Sex apart, another reason for the show’s appeal, according to Eric Klinenberg, the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, is that it depicts a new way of living. The four main characters, he said from his New York University office, are typical of college graduates who move to cities and form “tribes” of friends en route to maturity and independence.
“We always see a tension in these friendships because this is a phase, a second adolescence, which will give way to something else,” he said.
Klinenberg, a sociology professor who studies urban and demographic patterns, said that this was a relatively new phenomenon. “It’s a kind of luxury for young Americans from affluent families. It used to be you married young and stayed married.”