Happy 15th Birthday, Sex & the City!

by Shelby L Thompson

OMG, can you believe it? Sex & The City premiered 15 years ago today! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen every episode, though probably as many times as I’ve seen The Breakfast Club. Considering they both play on TBS every, like, 5 minutes, let’s just say a lot. When I heard that today is the 15th anniversary since the show first aired on HBO, I wanted to leave the office, run straight home (down 5th Avenue in my Jimmy Choo’s), grab a cocktail, and watch every sacred episode.

Well, maybe not all of it. Do I really want to revisit the first season when Carrie and her friends awkwardly talk to the screen? Or when Miranda’s hair and attempt to look power-woman-chic makes me lose my lady hard-on?

Maybe I’ll just watch my very favorites. Remember “My Motherboard, My Self,” when Miranda’s mother dies and Steve shows up to the funeral? Or “Anchors Away” when Fleet Week starts? Or “Cover Girl” when Samantha helps Carrie get ready to appear on the cover of her book, gets busted giving a BJ to the World Wide Express guy, and delivers the iconic line: “I will wear whatever and blow whomever I want as long as I can breathe and kneel”…? Ugh. Classic. 

That first season may have been rough in some ways, but it established an obsessive love connection with those four fabulous ladies that may even rival my love of the original Fab Four. As the series grew, it mixed Carrie’s often cheesy and cheeky one-liners with some deeper topics and tones. Whether about love and loss, accidental pregnancies, or a good fuck, throughout all six seasons, women from all over the globe got to imagine what it’s like to be cool, confident, sexy and successful in New York City.

I especially love the suspension of disbelief – we can ignore the fact that the girls live in impossible apartments, survive on a salary that can no way maintain their lifestyle, and never, ever run out of shoes or men to date which is in fact, not at all how New York City works for a woman in her 30s. Trust me, I’m one of them.

But that’s all part of the magic. Let’s talk about the girls a bit. 


Of course, there’s Carrie. Even though she might be infuriating at times, she’s also a romantic and a cynic, a shopping-obsessed soul-searcher who, in the end, works hard to live the life she wants – even though it’s a bumpy road. Luckily for us, she doesn’t marry Petrovsky – whether you’re with Aidan or Mr. Big, you’ve got to admit that was a happy ending.


I love that Samantha owns her sexuality, and that we can live vicariously through her escapades. And I love that even though she seems completely unreal and fearless, she shows us her soft side sometimes, and confesses to lots of fears – of marriage, children, age, and love. She admits to failures and proves that while we can’t have it all (as we see in “All or Nothing”), we sure can have most of it.  


So Charlotte may seem like the most put-together of the gang, but her fear of not being able to create the most perfect life nearly destroys her. We see her marry the wrong man, meet the right man, nearly lose him, and then succeed in making the life she wants. While this may not be the life I want, I appreciate that the show made that happen for her.


And who doesn’t love Miranda? She’s smart, snarky, sexy (eventually) and like Samantha in that she too wants to be successful, but on her own terms. Get it, girl! I cry in all the episodes that involve Miranda and Steve, including “One” and “The Ick Factor”. But when she dates Blair Underwood I must admit that’s a pretty sexy time – Miranda never looks better.

Happy 15th Anniversary, ladies (and gents! Let’s not forget Stanford, Anthony and all the many, many hot boyfriends!). My friends and I can’t help quoting you, referring to you in any applicable situation (I challenge you to name one where it doesn’t apply), and still holding out hope that we can live as sexy a life as you did for so many years. 


Images via HBO.com and iheartsexandthecity.tumblr.com.

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