The original article appeared in My Dog ate my Blog.
With the release of Sex and the City 2 this Friday, those who love it are bursting withexcitement, and those who don’t are getting one last chance to mock Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte, and the lives that they lead. Obviously the, mockers are more than entitled to their opinion—yet, like so many (infinitely more serious) prejudices, most SATC haters base their hatred on wildly incomplete information.
And, haters, I have bad news: Michael Patrick King has been WAY ahead of you. Just about every argument that one can make about the show has been acknowledged, addressed, and made into a plot point. In honor of the show, here are the 5 most common criticism of the show—and the show’s own response.
Criticism # 1: It is SO ridiculous to think that a writer who writes one column a week could afford all those expensive clothes and shoes. How VERY unrealistic.
Obviously, criticizer, you have never seen “Ring a Ding Ding” in season 4. After breaking up with Aidan, Carrie is forced to buy back her apartment from him and realizes, to her surprise, that she has absolutely no money at all. In a cringe-worthy scene, she tries to get a loan and is informed that with her $800 in checking and her $900 in savings, she is “not a desirable candidate.” With Miranda’s blunt mathematical help, Carrie discovers that she has spent 40 grand on designer shoes. She is, for Carrie at least, humiliated and horrified.
It’s also heavily implied that most of Carrie’s lifestyle is financed by credit. The show started filming when banks were still giving away credit like it was going out of style, and it’s quite possibly that she could have lived a wildly unsustainable lifestyle and gotten away with it via minimum payments.
So yes, it’s true, Carrie is woefully financially irresponsible. We who love the show get it. So did the writers.
Criticism # 2: Oh. My. God. Those women are SUCH whores. They sleep with EVERYTHING THAT WALKS. How many men do they sleep with, a million?
For better, or more likely for worse, “dating” in the late 90s early 2000s means having dinner, yes, but also having sex. The fact that Carrie is surprised and put off when Aidan doesn’t want to sleep with her right away drives that point home. In the aptly named Season 3 episode “Are We Sluts?” Carrie says: “When you’re single, dating, and refusing to settle, you’re bound to rack up quite a tally…but are we romantically challenged, or are we sluts?” I don’t know if the mere asking of the question is enough to placate those who want to burn them like witches for having “quite a bit of bone in them” (quoth Miranda). Probably not.
More importantly, though, this criticism misses what I see as one of the purposes of the show: to portray just about every relationship/sex problem a woman could conceivably have. Ever had someone fall asleep while having sex with you? There’s an episode for that. Ever been with someone who was too big, too small, too old for you, too young for you, showered obsessively after sex, adjusted his balls too much, who wants to have a threesome, swears in bed, uses baby talk in bed, prematurely ejaculated, lives with his parents, wants to have sex in public, or has a foot fetish? Or maybe, lucky you, all of the above? There is an episode for each and every one of those male oddities, and more. The more obvious problems (cheating, impotence, infertility, accidental pregnancy, class differences) get entire multi-season arcs devoted to them.