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no need for more sex (in my city)
why i won't be going gaga over carrie & company
by alex b (@Lexistential)
4.21.10
film

Seven years ago, I was a devoted fan of "Sex & the City." Having read Candace Bushnell's wholly unsentimental, harshly truthful depiction of sex in New York, I followed the HBO series with gusto.

At the age of twenty-seven and completely green in New York, I bit into the myth. I oohed and ahhed over spiky heeled-stilettos I couldn't possibly afford while taking quizzes to figure which of the girls I was like (Miranda). I tried to create as much time as I could for girlfriends I really didn't like that much, and overthought my sex life even more than I ordinarily would have.

When the series concluded in 2004, I was one of the few who didn't object. Each of the main female leads had reached feel-good pinnacles that Bushnell herself wouldn't have written, and I was content to see the fiction bow gracefully off my television screen.

Yet, it keeps showing up on the silver screen.

Like an ex who shows up for any possible leftover scrap of a booty call, "Sex & the City" assumes that I want to see it again, to have just one more night. But, with a sequel scheduled for a May 27th release, it seems oblivious to my disinterest.

For obvious cash-generating juggernaut reasons, I'm sure that Sarah Jessica Parker, series creator Michael Patrick King, and HBO are all reluctant to let go of what is clearly a lucrative franchise. But, they seem unable to accept that it is indeed passé and at an age way past its groundbreaking, provocative days. There are no more bad dates to shock me with; if anything, the newest cast members seem to be a range of Hewlett-Packard products. My former quirky series that captured my feelings about guys is now as tricked out as a race car driver covered in sponsorship patches, and probably turned a few more for any other advertiser that lobbied hard enough for a favor.

I'm sad.

Aside from seeing "SATC" put out for everything from LVMH to Lipton tea, I'm heartbroken at seeing it resort to creative compost thinking: reusing and recycling essential character tics and plot themes I already saw on TV. Kim Cattrall will coo at a manbeefy younger dude, and Sarah Jessica Parker will probably dress in an awesome size-zero ensemble. Predicting this movie's revisited Carrie-Aidan-Big triangle is as easy ogling John Corbett; seeing him on Showtime's "United States of Tara" opposite the way-awesome Toni Collette is tons more exciting than having him sleepwalk through an old role. At the very least, "Sex & the City" could have offered me something new for one last go. Setting part of the story in Abu Dhabi does not count as original, especially when it's mainly an excuse to outfit the cast in turbans.

However, I know the real reason why I won't see "Sex & the City 2: the Sequel" isn't really in the all-too obvious pandering for my hard-earned cash. My main reason for skipping all this? Me.

At thirty-four, after several years of somewhat believing in the in myth, my life refutes it: I'm single. I'm not looking for a boyfriend, and am not about to fill that void with any downsized investment bankers. I don't have any immediate baby plans, and the biggest commitment I've ever made to a designer bag is to its knockoff on Canal Street. Most of my girlfriends have been largely transitory relationships, or have simply moved on or out of my life. The last thing I feel like doing is buying into a piece of pop culture that no longer reflects me; these days, I get excited over any acerbic line delivered by Jane Lynch, Edie Falco, or Laura Linney.

Additionally, given that shelling $12 for a movie in the present economic climate is somewhat dear, it's just another reason to stay home. I know can't fully escape the advertising campaign going into full swing; I'll probably develop a Pavlovian, knife-reaching response to the "Sex & the City" theme song, but I will remain resolute. I will skip the sequel. I will stay home.

And, since I've outgrown Carrie & company, I need a new pop culture heroine. I have a feeling that I may find her on "Nurse Jackie", the upcoming series "The Big C", or in my very own alternate personality.


ABOUT ALEX B

An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b

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COMMENTS

tracey kelley
4.22.10 @ 4:23p

Gah - it was so fresh the 1st 2 seasons...

...and then I kept watching, unfortunately. So unrealistic, and Carrie became as uninteresting as a wet cardboard box.

Didn't see the last movie, won't see this one.

tim lockwood
4.23.10 @ 6:54p

The problem I had with the series, as a male, surprisingly had nothing to do with the subject matter. After all, when you're an insomniac like me, you'll watch pretty much anything on TV as long as there is no one with an annoying voice.

No, the main problem I had with the show is that every line sounded like it was coming straight out of a female comic's stand-up routine circa 1987. To me it wasn't a TV series so much as it was a reenactment of everything Elayne Boosler and Paula Poundstone ever said. I guess you could say it had that not-so-fresh feeling.

alex b
4.30.10 @ 5:45a

I really liked it through the third season- the show seemed to capture just how difficult dating felt, then and now. As it became a beloved part of pop culture landscape, the empathy fizzled while retaining the bubbly lines, and developed fantasy endings that women don't experience in life. And, as it remains part of pop culture in its uber-juggernaut commercial state, it's going to continue stoking women's expectations when life hasn't changed. Dating still sucks, but SATC devotees are going to *hope* to marry their uncommitted sexual partners and afford the HP computer setup AND the designer bag. Maybe it's dour to say they're more likely to derive greater happiness from a Xanax prescription and a nice set of sheets, but that's just my little opinion.

As for me- I'm hooked on Showtime. I probably shouldn't obsess over a drug-sniffing nurse or chick with alternate personalities, but I can understand them much more than a designer bag junkie with Tiffany aspirations.





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