This week, fans of “Sex and the City” have been celebrating its 20th anniversary – can you believe it?
HBO’s iconic series debuted in 1998, when I was in 8th grade. We didn’t have HBO at my house growing up, so I didn’t come across the series until I was a junior in high school, when I went on a college visit to Miami of Ohio.
It was 2001, and I saw an episode on DVD – I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before the episode was over. To be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about dating when I was 17, and I certainly knew nothing about sex.
But by the time I went to college, I’d scrounged up all of the available seasons on DVDs and brought them to Louisiana. The episodes made me laugh, and I started to see why so many people loved the show so much – they spoke so honestly about dating, and in college, I really needed that.
My DVDs also came in handy when I applied to get a new roommate during my second semester of freshman year. The only open bed available was with someone who’d scored a room alone – she was probably REALLY disappointed when I showed up with my boxes of crap on a random weeknight.
Until I showed her my SATC collection and told her she was welcome to watch them anytime. We watched loads of episodes together.
It’s difficult to believe now, but SATC changed the dialogue about sex and dating, and it was one of the first shows (aside from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) that put single, career-driven women at the forefront.
It also carved a larger path for sex columnists, given that SATC’s main character has a weekly column titled, “Sex and the City”. I quickly became a fan of Natalie Krisnky’s writing, who was the sex columnist for Yale’s campus newspaper until 2004.
I also wrote the relationship column for the LSU paper, and while that was not the start of my publishing career, it gave me a place to vent about my dating troubles, and gave me confidence to start this blog, and eventually publish multiple books on the topic of love, sex, and relationships.
Based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell, SATC gave us four women that were relatable, yet far enough out-of-reach that we could drool over their fashion, apartments, and exclusive access to New York City.
In the span of six seasons (from 1998-2004), Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte became our best friends, even if only digitally, we related to their love, loss, fun, and fights.
The best part? The writing is timeless. Over the years, SATC episodes covered first dates, baby showers, breakups, and marriage, and even dipped into more serious issues such as cancer, abortion, miscarriage, infidelity, interracial dating, and sexual identity.
No matter the topic, the tone of the show was always hopeful – that we can get through just about anything with the support of our friends and the relationship we ultimately have with ourself, and that’s a lesson that never comes too late.
As part of a week-long celebration, the E! Network has been playing all of the SATC episodes, and although I have the entire series on DVD (I was gifted an entirely new set after wearing out the first set), it’s fun to just turn on the TV and see all of the episodes I’ve watched countless times – I could probably recite most of them.
For this post, I was trying so hard to think of my all-time favorite episode, but it changes depending on what I’m going through at the time.
Right now, I can definitely relate to “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” (season 6, episode 9) when Carrie attends a baby shower and is asked to remove her Manolos – they get stolen, and she gets “shoe shamed” when she asks for a new pair from the hostess.
I have also always loved “Hot Child in the City” (season 3, episode 15) where all of the women face something from their childhood – whether it’s scooters and sunbathing or getting braces.
Just a few episodes later, in “Cock a Doodle Do”, Samantha goes to WAR with transsexuals on her block – it involves eggs and lots of yelling, but eventually they makeup and throw a rooftop party.
I never really did like any of Carrie’s boyfriends, not Berger or The Russian – I only like Mr. Big. One of my favorite episodes with him is “I Heart N.Y.” (Season 4, episode 18) when he’s getting ready to move to Napa. There’s pizza in an empty apartment, and several references to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and it’s perfect.
SATC also gave us some epic one-liners, including:
- When real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep on walking.
- Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means that you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
- They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.
- I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.
- Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we’ve got.
I will probably spend a large chunk of my weekend watching SATC without regret. But I’d love to know, what were some of your favorite moments of the show? Or, did it change your life in some way? Give you confidence for a career move? Help you meet new friends?
Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend everyone!
I recently became obsessed with watching “Love at First Swipe” on TLC. The show stars Style Expert Clinton Kelly, along with Online Dating Guru Devyn Simone.
The point of the show is to help women (I haven’t seen any male contestants yet) present their best self on their online dating profiles. At the start of the episode, the viewer is presented with the woman’s current online dating profile.
Naturally, it’s a disaster. It usually has racy or very old photos, some sort of weird screen name, and other, general information that makes the woman appear un-dateable.
One recent episode featured a woman getting her Master’s in math. She only wanted men who were also math geniuses to message her online, and she made that very clear on her profile.
The next part of the show involves the contestant meeting Clinton and Devyn, and the expert pair works to get to the root of the problem: why is this woman presenting herself in a way that attracts the wrong types (if any at all) of men?
Then, Clinton works with her to get a new, flattering look, as well as new photos for her profile, while Devyn works with her to figure out what type of man she is looking for, and what she can put on her profile to represent her best qualities and attract the right man.
In the end, the contestant’s new profile is presented to 100 men, and of the (usually 70 percent or higher) men that say they’d like to date her, she gets to pick one to go out with.
I know I like this show because I’ve tried my hand at online dating, and it’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve always looked at it as a passive way of putting yourself out there, but we’re all so “connected” these days, I’m starting to realize it’s not passive at all.
As of now, I’ve tried Match, Ok Cupid, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Glimpse. While I’ve gotten hundreds of messages between all of these apps, I’ve only gone on actual dates with three men from them.
Just like the women on “Love at First Swipe”, I too, have wondered why certain men message me and others don’t, or why the men I meet online don’t end up as successful relationships.
While my profile is nowhere near as extreme as the ones I’ve seen on the show, I’ve started to realize that some of the information I’m putting online probably isn’t representing my best self. One of my main profile pictures is of me, drinking a mug of coffee. The mug also has my blog address, The Bitter Lemon, which is usually my username as well.
I think this kicks me in the ass in two ways: 1. It automatically says I’m bitter, or bitchy, and 2. It leads men to this blog, which has a lot of personal information about me right off the bat; and a majority of that information is about my dating failures.
I’m not saying it’s information I’m going to keep secret, but I probably shouldn’t lead with that. I’m also working on letting go of my past heartbreaks. Sure, it still affects me in some ways, but it doesn’t define me, and it’s not something a date needs to know.
Right now, I’m not participating in online dating, but after seeing this show and considering some ways I could improve my presence to potential suitors, I’m considering it.
Who knows, maybe I’ll be seeing you online soon.