Even though Sex and the City debuted 25 years ago, the show continues to resonate with new audiences every time it reruns on E!. Women and men of all ages can easily get sucked into one of the pop-up marathons. Or quick bits of the show during the wee hours of the morning.
And while the show has staying power, star Sarah Jessica Parker says the HBO series lacked one significant aspect that actually dates it. Plus other reviewers made some pretty astute observations of areas that may not fly if the show was on today.
The men on the show are lacking
A reviewer from Elle re-watched (and re-watched) the show this spring and made a few insightful observations about the male characters. For one, the relationship between writer Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big went on way too long. “At the end season one, when Carrie turns to Big after having been shut out of nearly every aspect of his life and says, ‘Tell me I’m the one?’ I nearly threw my computer out the window. I mean, C’MON, lady. That said, what’s far worse than the fact Carrie keeps going back for more Big is that their relationship is somehow framed as a romance. Also that I used to find this reasonable.”
Also, unlike SATC, HBO series, Girls (the updated version of SATC) portrayed the men as realistic as the women on the show. Whereas SATC‘s men were more two-dimensional and self-assured versus the flawed, fully developed female characters.
The women obsess over one thing
Additionally, the Elle reviewer found, for the most part, the women’s main stress is to find a man and get married. “Which is not to say we don’t still largely operate in a world where marriage and children remain the only widely recognized paths to success for women. We do. But, by the second season, I was less amazed by the singular (and oftentimes suffocating) focus of the show on this goal than by the fact it was their only worry.”
The women merely flick at their career in the series. Plus there is a health scare for PR rep, Samantha Jones. Otherwise, they only seem consumed with men. Nevermind, rent in New York City is sky high. Or the characters cash on unaffordable clothing.
The gay community was singly represented
While the show featured gay characters, it only represented two types of gay men, according to Harper’s Bazaar. “There are only two types of gay men in Sex and the City – the camp man with a finesse for style and the bitchy gossip who doles out sharp one-liners.”
The characters dislike each other during the series but ultimately marry in the second SATC movie. “Because, obviously, there were no other gay men for them to end up with in New York.”
There was little to no diversity
After the third SATC movie was shelved, Parker was asked about a series reboot. “You couldn’t make it today because of the lack of diversity on screen,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I personally think it would feel bizarre.” But what about doing the show, but with a new cast? “I don’t know that you could do it with a different cast,” Parker said. She adds that the idea is radical and interesting. “But you can’t pretend it’s the same.”
The lack of diversity is even more apparent for millennial women of color. “Though, the thing about Sex and the City was that it never saw me,” Refinery 29 writer Hunter Harris reviewed. “It was a show that was simultaneously progressive and regressive, where people of color were either stereotypes or punchlines.”
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