And just like that, another TV show reboot that we probably don’t need is announced. On Sunday, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis graced our Instagram feeds with a short trailer alluding to the fact that the iconic 1998 show, Sex and the City, was coming back to life. I was fully prepared to leave this franchise behind me after their failed attempt at a third movie, but this revival has left me quite intrigued. As I watched the And Just Like That teaser three different times on each of the stars’ accounts, I (say it with me now) couldn’t help but wonder, where was Kim Cattrall? Surely, we couldn’t have Sex and the City without the woman who brought all the sex?!
As bummed as I am, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Samantha Jones would not return in a SATC reboot. Kim Cattrall mentioned in several interviews that she would not partake in another iteration of the iconic show. I mean, who can blame her? The off-screen drama with SJP and other members of the cast was even more dramatic than the scripted fights they got into. (In 2018, following the passing of Cattrall’s brother, she dragged SJP on Instagram, writing, “You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona.”) Kim perfectly put it when she said, I don’t want to be in a situation for even an hour where I’m not enjoying myself.”
Since we won’t get an appearance from Samantha Jones, I’m having trouble figuring out who is going to bring all the entertainment, iconic one-liners, and even an ounce of flavor that this show lacked from its cis, hetero, all-white cast. (Though perhaps HBO will take this moment to shake up said cis, hetero, all-white cast.) Who will be the voice of reason when Carrie is full of sh*t? Who’s going to remind Charlotte that she shouldn’t be so uptight and stuck in her ways? Is there going to be a fourth character who is equally as successful and ambitious as Miranda, but not an absolute buzzkill?
If the show “must go on”, then I suppose all we have left is to reminisce on the hilarious and completely out-of-pocket moments that Samantha Jones brought to our televisions for six seasons and two feature films. Join me as I pour one out for the unapologetic, pleasure-chasing publicist, and look back at some of her best moments.
Season 1, Episode 1 “Sex and the City”
From the very first episode, Samantha was serving realness to her delusional dater friends. I actually love that the pilot is basically about Carrie deciding to live the way Samantha has always been living and turning this into a revelation all about herself. Kind of telling, if you ask me…
Season 1, Episode 10 “The Baby Shower”
Another moment where Samantha was anything but subtle! While there is absolutely no shame in those who choose to be mothers, it was hilarious (and empowering) to see her not fall to the pressures of society and live exactly the way she wanted. Tbh, I might throw an “I don’t have a baby” shower for the gifts — and the Instagrams.
Season 2, Episode 6 “The Cheating Curve”
Okay so this was definitely one of the more problematic episodes. When Charlotte decides to hang out with lesbians because she got cheated on, Carrie gets back with Big, and the whole gang debates the definition of cheating. Even with her dumb views about what constitutes infidelity, Samantha manages to give this nugget of, dare I say, good advice, that is eerily reminiscent of what my therapist has been trying to tell me for years. Who knew I could have just watched Sex and the City and saved myself the copay.
Season 2, Episode 7 “Chicken Dance”
In this episode, Samantha realizes the guy she just slept with, she’d actually already slept with 15 years prior, and it feels like a bleak look into my future. Also, they all attend a wedding where Carrie is reading a poem, which is where Samantha delivers this one-liner that my mid-20s self can relate to all too well. Ok, who am I kidding, this quote is timeless regardless of my age.
Season 4, Episode 10 “Belles of the Balls”
I’m sorry, but does she or does she not spit the absolute truth? One thing about Samantha was that she played like a man living in a man’s world (again, as discussed vis-à-vis the pilot episode and overall premise of the show), and did it well.
Season 5, Episode 4 “Cover Girl”
And just like that, we go from profound commentary on sexist double standards to a sexually explicit quote. Gotta love the woman’s range. Even from her own best friends, Samantha had to defend herself from being slut-shamed, much like in this episode when Carrie judged her hooking up with a delivery guy. First of all, I would love to see that high-and-mighty attitude amidst the pandemic, when the delivery guy is the only person of the opposite sex with whom I regularly interact. Tbh if any of my friends did this, I’d be applauding them for (hopefully) getting a friends and family discount on Seamless.
