I remember the first time I watched the finale of Sex and the City. It was 2004, I was a sophomore in college at the University of Arizona (go Cats!), and I was watching it off of a VHS tape. That was because my dorm, Kaibab-Huachuca, definitely did not have HBO, but I was lucky enough to have a roommate whose mom did at home and had offered to tape the final episode and ship it to us from California.
The night we watched it was a big deal. (Or perhaps it was a Big deal!) My roommate and I huddled together on our queen-sized bed (we’d pushed our bunks together), booed the Russian, and clapped as Big threatened to punch him. It was the end of an era. We felt it. It was bittersweet and pretty magical.
It’s nearly a decade later and I’ve been revisiting Sex and the City, which is like visiting an old friend. You simply pick up where you left off. There’s still love there, still lessons to be learned, still tons of laughter. And there’s still sex. Lots of it. And the gossip it creates.
I started with episode one and instantly got re-addicted, because it’s utterly fabulous. And that’s because it’s utterly relatable. The producers and writers of the show sat single women around a table and asked them to tell their most terrifying, most beautiful, most unbelievable sex and relationship stories. And those stories became the stuff of the show. Which means there’s a girl out there who was broken up with on a Post-It note. A girl out there who was asked by her boyfriend to pee on him in the shower. (I do wonder if this was really a politician!) A girl who received insider trading trips from a man she was sleeping with on Wall Street.
This show wasn’t afraid to show the awkward and humorous sides of sex. Which is so important. Because sex is not sugar-coated or proper or predictable. And relationships are messy, constantly shifting, complicated. Whether pondering whether the nuclear family is the best option for you or trying to figure out what to do about a guy’s funky spunk, chances are good you’ve been there – or you have a girl friend who has.
And that’s why I love watching Sex and the City today as much as (and maybe even moreso than) I did in college. There’s real life application going on here, people. It’s like spilling your guts to a bartender. We’re commiserating and celebrating together. And that is priceless.
And then there are the girls. Carrie. Samantha. Miranda. Charlotte.
I remember there was this whole trend where girls would choose which Sex and the City character they “were.” I’m pretty sure there were T-shirts out there that read, “I’m a Charlotte” or “I’m a Carrie.” I don’t identify with them this way, because each of them represents a part of me. I’m a writer and shoe-obsessed like Carrie. I have days of heavy cynicism like Miranda. There’s a time and a place to be proper like Charlotte. And sometimes, I get brave and brash and I just want to wear leather and molest someone like Samantha. Put these amazing women together and it just works.
This weekend, I watched the finale of Sex and the City. This was my first time watching all six seasons chronologically. It was raining and my windows were open. Watching the final scene was like closing a great book. I felt accomplished and a little emotional.
But more than anything else, I felt happy – happy that there’s a series out there like this one and happy that I will always have four wild friends to laugh and commiserate with at the push of a button.
It’s official, ladies and gentlemen. There’s still Sex in the City.