Everything that has aged badly (and well) from 'Sex and the City'

Everything that has aged badly (and well) from 'Sex and the City'

EntertainmentToday marks the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte series, we look at it with these eyes.

By Raquel Pineiro

20 years after its premiere, we return to one of the most important series in recent television history to assess what has aged poorly and what remains healthy in Sex and the City. If we can analyze it apart from as a fiction of its time, it is because it always went beyond the serialized portrait: it was a lifestyle, as imaginary as it was seductive, which produced thousands of imitations in other series, in blogs, movies and impressionable heads everywhere. the world. How much of it is still valid and how much has expired allows us to see how the world has changed -or not-, society and television in general. Time passes, but Sex and the City remains.

What has aged badly1. The economic quintessential

How many ex-leagues of the protagonists would lose their jobs in 2007, three years after the end of the series, with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers? Sex and the City portrayed a few years of economic boom and accelerated false prosperity that were about to come to an end. The series itself was aware of the completely unreal lifestyle that its protagonist led when Carrie realized that she could not afford a house because all her savings, her pension fund and her risky investments were put in shoes. Today his ostentation of luxury and consumerism would not be seen as an ode to emancipation and hedonism, but as offensive frivolity. The failure of films like Confessions of a Compulsive Buyer marked the death of this phenotype that leads –or wants to lead-, without possible explanation, the life of a millionaire in the most expensive city in the world.

2. The working life

If the previous point, wealth, is sustained, it is because there is a compelling reason for the viewer to believe it: a substantial family fortune (as in Empire) or work (as in Big Little Lies ) . In times of unemployment and economic instability, work becomes as important as finding true love. That is where Sex in New York fails, where the working lives of the protagonists only appeared related to sentimental stories or casual anecdotes. We used to see the work in a gallery in Charlotte when they want to portray her vulva or when she considers leaving it; Samantha's PR as an excuse for her to meet Richard Wright; Miranda's lawyer to ask her if she's a lesbian or to doubt with the casual Friday look, and Carrie's… Carrie's. ** Being a writer has become a narrative cliché to define women with a bubbly personality, free schedules and a lot of free time. ** Throughout the six seasons we have seen, yes, Carrie start a multitude of columns with rhetorical questions, but We also certify that he did not know what a prologue was or send an email. As for their rates, when the writers decided to tackle their financial crisis in one of the best plots, they solved it with an offer of $4 per word per article in Vogue, a possibility that makes us collapse.

3. Racial stereotypes

Even Girls, a much more recent series and in theory, closer to reality than Sex and the City, realized in one of its seasons how little representation of the racial variety of America it was dealing with . In Darren Star's series, it's not just that the quotas for racial minorities are almost nil, it's that when they appear, they do so in the form of a cliché that we thought had been overcome in their time. The apparently servile but cruel Asian maid of a lover of Samantha, the black flirt of the same that causes a jealous reaction in her sister because she is white... It was necessary to wait for the sixth season to have a recurring character that was not defined Because of race, Robert, Miranda's doctor boyfriend, and even so, she managed to get him to stay in her building by playing on the racial guilt of the rest of the tenants.

4. Sexual orientations

Everything that has aged poorly (and good) from 'Sex and the City'

It is no longer about the almost null presence of transsexuality (represented in the street prostitutes who do not let Samantha sleep) or such millennial terms as genderfluid, ** it is that even in bisexuality or homosexuality Sex in New York exhibited a conservative, puritanical streak unbecoming of a show called, well, Sex and the City.** Samatha's relationship with Maria was viewed condescendingly and as something obviously passing, Carrie nearly collapsing when she had to kiss Alanis Morrisette playing the bottle and ended by stating that bisexuality is a stage of confusion and Stanford, always in the shadows, had to settle for only one relationship in six serial years.

5. The Occasional Shoddyness

For a sex columnist, Carrie sometimes exhibited the morality of a Victorian old lady. Throughout the series we have seen her suffer, scandalized by the possibility of a golden shower, by black kisses, by soft sadomasochism or by a man being brilliant when performing oral sex on a woman. The references to classic books of his time such as "The Rules", the comment about how long you have to wait to sleep with a man if you want him to be serious or the re-virginization of Charlotte are other topics that would not pass the critical scale of sexual freedom of today, although being fair, the series rather laughed at them.

