Non-Geek TV From The Geek Perspective: Sex And The City

Gabbing Geek What We're Watching

There’s a lot of TV out there, and some of it was made for a largely female audience that may or may not have been all that geeky.  Actually, it wasn’t really a Geek show, but I wouldn’t want to stereotype the audience, and I don’t know of any male fans.  There probably were some.  I’m a happily married man to a non-Geek wife, so I have seen a lot of these, plus those “Shoot me now!” two movies.

Oh, yeah, this week I’m covering Sex and the City.


What’s the premise?

Based somewhat loosely on the writings of Candace Bushnell and the book of the same name, Sex and the City follows four women through their love lives and their inseparable friendship.

What’s the appeal?

Besides having the word “sex” in the title?  And being on HBO, which would allow for all kinds of stuff?  Well, the show did feature fairly complicated character dynamics and growth over its run.  The two movies didn’t really deal with that, but the show did.  Since it was female-oriented, having a show about love and sex told from a female perspective was also a rather radical move on HBO’s part.

Anything stand out?

This show was not for me, but I wouldn’t say it was because the show was bad.  Most of the complaints I have are about the movies that came after the show ended.  The four leads all did good work with what they had, and I was actually rather impressed with Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda.  Miranda wasn’t a romantic like Charlotte, a vamp like Samantha, or someone with way too many standards like Carrie.  She came across as the most “real”.  She had the most likable of the various steady love interests (until the movie…more on that below), and mostly just wanted to live her life and have a decent relationship with a man.  Yeah, she was occasionally  a bit of a snob when it came to her working class on-again, off-again boyfriend  and eventual husband Steve, but I think she might have changed the most over the course of the show.

And now for a really controversial opinion:  I really liked Big.  Carrie’s largely unnamed on-again, off-again partner played by Chris Noth always got my sympathies because many times over, Carrie would set up romantic hoops for this guy to jump through, and many times he did until he got sick of them and broke things off for a period.  How any man would meet Carrie’s standards were beyond me.  Big was far from perfect, but he was no where near as bad as he was often portrayed.

Any downsides?

OK, keeping in mind I was not this show’s target audience by a long shot, I do have a few criticisms.

For one, the obsession with fashion and style probably should have bankrupted all four of those women many times over.  I don’t know if any of them ever wore the same outfit twice.  To best explain what I felt were the warped priorities of the show, let’s take an episode my wife has used as an example of how women who don’t want children are treated by society.  Carrie goes to a friend’s child’s birthday party (one of those friends that only really appears in one episode, you know the type), and is asked to leave her shoes at the door.  Someone then swipes her very expensive designer shoes, and the friend refuses to pay THAT MUCH for a replacement pair, saying Carrie would understand priorities better if she had children.  My wife then said that was exactly how childless-by-choice women are treated and it wasn’t right.

I then asked what kind of dumbass takes $300+ dollar shoes to a kid’s birthday party.  That was more than a car payment for me at the time.  That just wasn’t a smart move on any level.

Besides, I have often said if I want to see four women sit around talking sex and relationships, I’ll go find a Golden Girls rerun.

And the movies…

OK, I didn’t like them.  The less said about the conspicuous consumption of the second during the start of the most recent recession, the better.

But the first hit me hard due to one cardinal sin:  hypocracy.

Each of the four women is given a plot of her own.  OK, fine.  Carrie is going to marry Big, but he chickens out at the last second and runs off…for about a minute before going back seeking to make things up.  The women treat him as a villain, yet if Carrie had actually listened to him in the run-up to the wedding, none of that would have happened.  See above on my “Carrie’s high standards” comments when it comes to Big.

Meanwhile, Miranda’s husband cheated on her.  He too was very apologetic, but Miranda threw him out and considered divorce.  You’d think, if the movie treated Big as a bad guy for backing out of a wedding at the last minute then going back to apologize, the same would happen to Steve, right?  Nope.  Miranda of all people is treated as the villain by the others for putting her career first and not giving Steve enough sex.  That just ain’t right.

Meanwhile, I realized Big had no friends.  At the end of the movie when he and Carrie make up and have a City Hall wedding, there isn’t a single friend of his there.  Everyone there to celebrate is a friend of Carrie’s.  C’mon, throw in a couple extras at the end to be his friends!  He must have one or two somewhere!

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