In HBO’s The Undoing, primarily based on the e-book You Ought to Have Recognized, Grace and Jonathan ship their son Henry to the very prestigious Reardon Faculty in New York. Proper off the bat within the first episode of the miniseries, with out even catching a glimpse of the college, you recognize it is fancy, as a result of Grace and Jonathan are discussing an upcoming fundraiser that sounds prefer it’s completely designed for Manhattan’s elite. So is Reardon an actual faculty in New York Metropolis? Technically no, it isn’t, but it surely may simply be an amalgam of all of the non-public colleges town has to supply.
The non-public faculty, which known as Rearden Academy within the e-book, comes with a hefty price ticket. Grace mentions in episode one of many sequence that Henry’s tuition is $50,000 a 12 months, which is on par with New York costs. The Private School Review reported that for the 2020-2021 school year, common high-school tuition value in NYC is $43,670, and for elementary faculty, it is $25,893. Reardon Faculty is clearly an all-grades faculty, contemplating Elena’s son Miguel is in fourth grade on the faculty and Henry is middle-school age. Which means the worth at Reardon sits a little bit excessive for New York averages, which simply means it is extra fancy than most non-public colleges.
Creating fictional non-public colleges for TV and films, particularly in New York, is unquestionably not a brand new pattern, and it is one of many best cities to construct these fictional colleges in, because of town’s giant crop of wealthy individuals. Gossip Woman famously created its two fictional colleges, Constance Billard Faculty For Women and St. Jude’s Faculty For Boys. Whereas neither of these colleges exists within the metropolis, Constance is predicated on a mixture of New York Metropolis non-public colleges, specifically The Nightingale-Bamford School, where the book series’s author Cecily Von Ziegesar attended faculty in Manhattan. You Ought to Have Recognized‘s creator, Jean Hanff Korelitz, was born and raised in New York City and at the moment resides there along with her household, so it isn’t too far-fetched to assume she’s conversant in the setting, too.
New York’s non-public colleges, whereas all totally different, nonetheless share related qualities which are straightforward to duplicate for a fictional setting. In New York, it simply interprets to being non-public, elite, and costly, which is precisely what Reardon is.