Sex & the City

Admission: I watch, and thoroughly enjoy, Sex & the City.

It’s an admission not because I feel guilty about it (I don’t), but
rather because it’s uncommon. While I haven’t polled lots of guys
about it, I still don’t know many that would call themselves fans of
the show. The core audience is middle-aged, single women. But I’m
throwing caution to the wind here, and it’s really a great show.

What the heck do I find enjoyable about it? It’s relational. All the
best (or all my favorite) art draws somehow on relationships. Most of
my Top 10 Favorite Movies are, at their core, about relationships. And
I’m not just restricting this to romantic, heterosexual relationships.
SATC analyzes so many different kinds of relationships, romantic,
platonic, hetero-, homo-, parent-child, and on and on. Yes, there is a
nearly superfluous amount of sexual content on the show, but just
because it’s called Sex & the City does not limit the breadth or scope
of its knowledge to sexuality. More often than not, it relates its
sexuality to relationships and how the two are intertwined. Makes for
an engrossing show.

Until the last few episodes Colleen and I watched, one of the things I
liked most about the show is that instead of indulging itself in the
ubiquity of the “drama”-filled TV story lines, each episode could
stand alone in an observation of some aspect of relationships. There
is the ever-present story arc of Carrie and Big’s relationship, but up
until the last few episodes, that was less about stereotypical, soap
opera-esque “drama” and more about the real issues that the two faced
in their getting together, breaking-up, lasting feelings towards each
other, etc.

However, that important distinction was crushed in the last two
episodes we watched. Carrie is dating Aiden, everything is going
great, and Big finds his way back into Carrie’s life. Spoiler alert:
she ends up cheating on Aiden with Big. Not that cheating doesn’t
happen in real life, but I certainly don’t want to see it pop up on
this show when it’s on every other relationship show on TV. It’s
unoriginal.

I still hold out hope for the show though. As long as this stupid
cheating story arc ends itself soon, I will continue to watch and
enjoy it. With that in mind, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. While
it makes very interesting observations about relationships of all
sorts, its portrayal of life in Manhattan for the thirty-something
single woman seems fairly absurd. They are always eating out, always
out for a drink, always buying expensive shows, always having
uninhibited sex with whoever they want. I’ve never lived in Manhattan
nor even visited New York, but the lifestyle they depict just seems
far too good to be true. I’m fairly certain that in real life, all of
these women would be homeless, penniless, in debt up to their eyeballs
and just chock-full of STIs. No thanks.

But it’s not reality is it? It’s just fantasy and so makes for a great
thirty minutes of TV.

-Jon

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