Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sex and the City - Kiss and Tell

Today, I will use a book as an excuse to interview myself about my favourite television show (sit-com length) - Sex and the City.

What does the book contain? For all SATC-freaks, the book is a memento. It encompasses the first four seasons and there is a short guide to every episode and a lot of behind-the-scenes information, which to me is the most interesting, because it explains how the series came to be so extremely well-made. There is a later (less fancy) version of this book that covers 5½ seasons. I may get it one day.

People tend to either love or hate the series. How do you explain this? Well, I think that people who has seen the series from start to finish are bound to love it, or at least to recognise certain qualitites that would appeal to anyone who enjoys television as an artform. However, if you have just seen a few isolated episodes, especially from the earlier seasons, I can understand that it would look like a poor excuse for soft porn, or that people would have a difficult time identifying with the girls. The developement when they fleshed out the three supporting roles was remarkable. The series went from being a sit-com about, well, sex in the city to being a cut-up movie about friendship.

Is it feminist, really? I could definitely see that it would feel groundbreaking and feminist to an American audience in the 1990s, and that's the context in which it was made. I don't know if things have changed because I haven't been to the States for 7 years, but back then, mainstream culture certainly supported the notion that the greatest happiness for a woman, involved a diamond ring and a cheesy engagement story. Charlotte, admittedly, agrees with this, but the other women represent choices and feelings that are diametrically opposed to society's norm and, furthermore, what is really the most important thing to all of them, is their friendship with each other. However, I can also see that Swedish women did not feel the show was feminist, because we already felt that we had those other choices (at least to some real extent).

Could you give an example that illustrates this?
Yes, in the final hour-long episode, before Mr. Big is heading off to Paris to fight for Carrie, he meets her friends in the coffeeshop to gain their approval. He says (something along these words): "You are the loves of her life, a guy is just lucky to come in fourth (place)". And that is exactly the point. The show, seen as a whole, is about friendship and how the security of having good friends gives you the opportunity to embrace life, make mistakes and always be welcome back to the fold.

So, is there any point in buying the book?
It will sure be a sweet walk down memory lane, if you are a die-hard fan. If you haven't purchased the series itself yet, though, I would use my money for that instead.

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