Season 5, Episode 6 “Critical Condition”
Kind of conceited to think that any given person in New York City knows who you are, but I’ll give her this one. I’ll surely miss how unapologetic Samantha is, and how she does and says whatever she wants without worrying about how others will react.
Season 6, Episode 2 “Great Sexpectations”
Where would we be without that one friend who gives top-tier sex advice? Definitely not having as much sex as Samantha was, that’s for sure. Thank God Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte had Samantha to remind them to not just have more sex, but good sex. Not sure they ever truly took her advice, anyway.
Images: HBO; Giphy
Ah, fall. The time of year when we can finally wear sweaters, embrace our feelings of existential dread, and rewatch Hocus Pocus as many times as we want without getting judged. This year, it feels like the Hocus Pocus nostalgia has been stronger than ever before, which can likely be attributed to a couple of factors. First, it’s available to stream on Disney+, so you don’t have to pay $3.99 to rent it or find some weird, blurry version on YouTube with subtitles in a different language (not speaking from experience). But more than that, we’re all desperate to be transported to any time that’s not 2020, and a second-tier Disney movie from 1993 is just what the doctor ordered.
Clearly, Bette Midler has been paying attention to the renewed interest in the movie, and on Monday, she basically broke the internet with the announcement that the Sanderson Sisters will be reuniting at last. Yes, really, it’s finally happening. On October 30th, Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will be participating in “In Search of the Sanderson Sisters,” as part of the annual “Hulaween” fundraiser Midler hosts for the New York Restoration Project, which works to maintain and restore gardens and parks across New York City.
As far as the actual content of the show, it’s a little unclear so far what they’ll be doing, but the initial image Bette Midler shared features all three actresses in costume in front of a blue screen. Who knows if they’ll be singing, or acting, or just kind of hanging out, but thankfully this won’t be another nostalgic reunion that’s just a boring conversation on Zoom. Really, just seeing Bette Midler with buckteeth in that costume is enough for me.
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Your 3 fav witches – @sarahjessicaparker @kathynajimy & ME – are returning for 1 night only on 10/30 at 8p ET! “In Search of the Sanderson Sisters” is the best thing to happen to #Halloween since Hocus Pocus + Reeses Pieces. Get your tix now (link in bio) and support @NYRP #nyrphulaween
Tickets for next week’s reunion event are available for $10, but if you don’t feel like attending yet another virtual event, that’s not the only new Hocus Pocus content on the horizon. A sequel to the iconic movie for Disney+ has been in development for about a year now, which is exciting! But there’s one slight issue. According to reports, Disney really wants the original trio of sisters to return (duh), but it’s unclear at this point whether they’re going to do the sequel. Hopefully this is just a scheduling issue, but I’m gonna need them to figure out those contracts ASAP, because otherwise I’m not sure it’s even worth it. Basically, Disney really wants the sequel to happen, but it’s probably going to be another year or two before you can add it to your Halloween movie rotation. If you’re really craving a new Hocus Pocus fix, you should probably just buy a ticket to the charity event.
In a year where good things have been few and far between, coughing up $10 for a good cause to see Sarah Jessica Parker relive her pre-Sex and the City career just feels like the right thing to do. Also, like, what else are you going to be doing for Halloween?
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Images: BUENA VISTA PICTURES/ANDREW COOPER; bettemidler / Instagram
Feminism is, at its core, a relatively simple concept. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Unless you’ve been trapped in a bunker since the 1950s or serving in the two highest offices of the United States, you’ll probably concede that this is a good idea. Yet according to a survey by GenForward, less than 20% of participants belonging to any racial or ethnic group self-identify as feminist, with most saying they “don’t identify as a traditional feminist, but support women’s rights and equality.” This cognitive dissonance is even more glaring when we look at celebrities’ interpretations of the term. Given their power and influence, it also makes it that much more disappointing. Below are five famous women who at one point or another have refused to identify as feminist, despite very clearly supporting feminist ideas. Celebrities—they’re just as clueless as like us!
