still many people's all-time favorite shows. Patty, a Brooklyn teenager, has an identical cousin stay within the family's Brooklyn Height's home. Watch Patty navigate life with Cathy, her doppelgänger sophisticated worldly European cousin, while Patty has limited knowledge of the world, loves hot dogs, and has only seen the "sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights."
The Cosby Show
It might be hard to watch this show with all of the news about Bill Cosby, but this is a Brooklyn 1980s classic. The show was even filmed in Brooklyn and Astoria, which was rare for that time period. The Cosby Show is the story of the Huxtable family living in Brooklyn Heights.
Welcome Back, Kotter
The opening sequence of Welcome Back, Kotter, which is a 1970s classic, brings us back to an era when graffiti-stained subway cars were the norm. Watch a young John Travolta listen to Gabe Kaplan crack jokes in this old-school show. Mr. Kotter spends his days teaching the "Sweathogs" in a Brooklyn high school. Although some of the jokes are dated, you'll definitely laugh. This is a great family-friendly show. Binge watch it with your kids, but you might have to pause the show to explain that there was a time when Brooklyn's streets weren't filled with organic grocery stores and artisanal pizza parlors.
Queen Latifah's 1990s sitcom about four women sharing a Brooklyn Brownstone is a classic. Latifah's character, Khadijah James, runs a magazine, Flavor, and lives with her three roommates. The cast of characters include a work-obsessed attorney, a boutique buyer and Khadijah's sweet cousin who works as a receptionist at Flavor, but is an aspiring actress. Living Single depicts young female women who are career-minded and who lived in Brooklyn before it became a brand. It's compulsively watchable. And unlike the characters in Girls, these four ladies don't self-obsess and can support themselves.
Bored to Death
Okay, it's not officially a classic yet. The series ended in 2011, which means even if it was an Apple product, it would have a couple of more years before it became vintage. The comedy, which starred Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and Ted Danson, captured the life of a struggling writer and amateur sleuth via Craigslist ads. It was shot all of Brooklyn, giving it a serious authentic edge. It's worth binge-watching.
Everybody Hates Chris
This show ended in 2009, so it's a recent classic. However, Everybody Hates Chris is set in the 1980s and focuses on the life of comedian Chris Rock, chronicling a young Chris and his family in Bedford Stuyvesant.