Wednesday, March 23, 2011

we need a hero

And as I submitted my column I COULDN’T HELP BUT WONDER, am I just like Carrie Bradshaw?!


As E!’s new cycle of SATC reruns pushes these four famous ladies back into our collective conscious once again, I wonder how this show still has cultural currency after all this time. Anyone who caught the movie versions of SATC, Sex and the City 1: All men are bastards, even the nice ones (Steve!) and Sex and the City 2: Surprise, they were entitled racist bitches all along! knows how unequivocally these abominations showed that the ideals the show was built upon are out of of date (what recession? OMG SHOES!). The later iterations of the franchise are too easy a target to pick on but even watching old episodes of the show when it was at its finest makes me wonder about the dubious icon status of these four women; Carrie in particular.

Now, I happen to I love Sarah Jessica Parker. She is a fine comedic actress, a savvy business woman and I emailed with her once about a work thing and she seemed in those two sentences like a very nice lady. I think without the frank warmth and lovability she brought to the show's main character it would never have taken off (did you read the Candace Bushnell? That s was dark). But the character of Carrie herself isn’t really someone to aspire to be like. Yes, she has a ridiculous apartment, a seemingly fun and glamorous job and an amazing wardrobe but for a show that’s so much about love and friendship, she frankly sucks at both. She’s completely self-centered and immature and has zero sense when it comes to men. Zero! She is that friend that you get so sick of hearing talk about their asshole ex that you stop returning their phone calls, she's the friend whose eyes glaze over within ten minutes of a conversation if it's not about her. She's the friend you should never, ever loan money to.

I'm not saying I won't occasionally binge on the SATC reruns. The first few seasons of that show were the ish; watching reminds me both of being young and idolizing the lifestyle of New York women while simultaneously reminding me why I left. So it's not that I'm not giving SATC its due for the incisive parable of city life it once was, all I'm saying is can we put poor sad Carrie to rest now (and hope that the producers of franchise will have the mercy to do the same) and find some new archetypes of modern womanhood? Liz Lemon is an obvious choice;  I also nominate Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother and Sue Sylvester from Glee.



  1. Two comments:

    1) I've run into those E! reruns as well, and I have to say that the best thing about them is how they "cleaned up" the dialogue for basic cable. It's worth watching just to see what they come up with.

    2) I totally agree. That series ended right before I moved to NYC, and seeing the places/neighborhoods that so charmed me when I first moved here makes watching SatC now a kind of nostalgic experience. BUT. You're right, they're awful. Samantha is selfish, Charlotte is prudish and stuck up, actually kind of cool but needs a stylist (BAGGY OVERALLS). However, I'd also say that you and I both know people in NYC who are kind of selfish, kind of prudish, etc. and while they are caracatures, there's a reason we related to that show as New Yorkers.


  2. Sue Sylvester is one of the great new TV characters, destined to be an icon. I'm glad my kids talked me into giving Glee a chance; that show is funny as hell.