The concept behind the new Netflix documentary series “Pretend It’s A City” is pretty straightforward: Author Fran Lebowitz talks, while Martin Scorsese (who’s both director and an on-camera presence) listens and laughs.
Lebowitz’s musings across seven episodes are organized by loose themes, such as “Metropolitan Transit” and “Library Services,” with the more recent footage interspersed with clips from older interviews. That’s pretty much it as far as structure goes; while Lebowitz shares a number of amusing anecdotes, there’s no attempt to explore the broader arc of her career or explain why we’re watching a show about her.
And yet, as we discuss on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we both enjoyed watching the entire show.
Darrell describes Lebowitz as the consummate party guest, full of aphorisms and provocative opinions on everything from technology to sports to the New York York City subway. And there’s something delightful about watching an accomplished director like Scorsese just relaxing and having a good time.
The downside: It could be a little exasperating when we didn’t find Lebowitz’s remarks quite as hilarious as Scorsese did, and watching one episode after another meant that she eventually wore out her welcome. So it’s probably best to enjoy the series an episode at a time, rather than binging the whole thing at once.
In addition to reviewing “Pretend It’s A City,” we also discussed Nielsen’s rankings of the most popular streaming services of 2020.
You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)
If you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:34 Listener email
5:46 Nielsen streaming data discussion
14:03 “Pretend It’s a City” review