1. Taylor Swift
When asked in a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast whether she considers herself a feminist, Taylor Swift said, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.” So adorable. While this is a lovely way to think, it presupposes, incorrectly, that feminism is a movement fueled by the hatred of men. On the contrary, feminism is about uniting men and women and putting them on equal footing. Luckily, Taylor has since changed her tune.
2. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus skirted around the issue in a 2014 interview with Elle by saying, “I’m just about equality, period. It’s not like, ‘I’m a woman, women should be in charge!’ I just want there to be equality for everybody.” Miley’s concept of feminism suffers from a similar flaw in logic as Taylor’s: it assumes that the movement is about uprooting men and taking away their power. However, it’s not an either-or proposition. Both men and women can and should have opportunities to be in power and “in charge”. Crazy, I know.
3. Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon, actress and occasional problematic person, had this to say about identifying as a feminist in a 2013 interview with The Guardian: “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches, and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education, and health care.” The “humanist” response is a popular one with celebrities and, IMHO, a bit of a cop-out because it doesn’t acknowledge the reality that we live in a world where women are the more disadvantaged sex. Even worse, it perpetuates the false notion that all feminists are militant, combat boot-wearing, bra-burning wenches who want to burn down the world and render men obsolete (though I’ll admit I’m down for the combat boots). Can we be angry sometimes? Sure. But some anger is more than warranted when we continue to live in a world where we’re paid 77% of what men make, account for only 25.4% of board members and 6.6% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, are at a greater risk of rape and domestic violence, and have little to no autonomy over our bodies. Instead of being afraid of appearing angry, perhaps we should ask ourselves why we’re so uncomfortable with women being angry in the first place.
4. Sarah Jessica Parker
Ironically, the star of Sex and the City, a show that’s supposed to be all about female empowerment, declined to take up the term despite clearly espousing feminist views in a 2016 interview with Marie Claire: “I am not a feminist. I don’t think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don’t even want to separate it anymore. I’m so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.” The problem with SJP’s response is that she’s guilty of the very thing she doesn’t like about the movement. Women can’t begin to achieve the equality she desires if she and other non-feminist feminists refuse to engage and separate themselves from the cause. There’s power and unity in numbers.
It may be hard to believe now, but there once was a time when the woman who closed out the 2014 VMAs by performing in front of a giant “FEMINIST” sign hesitated to accept the label. Just one year earlier in an interview with British Vogue, the one and only Bey said, “That word can be very extreme … But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? … I do believe in equality and that we have a way to go and it’s something that’s pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept… But I’m happily married. I love my husband.” The reference to her marriage and husband is strange as well as problematic, because it implies that a feminist can’t have a healthy and loving relationship with a man. Her aversion to labels sounds more like the Tuesday night musings of your run-of-the-mill f*ckboy rather than a compelling argument coming from one of the most powerful and innovative performers of our time. Without labels, we can’t identify ourselves and, in turn, effect meaningful change, something Beyoncé later realized and emphasized with her VMA performance.
It’s clear that when it comes to feminism, we can’t look to celebrities for guidance—not just because they often fundamentally misunderstand the term, but also because, like most things celebrity-related, it’s an exercise in distraction. Roxane Gay points out in a piece for The Guardian that, “We run into trouble, though, when we celebrate celebrity feminism while avoiding the actual work of feminism.” Identifying oneself as a feminist is a crucial first step, but it’s just the beginning of the conversation and work that needs to be done.
