Humans of New York: The Series

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Humans of New York: The Series TV Poster Image
Insightful, artistic docu series has some mature themes.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Showcases the different kinds of people living in New York and their points of view, exploring what it means to be human in a particular city and the world at large. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

People profiled are from all walks of life, but their willingness to share their often complicated stories is commendable.


Illness, death discussed. 


Sexy, tight, or skin revealing clothes sometimes visible; shirtless men. 


"Bitch," "crap."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking, cigarette smoking visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Humans of New York: The Series is an adaptation of the popular Humans of New York (HONY) photo blog project. Like the blog, it's available on Facebook, and looks at the various people and personalities that make up New York City through interviews and images. Telling both inspirational and emotional stories, it addresses parenthood, unattained goals, illness, death, and other challenging concepts. There's some strong language ("bitch," "crap"), and shirtless men, drinking, and smoking are sometimes visible, too. Occasionally logos for things like Coca-Cola and local New York City businesses and attractions are visible. It's too mature for young kids, but families with teens should enjoy this honest exploration of the human experience. 

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What's the story?

A video adaptation of the popular Humans of New York (HONY) photo blog project created by Brandon Stanton, HUMANS OF NEW YORK: THE SERIES looks at the various people and personalities that make up New York City. The 22-minute installments, which stream on Facebook, feature street interviews from 1,200 New Yorkers collected over a four-year period. Each episode focuses on a single universal theme and offers conversations that are related through interviews and cinematographic images of the city and the people in it.

Is it any good?

This artistic and insightful series showcases people from all walks of life who live in New York City and allows them the opportunity to share their stories in their own unique ways. Many of the interviewees, none of whom are identified by name, discuss some of their intimate dreams, disappointments, fears, and thoughts about how they see themselves in a much larger world. 

The short interviews feel like excerpts of conversations selected because they speak in some way to whatever the theme of the episode is. But this isn't a bad thing, as it contributes to the random-feeling (but obviously highly curated) experience. Overall, Humans of New York: The Series gives us a glimpse into the lives of people living in the Big Apple, and shows us something about our own humanity. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the HONY project. How did it start and why? Why do you think such a simple idea became so popular? 

  • What interviews from Humans of New York: The Series stand out to you the most? Why? If you were interviewed on the street for a project like this, what do you think you would talk about? 

TV details

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