‘Sex and the City’: In the First 10 Minutes of the Pilot Carrie Bradshaw Referenced 3 Classic Works

Sex and the City writers weren’t shy about working pop culture references into the script. The show regularly referenced classic movies, novels, and well-known stars and socialites. Some fans might not have noticed how early on in the series that practice began. The show’s writers included pop culture references in the pilot. In fact, Carrie Bradshaw referenced three classic works within the first few minutes of the premiere episode. Did you catch them? 

The opening of ‘Sex and the City’ found Carrie recounting a friend’s breakup 

Season 1 of Sex and the City was markedly different from later seasons. Carrie spent a lot of time breaking the fourth wall and speaking to the audience. Her monologues were also longer. In one of her first voiceovers, Carrie recounts the story of her friend’s breakup. 

Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall sit together in the park during the filming of 'Sex and the City'
The cast of ‘Sex and the City’ | Tom Kingston/WireImage

She tells the audience that her pal, Elizabeth came to New York and quickly met a man. She said that for a few weeks, they spent time together, had great sex, and even began looking at houses. Suddenly, Elizabeth’s would-be suitor stopped calling. Carrie used the tale to prove that dating in New York is different than dating everywhere else in the world. 

In the monologue, Carrie references three classic works 

Carrie’s Sex and the City voiceover in the pilot didn’t just tell the tale of Elizabeth’s lost love. It set the tone for the series as a whole and served as the first pop culture reference drop. In fact, Carrie dropped three important, classic references during the monologue. She said, “Welcome to the age of “uninnocence.” No one has Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and no one has Affairs to Remember.”

Carrie’s statement about the “age of uninnocence” was a reference to the 1920 novel, The Age of Innocence. The book, written by Edith Wharton, follows Newland Archer and May Welland as they plan their marriage. More mysterious and far less innocent than May, May’s cousin threatens to upend everything. The novel was adapted for both the stage and film several times. 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the classic 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, a high society woman, falls for a struggling writer. “Moon River” was originally penned for the movie. It was later played in the season four episode “I Heart NY.”

Carrie’s third pop culture reference was also a classic movie. An Affair to Remember was a 1957 movie starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. In the film, two strangers meet while on a transatlantic boat trip. Both are seeing other people but agree to meet in six months if they have both decided to end their other relationships. 

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