Images: Allie Smith / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
As a 90s kid, I was too busy binging Dragon Tales to tune into Sex and the City when it was actually on TV, but thanks to both my parents’ iTunes and my ex boyfriend’s HBO Go, I’ve since made up time lost by watching and re-watching the show so many times that I can literally just say all of the lines with the characters at this point. Am I proud? Honestly, kind of. So in honor of this ridiculous show’s 21st anniversary, I am graciously taking on the responsibility of pointing out the most absurd plotlines of each season of Sex and the City. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
If one of the reasons you love Sex and the City so much is because of its sheer ridiculousness, I’m with you. With that in mind, I’d just like to point out that I am well aware of the many more stupid plotlines than the ones I mention below. I don’t have the energy or word count to list them all, so help a betch out and lmk the ones I missed in the comments. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The most ridiculous plotline of this season is pretty easy. The threesome episode is so f*cking stupid it pains me to even talk about it. Why are all four women absolutely shaken to their cores when they learn that young men enjoy threesomes? Isn’t this supposed to be a show that’s like, pretty progressive when it comes to sex? Don’t they live in New York where people are ~freeing the nipple~ left and right? Why are they all so shocked that their non-eunuch male counterparts are d for group sex? I’m pretty sure I learned that significantly earlier in my life than they did, and even I just kind of shrugged and carried on with my life.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that the most sexually vanilla character had the best reaction to the proposition of a threesome! Charlotte, you go girl! I’m sure it comes as a shock to no one that Miranda obv had the absolute worst reaction. She felt so #lame that all of her friends were having threesome drama, so she literally did the 90s equivalent of posting an ad on Craiglist to get in on the threesome game. Harvard-educated ginger seeking open-minded couples for a ménage à trois, anyone? Like, I’m sorry, but be a little more desperate, Miranda. Just because three of your friends are f*cking ignorant about men and their completely unrealistic threesome fantasies doesn’t mean you have to be! The dumbest part of this whole plot line is that Miranda didn’t even go through with it. Like, she somehow got this couple’s hopes up and then “left to make a phone call” on her giant 90s cell phone and just left them high and, quite literally, dry. SMH, Miranda. This couple prob has some weird ginger revenge fantasy to play out now. Gross.
Anyone remember that episode where Carrie lost her sh*t because she ended up on the cover of The New Yorker looking like Frank Gallagher on a bender? I mean, you’re a writer and you’re on the cover of the f*cking New Yorker, so please explain why you’re complaining. Be grateful, bitch! I can’t even watch that episode anymore because it makes me so mad. To put things in realistic perspective, one time I ended up on the jumbotron at a Knicks game shoveling curly fries into the detachable jaw that I call a mouth, and I made my date (who I never saw again after that night) take a picture so that I could make it my cover photo for a whole two years. Carrie, live a little. She also let this
amazing opportunity for self-promotion unflattering photo keep her from hooking up with one Bradley Cooper! I mean, he has a Porsche, girl. Let him give you a ride. As a struggling writer with an affinity for designer things and no man to pay for said affinity, I would do literally anything to get in/on The New Yorker. Writers are desperate for any notable editors to see their work or know their name in any capacity, so if you somehow land the goddamn cover of a reputable magazine looking like Shrek, you’re f*cking thrilled about it. That’s it.
Charlotte and Trey. Like, is there an opposite hashtag for #couplegoals? I’d rather be single literally forever than end up on one single date with someone like Trey. First of all, he will always be Orson Hodge to me, so there’s that. But, more importantly, he and Charlotte make absolutely no sense as a couple whatsoever. We already know that she has great taste in men because she ends up with my favorite Jew, Harry Goldenblatt, and his role in this show is a true mitzvah if I’ve ever seen one. Someone who could marry Harry would never be interested in the wet mop that is Trey MacDougal. The man says “alrighty!” for f*ck’s sake!
The main reason this is just a ridiculous plotline is because Charlotte admits that she refuses to settle for anyone who isn’t Prince Charming (how progressive of her…), so her engagement to an impotent Muppet is just so stupid, and I refuse to admit this season even happened because of it. Also, how does a Chanel suit-donning queen named Bunny produce such a waste of space? Like, if you look up the definition of “mommy issues” you will find a photo of Trey MacDougal, and there’s no way Charlotte f*cks with a dude who lets his mother chill on the ledge of the tub while he’s bathing in it naked. More importantly, Charlotte and Orson didn’t even date! He paid for dinner a few times then said “alrighty” when she suggested getting married. Yep, sounds like a healthy relationship to me! I can’t even get a guy I’ve been seeing for a month and a f*cking half to hang out with me more than once a week and she’s over here proposing to herself and getting a big-ass Tiffany rock in return. This is not how things happen, y’all. Next!
