The misadventures of a group of urban teens as they go about their lives.

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1  
1999  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Storyline

In the east village, the twentysomething guy, Alex finally moves into this own apartment in New York City's East Village. There he finds that single life is not a walk in the park as he deals with urban life, his boring job at the copy shop, his irritating friends, his selfish sister and his crush on an unattainable goth girl. Yet, for all the troubles, life in the city is still worth it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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urban setting | mtv | teenager | See All (3) »

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Animation | Comedy

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3 August 1999 (USA)  »

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MTV's Downtown  »

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Connections

Spin-off Megas XLR (2004) See more »

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Extremely atmospheric
31 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

I have to say that for American show 13 episodes is not enough to give it an objective score (thanks, MTV), but you may find the direction which the show was going to take - and it was going to be pretty nice.

The show concentrates on the idea of being young in the late 90s - early 2000s, when beepers were still around, the internet was slow and the term 'nerdy' was offensive. So, Alex, the protagonist, is a typical nerd in his 20s, got stuck on a dead-end job in a small typography, in the middle of New York. Alex hangs around with his friends, moves out in his own apartment, tries to impress a girl he likes - long story short, lives a life of a youngster in one of the biggest megalopolises in the world.

What makes the show so attractive is the fact that it is based on true stories from real people - and it really seems that way. All the troubles and weird stuff you face in your 20s, when you are taken as an adult, but haven't become one yet, is generally presented there, with great, realistic humour in addition. Remember the not-so best choice of apartment for the first time? Having a crush on a person from a different world? Doing weird bets with your friends? This is what mostly happens in the series, and it's one of the reasons you'll like it. At least for the nostalgia the show recalls.

But why the show is particularly good is the atmosphere. That dark, gray and a bit existential feeling of a huge, American megalopolis, had been little presented in shows whatsoever. The city itself is a huge dump full of weirdos, bizarre places and graffiti. And this is why you love being in here. And you'll never change it to anything else - it's in your blood now. You are going to grow up with it and it will spread in your body and your mind even deeper. I can't say I'm much of a cinemaholic and know lots of stuff, so I can remember only one video-game that represented an atmosphere like that - GTA III. But in the game it was even darker, but in the show you have a young look on the world, and thanks to that, you like the city even more. So, in one moment the city itself becomes a protagonist.

And the soul of the city was going to be shown even closer, but for some reasons, fellas from MTV decided to shut the show down, and now we have only 13 episodes to feel the atmosphere you aren't going to catch anywhere else, while still trying to grow up and become more mature.

If are you in love with everything urbanistic, or stuff from the beginning of the XXI century, and if you ever catch it on TV - take a look on the show, you won't regret it.


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