In Netflix’s ‘Decoupled,’ New York Real Estate Is At The Heart Of Every Breakup

on netflix “Uncoupled,” a romantic comedy set in New York City, real estate is always on the line when romance takes an unexpected turn, like a surprise breakup or late divorce. And for the most part, the show gets a lot of real estate right, at least for wealthy Manhattanites.

It follows Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson, a 40-something luxury real estate agent, who is navigating a demanding real estate career, and a sudden break after his partner Colin (played by Tuc Watkins), a property manager. hedge fund manager, abruptly moves away on the eve of his 50th birthday.


[Editor’s note: When a movie or TV show is set in New York City—and if the people making it are savvy—real estate becomes part of the story itself. In Reel Estate, Brick Underground reality checks the NYC real estate depicted on screen.]


Throughout the show’s eight episodes, Michael deals with being on the dating scene for the first time in 17 years and the stresses of the New York real estate market with the help of his friends and business partner Suzanne (played by Tisha). Campbell), a sassy single mother of an adult son.

Michael and Colin’s luxury cooperative

The show kicks off at Michael and Colin’s posh co-op at 44 Gramercy Park North. It’s a real New York City. cooperative Building, where there’s currently a $1.35 million one-bedroom deal, and the show appears to use the exterior for shots. His apartment resembles the actual units in the real life building.

It’s a believable life situation, and then he learns how they were able to buy it before they became big earners: It was a deal. bought off the market at an estate sale, and was not in the best condition. They had to put together savings for the down payment.

Seventeen years later, the apartment is given a makeover with oversized casement windows, high ceilings and of course a private terrace. It is exactly what you would expect from an apartment overlooking Gramercy Park.

Colin’s new condo on the Highline

One of the biggest tricks on the show is how Michael finds out where Colin is moving to after the breakup. Suzanne was walking down the High Line and looked up at the giant windows of a condominium (yes, those apartments in House of Lanterns). “You really have to be an exhibitionist to live in one of these!” she says. But who did she see when she looked inside? Colin! Unpack with whose help? Tyler Hawkins (portrayed by Nic Rouleau), “a cocky titled millennial” who is her colleague and her archenemy.

His flashback is the only time you see the inside of Colin’s condo, and from his point of view, the huge windows and white walls ring true to most new luxury condo developments.

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Of course, this leads Michael to believe that Colin left him for Tyler. But later, Tyler explains that she found Colin the apartment and helped him move in (a level of service she provides to all of his clients), but that she’s not having an affair with him because “he’s old.” And while 50 isn’t an age at all, it reflects how many millennials might feel about dating someone 20 years older than them.

Claire’s fancy apartment

Another of Michael’s challenges is dealing with his client in need Claire Lewis (played by Marcia Gay Harden), a wealthy Upper East Side woman who is getting a divorce and needs to get rid of her apartment. She explains that her soon-to-be ex-husband is in a hurry to sell because “it’s a dangerous market.” Michael says that he “knows the building” and anything with a Desirable private terrace.

Claire’s apartment is in a doorman building with a modest lobby that looks like any of the downtown hotel-type high-rises and doesn’t give away how nice the apartment is. The apartment is what you’d expect from a tony guy like Claire, with direct elevator access, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a modern glass-railed staircase.

“Who could want more space?” he exclaims at one point about his ex. “There’s 5,000 square feet in this apartment,” she says. And they have a house in Amagansett (of course).

It takes some work for Michael to get the quote, which he does after cutting his commission. The way he handles it rings true if you’ve ever dealt with New Yorkers with some kind of privilege. At one point, Michael has to calm her down during a late-night drunken tirade in which she destroys her ex’s office (this results in having to delay the corridor open house). They later receive an offer below the question, which Claire scoffs at.

Finally, Claire accepts the offer of the apartment, after several cocktails at a party with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” playing in the background. “I’ll sign things and I’ll get things done,” she exclaims. While a few cocktails can make any big decision easier, it’s hard to believe that’s all it took to settle for the next thing.

Claire’s sale stalls because buyers need more time to “fine tune the cooperative board” because it is “one of those more complicated buildings”. Totally believable.

Only in NYC real estate moments

The show is packed with other realistic real estate experiences, at least for the rich.

At one point, Michael and Suzanne go to a broker’s open house in Verge New York, a fictional new condo tower where apartments are $4,000 per square foot. The common areas give off more of an office building vibe than a residential building, but have the stellar views you’d expect from a luxury tower. On the terrace, Michael shares his plan to go to couples therapy with Colin, and Suzanne reveals her plan to have one of her clients sell her Fifth Avenue apartment and “move downtown” to the building. . The scene was filmed 1155 Sixth Avenue but that could be the center of Upper East Siders, right?

Another true-to-life touch: Michael’s noisy neighbor who complains that Colin’s magazines are piling up in the mail room. New Yorkers deal with this kind of behavior often, especially in rules-crazed co-op buildings. Perhaps she is aiming to be the next president of the board?

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During a showing of an apartment on Chrystie Street, Michael uses the building’s upgraded windows as a major selling point. They were paid with an evaluation., which new buyers are not responsible for. And the apartment, with its white walls and marble countertops, looks like what you’d expect from a Soho building that’s probably been converted into condos.

Suzanne also lands an Italian furniture importer as a new client who wants a pied-à-terre in the range of $2 million. We never got to see the pied-à-terre, but $2 million seems adequate for a second home for a rich single man. But we do get to see an awkward encounter between Michael and the client, who turns out to be bisexual and invites Michael to his hotel.

Along the way, Michael also comes up against other romantic prospects like a plastic surgeon who offers Botox where the sun don’t shine and a third grade teacher who moves too fast. It doesn’t work either.

Sell ​​the neighbor’s apartment

Michael’s next big listing is his older neighbor Jack (played by André De Shields), who is moving to Miami, a common trend for upper-class New Yorkers these days. Jack wants me to list it if he can between $2 million and $2.2 million, which seems about right based on real-life listings for the building. “You can see right over the trees on my floor. All of New York,” says Jack. And sure, hire a broker who also lives in your building makes sense.

Michael and Suzanne produce one of those over-the-top apartment tour videos for Jack’s apartment like the ones seen on “Million Dollar Listing.” It has drone shots of the terraces and panoramic views of the interior. Tyler points out the “great camera work” but says they’ll never get that price because the building doesn’t have a goalie.

Meanwhile, the duo struggle to find a new apartment for the hard-to-please Claire, so they decide to show her to Jack’s place after she sees his video on the website. Surprisingly, she loves it because of the natural light from it and the high ceilings from it. But when she finds out that she only has two rooms, she’s not happy. “I need at least three bedrooms,” she says.

claire ends buy the penthouse in the same building, even though it is not on the market. “I told you, Michael, everything is for sale,” he says before ordering celebratory champagne. While money certainly talks in New York City, it’s hard to believe he was able to win over the owners, and the co-op’s board of directors, so quickly. By the season finale, he will meet with an architect to renovate.

an open ending

At the top of the finale, Suzanne hands her commission check to Michael, who says he will use his share as down payment to buy half of Colin’s apartment.

The drama comes to a head when Michael and Colin run into each other at a wedding. When Michael asks Colin about buying his apartment from him, he is hesitant. Then, during an impromptu dance together to “At Last” by Etta James, Colin agrees to let Michael buy it.

After the reception, Michael walks into his apartment and finds Colin, who says, “I think I made a mistake,” paving the way for a possible second season of relationship squabbles and real estate triumphs.

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