Ok this is a hard one for me to write because it involves throwing shade at my favorite SATC man, Aidan Shaw. As we know, Carrie and Aidan broke up because he didn’t take her affair with Big very well. Is Mr. Big really that good in bed, or does he just like, live up to his name? I wouldn’t cheat on Aidan for anyone other than Bradley Cooper, but Carrie lets this giant oaf screw up her relationship? I mean, at least she was honest about it, but that’s beside the point. So after he and C called it quits, Aidan gets a serious revenge body/glow-up and Carrie is eating that sh*t up. I mean, same. Blah, blah, blah then they get back together. Like, I’m sorry, but he once threatened to break up with her because she had a f*cking cigarette during dessert. Remember that? Let me get this straight: he can forgive her full-fledged affair with an old flame who she ends up marrying (and then cheating on with Aidan, no less), but he draws the line at Marlboro Lights? Someone please explain this. Anyone? Bueller? Honestly, I am pro-second chances, so I would definitely give her another shot, too. But for someone who wouldn’t bang her after a week and a half of dating because he didn’t want to rush things with someone he really liked, he proposed to her pretty damn quickly after getting back together! Look, I love Aidan. Aidan is goals. I want to marry Aidan and have little woodworking babies with him, but he’s giving us really mixed signals and I am not about it. Make up your mind, bruh.
Charlotte’s 36th-birthday-induced downward spiral was really confusing. She is like, hardcore trying to find The One, which isn’t surprising since she’s been playing the game since she was 15. But for some unexplained reason, the day she turns 36 is when she puts half of her thoughts and prayers toward finding her husband, and the other half into completely giving up. By that, I mean she attends inspirational love seminars right before she seriously takes up knitting. You can’t claim you want to get married and be an avid knitter. You just can’t. Sorry to all the knitters out there, but knitting is literally the most boring activity I’ve ever done, so I’m def not trying to fill the sexless void with handmade scarves.
Anyway, Charlotte is quietly having an emotional breakdown about not having a boyfriend, which is confusing because she’s meeting a LOT of men in this season! The only time she looks pretty pathetic because she’s literally flying solo is en route to Atlantic City, when she’s third-wheeling Samantha and Richard f*cking on a private plane. Charlotte admits that she’s pretty, smart, and cultured, so her breakdown seems kind of random, especially because there is only one episode during this season where she isn’t dating someone. If I had that many men in my life, I would def not be complaining about being lonesome, honey. Also like, why 36?
Carrie moving to Paris. Look, I get it. By the last season, Sex and the City was making so much money that they could have set up camp and starting filming on Mars. But, like, this whole plotline was so, so ridiculous that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. The only thing that made sense was when Big showed up and was basically just like, “wtf are you doing here? Can we leave?” And then they left. I wouldn’t move to Paris with my f*cking husband, but Carrie is out here dating a former Studio 54 regular who she’s been with for approximately two months. Quoi??? The fact that absolutely all of her friends, who she relies on for literally everything, were against this incredibly bold/stupid move should have been enough for her to not relocate her life in her late 30s for a man and a city she barely knows. But no, Carrie decides that now is the time to flee her very #blessed life in New York to walk the streets of Paris with a stranger. Don’t get me wrong, I lived for the two Paris episodes, but I will never get behind the writers’ choice to bring the ultimate New Yorker to a city where her disgusting attempt at a French accent would def not be taken lightly by the Parisians. Watching her eat sh*t in Dior, though, def made up for it!
If you’re a tried and true Sex and the City fan, you prob noticed Samantha barely appeared in this article. Samantha’s character was pretty on point throughout the entire show. She knew who she was and she did what/whom she wanted. The only thing she ever did that made me f*cking mad was in the series finale, when Smith flew all the way back to New York to surprise her with a succulent and she wouldn’t even say she loves him in response to him saying he loves her. What a heartless wench! Like, it’s the last episode of the most epic show, Sam. Tell the boy you love him.
