Friday, August 23, 2013

An Ode to Sex and the City

As some of you know, I'm currently unemployed. This means that I have a lot of time on my hands! While I have been spending a lot of my time reading (there's a shocker) and hunting for jobs, I decided early on that it would be a great time to start watching my lovely box set of Sex and the City DVDs. And watch I did. According to Get Glue, I watched the entire series (six seasons, 94 episodes) in 28 sittings. I must say that I impress myself. I found it fitting that I watched the series this year as 2013 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the show's premiere (it started in 1998). I saw a number of articles floating around online a few months ago about how much the show did for television and for women and I thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring. Why did this show resonate with me and with so many women?

I didn't watch Sex and the City live. For starters, I didn't get the channel. The main reason though? I was only 11 when it debuted and still in high school when it aired its final episode in 2004. Not quite the target audience. Once I was in university, where I had access to cable, I started watching reruns. I realized as I watched the episodes in order that I had seen quite a number of them at least once through reruns - other than the final season. In all the years since the show ended, I had only seen the finale once...and I couldn't remember the specifics. I loved recognizing some of the more famous episodes (the one with the Rabbit, for example) and remembering how I wrote an article on the Absolut hunk for my advertising class in university. Seeing the fashion and hairstyles change was really interesting, not the mention the way the show was filmed and structured. And watching how the women themselves grew and matured was great too and I think their evolution was well done and written well.

Let's get the big (ha) question out of the way...which of Carrie's boyfriends did I like the most? Usually you'll find that fans are either Team Big or Team Aidan. Of course, there's the odd person who really liked Berger (that post-it note break-up will live on for a long time) or maybe even the Russian (I didn't like him at all), but mostly it's just the two camps. So who do I root for? That would be Aidan. I think I have a pretty good response for whenever someone groans and asks how I could like him more than Big (as I'm sure some of you are right now). I think my problem with Big came from the fact that the first few episodes I ever watched were ones where he's a huge ass. I didn't see him in a good light for ages and I suppose that coloured my judgement. What about you? Are you happy that she ended up with Big in the end or do you wish that she had had a third chance with Aidan?

I finished watching the series a couple of weeks ago but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the movies yet (which are also included in my pretty set). I loved the first one. I saw it in theatres with my mom, her friend, and my best friend, Marisa. We both teared up and leaned into each other when Charlotte starts yelling at Big because she's so upset with how he's treating Carrie. The second movie though...ugh. I'm pretty sure I saw that one in theatres too but I've blocked it from memory because it was just so damn ridiculous. And that's why I don't really want to watch the movies right away. The end of the series was just so perfect that I don't want to ruin it with the movies. I'll get to them another month or so.

Watching the entire series in order over a fairly short period of time was fantastic. I was so into these characters' lives and I didn't want to leave. Their friendship is one that I, and millions of other women, want for ourselves. How many of you have tried to determine which of your friends are which SATC character? This past May, three girlfriends and I met up for a birthday brunch as three of us have May birthdays. We realized going in that it was going to be a very Sex and the City type brunch (the city was my super small hometown and the mimosas were tea) and we inevitably started discussing who would be who. "Miranda" and "Charlotte" were assigned right off the bat, which left Marisa and I deciding who was "Carrie" and who was "Samantha". In the end, it was my curly hair and love of writing that had the girls declaring that I was "Carrie". Of course, everyone has a little bit of each woman in them. Just as the characters realize throughout the show. They're all so different but they're really similar, too.

I must admit that I was quite sad when I put in the final disc. I didn't want the magical time to end! I can't imagine what the actresses must have been feeling when they filmed the final episodes. (Actually, the special features give a good insight and definitely made me tear up.) As I pressed play on "An American Girl in Paris: Part Une", I found myself hoping that my boyfriend wouldn't come home from work early as I was sure I would find myself crying at some point before I finished the show. I did tear up a few times but he came home after I finished "Part Deux", thankfully. The first scene that set me off was the dinner the four friends have before Carrie leaves for Paris where she says:
Today I had a thought. What if I had never met you?
What if, indeed. Can you imagine not having your best friend(s) in your life? I can't. Nor do I want to!

I've already talked about the friendship but what about the other reason this show resonated with so many women? The fact that they were completely frank and open about everything and discussed so-called taboo subjects with each other. Threesomes? Check. Vibrators? Check. Grooming? Check. These sorts of things weren't really discussed on television before and it was great to see how they continually pushed the envelope throughout the series.

In the end, I had to watch the final episode and I had to say goodbye. I teared up and sighed in happiness as the screen faded to black. Is that overdramatic? Maybe. But I think that's the mark of a good show. When they go out on top with a great finale that makes you so happy you were a part of it, somehow. Even if it was years after the premiere (and finale) and through DVDs, not live TV. Sex and the City was a special show and I think it's right that it's lived on in the hearts of so many women. There's so much more I could say but I think I'll end it here. Let's talk about this show. What do you think of it? What's your favourite episode? Are you happy they ended it when they did or do you wish it had kept going?

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I'm a huge fan of the show and for all the reasons you mentioned above. I'm definitely Team Aidan. I was always so frustrated with Carrie screwing things up with him. But I guess her heart always belonged to Big (even though he was such a jerk for most of their relationship - maddening!). I absolutely adored the first movie. I cried, I laughed, I cried some more. I did like the second one, but it certainly pales in comparison to the first and to the series. It just seemed as if it wasn't as well developed - the stakes weren't nearly as high and yes, some of the scenes were ridiculous. But I loved the scene where the girls got up and sang "I am Woman," although what the hell was Samantha wearing??? Anyway, just had to comment. I love that you love SATC! It is definitely one of those shows that really spoke to me and my generation of women. Because really, it's just Chick Lit for the small screen. :)


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