Don't Get Carried Away: The Evolution of 'Sex and the City'
By Jo Piazza Posted Apr 17th 2010 01:00PM
Carrie Bradshaw and the gang have come a loooong way since the first season of 'Sex and the City' premiered on HBO in 1998. That first episode -- with its interstitial voiceovers from minor characters, which thankfully didn't make it out of the first season, unfortunate hair, sometimes wacky outfits and Carrie chain-smoking in her studio apartment -- is what made America fall in love with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. These were four single women living, working, loving and partying in the playground of New York City. We could have been like them. They were a version of us with cooler jobs and a seemingly endless capacity to wear four inch heels, but we could aspiringly relate to them. But now, things are different.
"'SATC' introduced women to style in a way no other show ever had. Style is their voice and that voice was fun! Four women, four distinct looks, each with their own personality -- everyone inevitably identified with one. They expressed their personalities through fashion. The overall picture has always been glamour, but beneath their super fabulous exterior were flaws, and we like those flaws!" says Samantha Yanks, Editor-in-Chief of Gotham and Hamptons magazines.
Fast forward twelve years (my god has it been that long!) and take a look at the movie poster for the second 'SATC' feature film. There's Sarah Jessica Parker, long flowing, sparkling gown, impossibly tall with tanned legs teetering on a pair of strappy heels -- in the dessert no less. And the cleavage ... Is it just me or was 1998 Carrie flat as a board? Are we to believe that Ms. Bradshaw is the one woman on earth whose boobs begin defying gravity in her forties rather than succumbing to it?
"'Sex and the City' was such a hit in the beginning because it was aspirational -- $40,000 on shoes, Carrie? -- but still felt real, and drew parallels that any girl could relate to. What with multi-million dollar apartments and Vogue spreads and now couture in the desert, Carrie is no longer one of us. It's a beautiful fantasy, to be sure, but no longer has even the slightest footing in reality... which, ultimately -- more than the shoes, more than the clothes-- was what made us love Carrie. She was us. Now she's them," says Styleite beauty and fashion columnist Nadine Jolie.
The point is that the original incarnations of these woman were glamorous, but they were also flawed and that's why we fell in love with them.
"Those girls were real women, like us, they dressed like us, made the stupid mistakes we did and we could totally relate. But now they are so glam they are more like their real selves [Hollywood stars] and less like their on screen selves, so they in some ways are no longer those characters," laments radio host Cooper Lawrence. "We recognize that, like us, they have to mature and evolve, but we didn't all become millionaires or marry them. Some of us, like Miranda, have kids and need to spend our money on them, not ourselves. Our shoes used to be our children; now our children are. Yet the 'SATC' girls seem to be spending every cent on wardrobe, bling, hair and make up. its not relatable at all, especially in this economy. It's like, we love to hate the 'Real Housewives' for their money, but the 'SATC' girls we just want to love."
Even though the evolution of the women and the show may seem jarring, it isn't surprising. 'SATC' has become an industry unto itself, setting trends and creating styles -- what you may have thought was a lampshade, is actually Alexander Wang couture.
"I think it's gotten more over the top and thus more inaccessible, but that's what we've come to expect. So Patricia Fields keeps upping the ante with the clothes and the shoes and the accessories, but I'm sure trends will still trickle down the way they always did from the show, then from the first movie and now they will from the second," explains New York Daily News fashion and features reporter Leah Chernikoff.
The cast and crew have been keeping mum about exactly where the plot of 'SATC 2' will take us, but from the trailer we know Charlotte is overwhelmed with double duty mommyhood, Carrie and Big are having a tough time making their own baby and the girls jet off for a sexy vacay to Abu Dhabi where Carrie runs into her old flame Aidan. That brings me to my next point of contention with 'SATC 2.' I can't go through the ups and downs of Carrie and Aidan and Big one more time. See the great thing about a romantic comedy is that no matter how long we suffer through the "will they" or "won't they" get together, it is all resolved in the end. This will be what -- the fourth iteration of Big, Aidan, Big, Aidan? It's almost too much.
And now it is time to quit my whining, because all of that said, I'll still be the first one in line to see the movie. I did fall in love with these ladies twelve years ago, through their warts and bad hair days and their glamour and glitz and seemingly unstoppable breasts.
Sarah Jessica Parker
©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Sarah Jessica Parker and son, James Wilkie (b. October 28, 2002) keep their heads warm as they walk to school NON-EXCLUSIVE April 16, 2010 Job: 100416P1 New York, New York www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com
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