Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping it – the Sex And the City turned 20 years this week and it has been on everybody’s mind. And when I say everybody, I mean me.
I’ve watched the series more times than I care to know. I’ve bought the crazy-big corsage flower. I’ve stalked the street of New York in pouring rain just to buy a cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery. I even had the layered bob that Carrie sported on the 5th season (which SJP herself allegedly hated, and which I can confirm, does not work for naturally curly hair unless you have an army of SATC- hair people at your daily disposal). I bought a NARS-lipgloss because Carrie had one.
Even when I know the entire series by heart, I still watch it, because it has aged surprisingly well. The first couple of seasons were extremely witty and well written, then the main characters became kind of infantile with their constant shrieking and yelping. Also everything about their lives, especially the outfits and apartments, became outlandishly expensive and less innovative (the sixth season is literally nearly-exclusively haute couture). Yet I still watch it, almost as a memory game whether I still get the lines right (I do, disturbingly accurately). (Although there’s absolutely no excuse for the two SATC-movies, which destroyed my faith in humanity for a long period of time.)
Too old and tired to do a full analysis of whether SATC was feminist or not, or good for the womankind in general or not, I simply think Candace Bushnell is a genius for having captured the zeitgeist. I also rate Patricia Field, the chief costume designer of the show, extremely high. I mentioned the show having aged surprisingly well – it’s the outfits that still look, twenty years on, miraculously fresh and bang up to date.
In case you want to reminisce about the years that were, herewith some best of SATC compilations of clips and other favourite parts by writers. Also, if you’re interested in an analysis of the post-SATC infighting, check here. It’s a fair question to ask how much of our time should be spent on fussing about a TV-show from two decades ago, but for many of us (and again, when I say us, I mean me) it has had a major influence, if not on our personal lives directly, definitely on the society and pop-culture.
Examples: being single lost its stigma (this is debatable, I know). It became OK to replace family by friends. It became very OK to celebrate friendship. The (too) numerous one-liners and terms from the episodes that still live on. Also, shopping officially became a hobby. Designer handbags became a thing. And then some people didn’t realise it was a fictitious tv-programme and claim now it ruined their lives.
Otherwise the past week was somewhat dark with news about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. That’s where SATC also comes into play – it’s an emotional escape to a La La-Land, right up there with worrying about the shade of Duchess Meghan’s tights. Both equally detached from real life and people with real problems.
This post can only be illustrated with a cocktail (sipping cocktails also became a universally approved pastime with SATC). This one is not a Cosmopolitan, but something called Tsukiji Fishmarket with gin and sake. And salmon.