Reel Estate

Why is the upscale townhouse on HBO's 'The Night Of' decorated like a tacky dorm room?

By Virginia K. Smith | July 15, 2016 - 1:59PM 

HBO's latest miniseries 'The Night Of' has been garnering plenty of critical acclaim since it premiered last week—Gothamist dubbed it a "masterpiece"—and rightly so. In what we've seen so far from the first episode, the show's not only a well-made crime drama, but also a fairly accurate depiction of the city's wildly variable neighborhoods and demographics. But the premiere did leave us with one huge unanswered question (besides "who committed the murder," that is): What on earth is going on with that Upper West Side townhouse?

In the first episode, Naz, the son of Pakistani immigrants, sneaks out in his father's cab to go to a party, but ends up picking up a mysterious party girl, Andrea, who invites him back to her townhouse for a night of drugs and sex. (What, this has never happened to you?) She's young enough that we can safely assume the home belongs to her parents. Except that this extremely stately home is decorated like a college kid's first dorm room, complete with twinkly lights, a lamp that looks like it came straight from Pier 1 Imports, and a taxidermied deer head wearing a bow tie:

It seems obvious this character is meant to read as a neglected rich kid, but are her parents really gone so much that they gave her free rein to decorate the home's main floor? 

In any case, we later find out that the address is 144 West 87th, a particularly tony stretch of the Upper West Side—for context, a house similar to Andrea's, also on West 87th Street, is currently on the market for $11.495 million. (No wonder a cop investigating the eventual crime scene at the house warns one of his colleagues, "If you have to puke, keep it in your trunk—this is a nice neighborhood.") 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Naz and his family live in Jackson Heights, in a fairly standard-looking detached house.

The closest thing we could find currently on the market is this $749,000 four-bedroom, but in any case, it's refreshing to see more classic Queens real estate represented realistically, right alongside an upper-crust townhouse. Apparently, the series director made a point of getting this kind of NYC scenery into the mix, and announced at a Q&A after a screening, that they "shot everything in New York. Every interior, every exterior, for 150 days. And it shows. You can’t fake it in Toronto. I’m really proud of that. I’m proud to have made a New York movie.” He then added: "We shot everywhere. We shot at the courthouse. We shot at the prisons. We shot in the subway."

Stay tuned to find out if we see anymore New York homes, and more importantly, if we find out why Andrea saw fit to defile such a classic piece of city architecture.


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