It’s quite strange that I consider myself to be a gal that “grew up with Sex and the City”, because technically, I didn’t. I was 3 years old when the show first hit the airwaves in 1998, and was only in Grade 4 when it wrapped up. I had no exposure whatsoever to it during its glory years, until at least 2010 when I watched the 2 movies with one of my friends. Neither of us had any idea why it was such a Big deal (pun intended) when Big left Carrie at the alter, or knew what Samantha and Smith had gone through together and how much she’d changed for him.
Fast forward to a year later when I had moved out of home to live with my Aunty and Uncle (who are still some of the coolest people I know, and were incredibly brave taking in a 16 year old girl when they already had a toddler to battle with) and I had discovered some late night reruns of the show on Channel 11.
Being in the middle of quite a big life change (going to a new school for the first time in 10 years, moving away from home, experiencing boys and drinking for the first time – all the good stuff hahaha) I was drawn to these 4 New York City gals who were navigating through various life issues and relationships, all whilst drinking Cosmopolitans and looking fab.
From the outside, the show seems like its just about sex and men and fashion and glamorous parties. But when you actually watch it from start to finish, you realise there’s a helluva lotta good lessons thrown in there.
Sure, Carrie can be a little ridiculous at times, and Miranda is a bit too harsh, and Samantha has no filter (which is what we love her for) and Charlotte can be way too uptight, but the fact that these women are so flawed is what makes them such great characters.
I’m not saying that they are the perfect roles model for teenage girls (because let’s face it, they’re in their 30s and the show has skipped over all of the hard work they’ve done to get to where they are ‘now’), but the power of their friendship alone is definitely something to look up to.
Instead of competing or dragging each other down, these women are empowering each other and congratulating one another for their achievements, and giving advice and support even when they do not necessarily agree with certain decisions their friends make (*cough* Carrie sleeping with a married Big).
However it’s not all Louboutins and cocktails; there are plenty of fights between the girls, and horrible break ups and periods of feeling flat or lost, which only makes it that much better. Because of course there’s going to be shit things that happen, and what I love about SATC is that shows how these very different women handle and overcome such problems in their own unique ways.
And yes, there is plenty of sex thrown in, which was a little confronting to see when I first watched it, being completely innocent and relatively clueless about the big wide world. But honestly, being exposed to all of that stuff was probably a good thing. Because sex ed classes don’t cover any of that shit, and the show puts out a really strong message for women to be empowered when it comes to sex, and not to be ashamed of themselves and what they like – which is, hello, very important.
So even though I’ve only been watching the show religiously for the past three years, I still see it as a valuable source of life advice, a hangover cure and a reminder to not make the same sartorial mistakes as Carrie made. Man, I love that girl, but she wore some ridiculous outfits.
Obviously, I wouldn’t really recommend it to any girl younger than 14/15 (because you don’t really need to be learning about some of the content when you’re younger than that), but I think SATC can be really quite useful for girls when learning to love themselves, the importance of strong female friendships, and picking yourself up and starting over again. And that BOYS AREN’T EVERYTHING, even if the gang seem to get a little too focused on that sometimes.
I know some of the older generations really despise this show, but I think that’s just them being grumpy and reading too much into it. Yes, the characters aren’t perfect, and will annoy you at times with their frivolous decisions or endless pining over guys who are simply not that great, but I still love it to bits and will always consider it one of my favourite TV shows.
So next time you’re at a slump on what to watch next, or simply need to be whisked into another world (because the 90’s was another world in comparison to now), then grab some chips and dip, or your favourite ice-cream and lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of NYC through 4 crazy gals’ eyes.
Till next time,