Oh boy, are you guys in for a treat. Because one of the most iconic TV shows celebrating women, men, friendship, love and wanton credit card abuse has landed on Sky and NOW TV. Yes, Sex and the City is available for binge-viewing.
Since it ceased its run on the small screen in the early noughties, the show has survived in the popular consciousness of Cosmopolitans and anyone who ever says “abso-f*ckin-lutely” – and, oh, some movies, which most of us try to forget about – but now, it can live again as a box set, bringing a whole new generation around to wearing Manolos over paying a mortgage. (Relax – Carrie Bradshaw somehow did both.)
So kick back with a Cosmo, order in some Chinese and immerse yourself in the world of Sarah Jessica Parker’s New York newspaper columnist. Not bought in yet? Here are some reasons why we love Sex and the City:
Whether you’re the quip queen Carrie, the pastel princess Charlotte, the cynical suited Miranda or the brash and brilliant Samantha (and whichever one of them you loathe the most), the show’s four central friends still remain some of the most iconic and timeless female characters written for the screen. Fearlessly pursuing jobs, apartments and hot men, while dropping a laugh a minute and dropping money like no one you’ll ever know (insert inevitable “How does Carrie sustain that wardrobe on a columnist’s salary?” question here), their triumphs and numerous eff-ups – while all seen through the rose-tinted glasses of TV – are infinitely relatable and entirely compelling. We defy you to watch the final montage scene of Season 6 and not shed a little tear.
It was the show that spawned a thousand crushes (and basically set Chris Noth up with the opportunity of playing himself for life) and divided dinner tables across the land. Were you Team Big (S1 on) or Team Aidan (S3 on)? Did you think Steve was The One from Day One (S2 on)? Did you think Smith spent quite enough time with his shirt off? (For the record, the answer is no – S6 was made all the more delightful for it.) A never-ending stream of beautiful men – this is a show about sex, after all – is a delightful perk to draw you in.
Because of course. It’s in the name. The show helped launch the Rampant Rabbit to the mass market in the 1990s and introduced the concept of having a group conversation about anal sex or correct fingering technique over the brunch table. Frank, honest conversation about female pleasure from the perspective of the women on the receiving (and, if you’re Samantha, on the loudly demanding) end remains a breath of fresh air and an inspiration for women to ask for what they want.
Speaking of which, in the rare moments when someone isn’t having a screaming orgasm they’re dropping a similarly awe-inspiring line. There are few scenes on television more iconic than Samantha strutting up to the man who cheated on her, taking the dirty martini he ordered for her and – delivering a killer line to kill all others – calming throwing it in his face (S5).
The famous faces
When the girls aren’t throwing drinks, they’re rubbing shoulders with a fair few famous faces. From a baby-faced Bradley Cooper to Matthew McConaughey in full Texan drawl to a young Kat Dennings and a frankly hilarious cameo from Geri Halliwell, the famous faces just keep on coming. This is New York, after all. Twin Peaks fans will enjoy the long-running appearance of Kyle McLachlan, and Band of Brothers fans will have time for Ron Livingstone and his most inventively mean of dumping techniques. Two words: Post-It.
The annoying pontifications
From words on notes to words on columns, one of the great joys of Carrie being a writer (and the series being based on a book) is that we get that most retro of all treatments: the voiceover. Along with Carrie’s narration, the series goes one better and uses Carrie’s columns to signpost each episode’s central conflict, which leads to some truly ridiculous “I couldn’t help but wonder…” lines from Carrie. Some favourites: “Soul mates – reality or torture device?” and “Are men in their twenties the new designer drug?”
Speaking of designer, suspend disbelief at the fact that Carrie can wear D&G threads and Manolo sandals on a writer’s budget and, instead, revel in the ridiculousness of the wardrobes. Long before Gossip Girl tore up the New York sidewalks with personality expressed through Proenza Schouler or Prada, the SatC ladies were pioneering the idea that the look was inextricably tied to the person. From Carrie inexplicably managing to pull in a lurid Chanel shirt to Samantha lusting over a Birkin that ends up being stolen by Lucy Liu (long story), labels are as much a part of the show as love.
Love in all its many forms
While there were many issues with the first film (and let’s not start on the second), Sex and the City really nailed this concept; love runs throughout the show. Real, grown-up relationships between grown-up women (and the men lucky enough to come in fourth) with all the mess that comes with them. As well as giving us a model for how to have sex (just not in swings), where to shop in New York, what to drink and how to score, it also gives us a timeless lesson in the art of relationships with your friends and, as the iconic final scene goes, that most important relationship – the one you have with yourself.
All 6 seasons of Sex and the City are available on Sky as a box set. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream them on Sky’s contract-free VOD service, NOW TV, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription.
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