6. The normative bodies

The four protagonists are attractive and thin middle-aged women, as successful women in the workplace and sentimentally are supposed to be. Without reaching the manifestos in the form of Lena Dunham's nudes, the worst thing is that when figures that deviate from the norm appear, it is to make a slight mockery of it, as with the hairy and sweaty body of Harry, Charlotte's second husband.

7. The movies

Definitely, if there is something capable of ruining the legacy of Sex and the City, it is the two film adaptations that arrived in 2008 and 2010, celluloid born already out of date and a collection of racist, sexist and homophobic jokes from the worst breed. They were global box office hits.

What has aged well1. The representation of friendship

The authentic safety net of the protagonists and the series. In real life, it's hard to find women in their 30s and 40s who might see each other several times a week for brunches, cocktails or shopping advice, but what's in the background does relatable to female viewers all over the world. world more than a decade after the end of the series. A credible friendship despite their differences, built on conversations and support in low moments. It is in his portrait of those ties between the four main ones – “soul mates” -, adult women who love each other, listen to each other and respect each other, where Sex and the City continues to mark its greatest successes and being the greatest of all aspirations.

2. The leading antiheroine

In times of almost always male antiheroes (Tony Soprano, the entire cast of The Wire) our series stood out with the first leading lady who was capable of disliking and doing reprehensible things in the eyes of the audience. Selfish, unfaithful, obsessive in her relationships and with a curious animosity for squirrels, Carrie Bradshaw became an example and an icon to follow as well as one of the most disliked characters on television. The fact that many of us still find all those adjectives unflattering is actually something positive, because it shows that you don't have to have the usual likeability or have a perfect nose to be immensely popular.

3. The treatment of infertility

It was always said that Sex and the City was really a series about four gay men and their adventures, but it did not leave out one of the key issues in the debate on female identity: motherhood . Although the plot of Miranda's little Brady was not very close to reality (Miranda continues to lead almost the same life as her before having her child), they did achieve a brave portrait of just the opposite: the desired motherhood that It doesn't come from Charlotte. The frustrations and sadness of that circumstance were reflected throughout several seasons and gave the character a touching depth and coherence.

4. The right to decide

Abortion continues to be a taboo subject in fiction beyond the soap operas in which abortions occur when an actor falls or is pushed down some stairs. Sex in New York dedicated a chapter to the subject when Miranda found herself pregnant against her will. And although her final decision is to have the child, the subject was discussed without moralizing or regret, considering the possibility of having a legal and safe abortion as a women's right that could not be a cause of regret and trauma, but one of the wisest decisions of their lives.

5. Fashion

Visible underwear, furs, high-heeled shoes of all heights, ties, microshorts, fanny packs! Mixtures of prints made up of an oligophrenic and, of course, the famous tutu. The series' stylistic choices, especially where Carrie is concerned, were so quirky, unique and inimitable that they still hold that impalpable essence to this day that makes them work (or at least make them memorable). As for valuing a series for its component catalog of items to dream about or hate, the times of Gossip Girl may have been left behind, but the viewer continues to be hung up on the things worn by the protagonists of their favorite fictions, be it the coat of the Khalees i or the complete wardrobe of a Master of None secondary.

6. Tobacco

Lexie already said it before falling into the void from a forty floor: “What the hell happened here? Nobody smokes anymore!" And the fact that in the first seasons, above all, people do it with astonishing naturalness, at the moment covers it as a series of its time and the daughter of its circumstances –HBO–. That smoking characters today, now that Mad Men is over, has almost disappeared (especially in the case of comedies) paradoxically makes it an added value and gives it authenticity.

7. The sense of humor

The quick and accurate dialogues of the series were and still are one of its hallmarks, and its ability to be hilarious without canned laughter, brilliant in conversations as sharp as knives and thoughtful even without the voice in off one of the reasons why even though a chapter has already been seen 200 times, if you find it in a rerun on some channel or on HBO, you can't stop watching it. The rhythm was marked by a sense of humor with many puns and double meanings that are lost in the Spanish dubbing. Another reason to revisit it.

8. The Urban Obsession

Traveling to New York became fashionable around the time the series became famous in several languages, and its influence cannot be underestimated. In the specific case of her New York map, the Carrie Bradshaw route continues to have considerable supporters, and her portrayal of the difference between living in the Meatpacking district or Park Avenue remains pertinent. Obviously Manhattian, her view that moving or going to Brooklyn is like being sent to the galleys is outdated, but she maintains her punch by touching on topics that are always current -in the United States and in the rest of the world- such as the fluctuating market real estate and the importance of the location of the house.

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