Bring on the Sex

I’m not from New York, I’m not single and the last time I checked, I’m still a guy. Yet, over the years, various women have subjected me to Sex and the City. With an inevitable viewing of the new movie looming, I decided to turn lemons into lemonade—or in this case, raspberries into cosmos—and try to get into the couture spirit by devouring all six seasons.

Initially, the treatment of men, starting with Mr. Big in the first episode, is borderline offensive. Big, whose name doesn’t mean what you think, is only referred to by his wealth and power because he’s a commodity to the lead character, Carrie Bradshaw. Sarah Jessica Parker keeps Bradshaw from being repulsive, but only barely in the beginning. The first three seasons follow the guy-an-episode format—every male stereotype is covered, from athletes and actors to widowers and whiners. This could make for great comic fodder, but the leading ladies spend most of their character development stunted in stereotypes of their own. Instead of a group of well-rounded women living and loving, the first three seasons feature a career woman, a slut, an innocent wife and an indecisive psycho name-dropping restaurants while accessorizing. The whole thing feels like a raunchy, inferior prequel to The Golden Girls.

It’s a shame, because once Sarah Jessica Parker takes over as executive producer, we finally start to learn what makes the women and the men in their lives tick. The second half of the series is engaging, funny and witty, turning the stereotypes of the first seasons into comic foils to bounce real life issues off of. Instead of clichés, we are treated with four conflicting versions of a woman’s (and for that matter, a person’s) psyche. As the depth of the characters grows, so does our interest.

Sex and the City is what it is—flaws and all—and not everyone will love that. But, as Carrie says to close the series, “[I]f you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”