This article argues that contemporary portrayals of cityscapes on television create a "postcard effect," a way of seeing that affords the viewer the pleasureofa tourist gaze. This disposition both reflects and legitimizes a fragmented experience of visiting a location without immersing oneself in the intricacies of its politics and geography. Building on critical urban studies, film theory, semiotics, and critical ethnography, this article analyzes depictions of New York City in five television shows (Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, Felicity, and The Sopranos) to demonstrate how metonymic representations of the city produce a narrative of a tourist destination on display.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)