Images: HBO; Giphy (6)
Boots. That is the sole subject (pun intended) of this article. Everything else is put on hold so that we can sit at our desks, slack jawed, thinking about the boots. If you don’t have any idea what I am talking about, you haven’t been on Instagram, and that is bragging, which is rude. We are talking about Michelle Obama’s boots. These are the boots.
Can we discuss @MichelleObama‘s boots last night?!
— Lauren Dudley???? (@Lauren9Dudley) December 20, 2018
Upon second thought, these aren’t boots, they are a religion. Michelle is the high priestess and we are but unworthy worshippers.
Okay, some fast facts about the boots:
- They are Balenciaga
- They cost $4,000
- Because I cannot see the end of the boots, I can only assume they are not only thigh-high, but actually extend all the way to heaven.
Here is another angle of the boots.
Well, I have never seen boots like this before. Have you? Love that @MichelleObama chose these for her last stop on her 2018 #IAmBecoming book tour in Brooklyn, NY. pic.twitter.com/GrN99KXIPU
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) December 20, 2018
Here is a link to purchase the boots from Saks Fifth Avenue which I cannot stop you from doing. But know that you will simply be unable to reach the heights Michelle Obama can reach in these boots. You will be a mere imitator of greatness.
It only feels appropriate that Michelle wore them while being interviewed by Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw aka the inventor of shoes.It’s been a long and a tough year but seeing our
former forever First Lady in these boots almost makes it all worth it. My only request is that we replace the American flag with this image printed on fabric and fly it high above this great nation. Melania could never.
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It’s hard to keep up with all the celebrity news these days. There are countless feuds between singers who hate each other that we are all aware of (hi Cardi B and Nicki Minaj). But there are some celebrities who hate each other that do so in a more
tasteful private manner. Ever think actors really aren’t that good at their job? Well, there are a bunch of co-stars who can’t stand one another and you’ll be shocked when you find out. I apologize in advance for possibly ruining your favorite movies or shows when you learn about these celebrities who hate each other. Whoops.
1. Rachel McAdams Ryan Gosling
This one broke my heart. Apparently, when they first started filming The Notebook the chemistry was not there. Gosling even asked the director to replace McAdams but instead, the two were forced into a couples therapy session. LOL. This ended up working because their acting in the movie is v compelling and the two even went on to date on and off for four years after filming.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes
During the filming of Romeo + Juliet, Danes found DiCaprio to be immature and avoided him at all cost when they weren’t in scenes together. DiCaprio was 21 while Danes was 17 at the time. She didn’t like that he would prank others on set, while he reportedly thought she was uptight. I guess it’s true when they say girls mature faster than boys.
3. Mariah Carey and Everyone
Carey has a reputation of being a diva. And the celebrity feuds she is involved in are endless. The list includes Nicki Minaj, J.Lo, Demi Lovato, and probably continues to grow as we speak.
4. Kelly Osbourne and Christina Aguilera
This one is rather one-sided. After Osborne said, referring to Aguilera, “Maybe she is just becoming the fat b–ch she was born to be. I don’t know.” Fat shaming is never cool. Although this duo has a long history of snarking comments to one another, Aguilera stayed quiet in this specific instance. Only time will tell if this feud will continue.
5. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall
Ugh. It’s v depressing to know that your fav BFFs on TV are actually part of the list of celebrities who hate each other. That said, Parker and Cattrall have been pretty public about their *lack of* friendship. In February, Cattrall posted to her Instagram (see post here) to call Parker out for being a fake friend and to tell her to leave her alone after her brother’s death. Ouch. Fans, including myself, were devastated to learn about this feud, especially since that meant no third Sex and the City movie.
Images: Giphy (3)
The legacy of Sex and the City has been debated hotly and often since its debut. As an avid fan—like, own-a-SATC-branded-tote-bag avid—I’ve faced a wide range of reactions. More often than not, I’m made to feel I should be embarrassed, if not apologetic. It makes sense—SATC haters see, at best, a grating six-year chick flick. At worst, they see a cesspool of materialistic internalized misogyny. And while I see (and cringe at) those aspects, I also see an exploration of women’s problems that no one else was putting on TV. I see a defense of the right to care deeply about things men laugh at, or dismiss. So, is Sex and the City sexist? In the interest of deciding once and for all whether I’m going to apologize for my love of SATC, I’ve compiled a list of the show’s best and worst moments, sexism-wise. Let’s dive in.
Best: Crying At Work
There’s a hilarious scene after Samantha is called “emotional” at work. That’s code, she explains, for “I don’t want to hire this woman.” Charlotte is still haunted from the one time she cried 10 years ago. Miranda has cried, but only in the privacy of her office. Samantha has never cried; Carrie faked crying to get out of a deadline. The girls inform her, with annoyance but no real anger, that she’s making all of them look bad.
This is where SATC shines—it presents the expectations women are faced with, and explores their options. There’s a huge power just in naming this dynamic they’ve all faced, and even more in not laying down a judgment on how they handle it. Even Carrie, who gets the most heat for playing to men’s expectations, is gleefully frank in her reasoning: “Boo hoo, it was 80 degrees and sunny.” I fully respect that, and I equally respect Miranda fleeing to her office. They’re just doing what they can to live their best lives.
Worst: Working At Work
The depiction of the women’s careers—other than Miranda’s—I find troubling for a few reasons. Both Samantha and Charlotte frequently sleep with people they should be treating as clients, muddling the success they’re then seen to enjoy with their desirability for men. Carrie by definition is sexualized in her work—and tops it off with a level of incompetence (that girl needs several months of computer classes) that brings any professional success into serious question. If three out of four successful women have their careers depend on men finding them sexy, and every single one of those instances is met with reciprocated desire instead of discomfort, that’s a problem for me.
Best: Trey’s (Literal) Impotence
Trey is both Charlotte’s downfall and her saving grace. At first, he’s everything terrible that she wants—he’s the white knight of all her worst Victorian daydreams. But once the wedding’s over, it’s immediately hollow. They don’t have sex. He refuses to discuss it. If she wants sex or openness in their marriage, she’s on her own. And, as women do in a crisis, she handles it like a boss. Charlotte, a woman who has never willingly looked at her own vagina, becomes an overnight expert on the physical and emotional triggers for ED. She handles it with more comfort than her literal doctor of a husband. And eventually, she leaves him, giving up the option of continuing in a picture-perfect marriage. Charlotte realizes she needs an equal partner who will fight as hard as she does, even if it isn’t easy. This is a lovely moment because Charlotte is almost strong in spite of herself. You can feel how badly she wants it to work.
Worst: Big’s (Figurative) Impotence
Speaking of women being strong, let’s discuss Carrie’s kryptonite: Mr. Big. (I’m totally Team Big over Team Aidan, no one from either camp @ me.) But Jesus Christ. It’s oft repeated in the show and in subsequent interviews, like this one from Chris Noth, that Mr. Big is “honest.” He’s honest that he doesn’t want a serious relationship, that he can’t commit. You probably recognize this line from every college fuckboy, because 22 is the suggested age cap on accepting this bullshit.
The thing his, Carrie is honest too. She might not be as on-the-nose about it as Big, but that’s because admitting you like someone and want to be with them is a lot scarier than saying you don’t want those things. It’s evident to anyone with half a brain that Carrie wants a relationship, that she loves him. And yet, the storyline here is largely of Carrie being dumb for letting a guy repeatedly ruin her life. Why is everyone on this show, Carrie included, forced to act as though Big was incapable of leaving her the fuck alone?
Carrie: Just let me be happy.
Best: Anal Sex
The scene where the girls discuss anal sex in the back of a cab is among the show’s most iconic. In under five minutes, they lay out all the considerations a woman must make before engaging in sexual activity. Yes, desire is on that list, but as women, it’s never the only thing we have to consider. There’s the shift in power. The longstanding effect to your reputation. Whether the request contained adequate regard for your comfort and enjoyment. What it would mean if you said no. As with the discussion of crying at work, the options are laid out, not judged. What for a man amounts to “do you want to” is revealed in all its complicated, messy glory for women. Watch it just to see Carrie deliver this line: “Sir, we’re talking up the butt. I think a cigarette is in order.”
*Carrie during this conversation:*
Worst: Gay Sex
I have neither time nor energy to delve into SATC’s overall BAD treatment of gay people. To stick to specifically sexist moments, let’s all admit that Samantha’s brief lesbian relationship was more than a little embarrassing. It was a dull, insulting imagining of how men picture lesbian relationships. Samantha leaves her girlfriend because “too much talking” and because she can’t live without a healthy amount of dick in her life. I’m not saying every minute aspect of this was unrealistic, but it was the most uninteresting scenario possible. It affirms absolutely nothing beyond dull tropes like “women are all talk and no sex” and “dick cures all.” No, and definitely not.
The only acceptable type of Samantha breakup:
While SATC covers “small dramas”—dating, friendships, shopping—I refuse to call those issues petty in a negative sense. I care deeply about all of those things, and I love that SATC offers a defense of being “petty,” of caring about things deemed too “small” in the face of Important Manly Tasks. Men scoff at so many so-called “feminine” things because they have the option of doing so. (If men faced the same judgment for going makeup-free, for example, they’d all be up at 6am with contour kits.) Sex and the City, in my opinion, is a portrayal of what it’s like to simultaneously live within and struggle against society’s expectations. It’s not perfect, but it’s not stupid or negligible either. Is Sex and the City sexist? Sometimes. But among so many other deeply sexist TV shows of the 90s, I’d argue it’s a better choice than most.
We always loved Sex and the City, but honestly the drama between the ladies has been even better since the show ended. This weekend, Kim Cattrall blasted Sarah Jessica Parker on Instagram, and we’re still recovering. In the past, Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones, if you’re new here) has been open about not always having the best time on the show, calling out SJP and others, but this new development is a whole other level.
It all began last Sunday, when Kim Cattrall put a text post on Instagram announcing the unexpected death of her younger brother. Now, we normally have some strong thoughts about text posts on Instagram, but these are really sad circumstances, so it’s okay. Kim asked for privacy for her family and herself through this difficult time, and obviously tons of people commented their love and support. Pretty normal stuff. Among the commenters were Sex and the City costars Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) and Sarah Jessica Parker. Again, there’s just nothing weird about this. Sure, SJP and Kim have had their differences in the past, but it’s not that hard to put aside your beef and say you’re sorry someone’s brother died. But this story is far from over.
Kim responded to Cynthia’s comment, thanking her for her kind words, but SJP got no such response. Well, not until Saturday, when Kim returned to Instagram like a bat out of hell, sent here with the sole purpose of destroying Sarah Jessica Parker’s fucking life. This time, she went for the text post again, but it was 100% savage.
My Mom asked me today “When will that @sarahjessicaparker, that hypocrite, leave you alone?” Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona. Copy and paste link https://nypost.com/2017/10/07/inside-the-mean-girls-culture-that-destroyed-sex-and-the-city/
Um, should we be here for this? Do you want us to like, go outside so you can have this conversation in private? Nope? Okay, we’ll happily stay and talk shit. So, like, what exactly was Kim going for here? We’ve all known for years that she’s not exactly Sarah Jessica’s biggest fan, but it sort of seemed like she was maybe just trying to be nice? Clearly that’s not how Kim sees it. Instead, she calls SJP a cruel hypocrite who’s exploiting their tragedy to restore her “nice girl” persona. Wow, is she practicing her SAT words? While we’re not sure why anyone would want to be a nicegirl on purpose, Kim really thinks she’s the fucking devil.
Sarah Jessica Parker hasn’t made any sort of public comment on this whole debacle, but it seems safe to say that Sex and the City 3 probably still isn’t happening. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to watch all the old episodes on HBO Go like I’ve been doing for the last decade. We’re eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the Kim/SJP feud, which will no doubt take place in a Vanity Fair interview or some classy shit like that where SJP calls Kim delusional while also being so diplomatic it hurts. We love drama, can you tell?
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2); @kimcattrall / Instagram