Sex and the City

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Name: Sex and the City
Abbreviation(s): SATC, SatC
Creator: Candace Bushnell, Darren Starr
Date(s): 1997 (book); 1998–2004 & 2013–14 (tv); 2008, 2010 (films)
Medium: television, newspaper column, novel, film
Country of Origin: US
External Links: wikipedia
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Sex and the City is a well-known American television romantic comedy series, based on a novel/newspaper columns by Candace Bushnell, that ran for six seasons in 1998–2004. There were also two subsequent films and a short-lived prequel series. It focuses on the lives & sexcapades of four New York women in their 30s & 40s, and their quest for the perfect sandalman:

  • Carrie Bradshaw, a newspaper columnist who narrates each episode (Sarah Jessica Parker)
  • Charlotte York, the "good girl" (Kristin Davis)
  • Miranda Hobbes, the career woman (Cynthia Nixon)
  • Samantha Jones, the "bad girl" and older woman (Kim Cattrall)

Reception and Fandom

This article or section needs expansion.

The show's sexually frank nature, the fact that all main characters are (older) women, and the portrayal of women sometimes choosing to have sex without emotional commitment appealed to some fans. Criticism focused on the show's failure to address many issues such as race, LBGT, body image, poverty &c&c, a focus on seeking relationships with men rather than developing the friendships between the women, and the perceived toxicity of Carrie's relationship with Mr Big.

There is a little fanfiction for the show at Yuletide and on AO3, and ~160 stories on ff.net dating back to April 2002; it is an occasional crossover fandom. The show's mores have arguably influenced many female-centric fanworks – both positively and in reaction to them.

I am not a fan of the feminist-lite franchises but I was intrigued by the societal expectations they set forth for women, hetero-heavy narratives notwithstanding. These shows were ripe for remixing thanks to their all-female casts, character-driven stories, and focus on deconstructing social norms. They also had voice-overs I could manipulate and bend to my will. I also work with them because they are so easily disregarded as chick-flick nonsense. Neither Sex and the City nor The Real Housewives is revolutionary or defiant of stereotypes, but they both have potential. By "potential" I mean that there are multiple women cast in roles other than "the girlfriend" who talk to each other about things other than men and usually share some commonalities around navigating their life issues and career choices. But as these shows progress, some of these aspects disintegrate in the effort to "minimize creative risks and maximize profits" within their now highly marketable franchises. I enjoy making these characters into something that I, and I hope other women, would want to watch sans product placement. I'm attracted to subverting mainstream female culture. ...
PRVs are critical of an aspect of the story, like Edward's creepy, patriarchal behavior being accepted as romantic, or Carrie Bradshaw's failure to question her repeated unfulfilling relationships with men. Jonathan and I weren't fans of Twilight or Sex and the City, respectively. Instead, we were concerned with the accepted gender norms we saw existing in these narratives and sought to correct them: he by killing Edward, and me by editing out the men. (Elisa Kreisinger)[1]

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • The Good That Won't Come Out by cheapmetaphor. Widely recommended study of Samantha aging post-series, from Yuletide 2004. Victoria P. writes Wow. Just. I stopped watching SatC a few seasons back, though I know vaguely what happened later, but this is just... wow. Samantha, getting older, adjusting to change.[2] Espresso Addict writes Excellent not-so-happily-ever-after tale. One of those stories that's more profound than the show that inspired it[3]
  • "Carrie Comes Out"/"Queer Carrie Project" by Elisa Kreisinger (linked here; c. 2010)

Resources

References

  1. Interview with Elisa Kreisinger in Transformative Works and Cultures, Vol 5 (2010)
  2. unfitforsociety: yuletide recs v.5 (accessed 10 June 2016)
  3. Espresso Recommendations: Sex and the City (accessed 10 June 2016)