Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries hits screens in the US this coming Monday and marks the return of Carrie Bradshaw to our lives, be in much younger form.
While this new drama tries to hook in a whole new group of fans, it’s certain to evoke memories of the original Sex And The City TV series. The question is though, looking back on it, what was the impact of the show and why was it so incredibly popular?
We all know the story of Sex And The City, but for those who’ve lived under a rock on Mars, it focused on socialite and writer Carrie Bradshaw and her group of friends balancing their love lives in New York.
While Carrie was the lead, she wasn’t anywhere near the strongest of the four main characters, with both sex-crazed Samantha and Miranda far more complex and deep characters that really were something that hadn’t been seen too often on screen.
This was the first time that women had been allowed to be sexually open on screen. Usually the sole preserve of men, finally a new generation had a group of explorative, adventurous women they could relate to in the forms of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. Not only that, but they were finally using the same profanity strewn language that women were actually using day to day, not the sugar sweet lines found in particularly American comedies of the time.
The relationship between the four girls was something to savour too, with their bond closer than any that had been seen between friends on screen for some time. Very rarely were other friends or family seen and before they started entering serious relationships and getting married, they were pretty much each other’s entire social circle.
The show had two real stars though and neither of them, had any lines throughout the entirety of the seven series that aired. They were Carrie’s outfits and the city of New York.
This is a show that directly inspired many, many girls to search out their dreams in The Big Apple, making the city look gorgeous, alluring and glamorous day or night. Carries’ outfits, in particular her shoes, were incredibly innovative and always looked a million dollars. That they almost cost that much was just a slight inconvenience.
The show wasn’t perfect though, with its characters leading to Sex And The City having a polarising effect amongst viewers.
The main criticism of the show was that it was pure wish fulfilment. All the characters had pots of disposable income, massive amounts of time on their hands and hardly any concerns apart from their next outfit. While the concept of the show was ground-breaking, the execution often wasn’t, as the show too often ventured into the hyper-emotional clichés of so many other TV shows and movies.
While we mentioned that she wasn’t the strongest character on the show, Carrie perhaps being one of the most problematic protagonists we’ve seen on screen for years. Horribly self-absorbed, superficial and horrifically mean, she wanders between unlikeable and downright loathsome from episode to episode. The worst thing of all is that she’s still adored by all, despite being a terrible, terrible person. Sarah Jessica Parker may have won an astonishing four Golden Globes for her performance, but Carrie Bradshaw is still detestable.
Despite the criticisms, the impact of Sex And The City was massive. All of a sudden, margin cable broadcaster HBO had a cultural phenomenon on its hands, causing the channel to explode in popularity and put it on the path to becoming what it is today.
Sex And The City was a revolutionary show in nearly all depaprtments and paved the way for a whole new group of female comedy writers to come through. Now we're seeing the fruits of Carrie's exploits in the form of Bridesmaids, the upcoming movie Bachelorette and Lena Dunham’s brilliant TV series Girls.
The Carrie Diaries starts in the US on Monday, January 14th.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith