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May. 25 2010 - 9:41 pm | 704 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

The internet killed ‘Sex and the City’

On the eve of its debut, everyone is talking about “Sex and the City 2.” By most accounts, it is horrible

Luckily, that doesn’t matter, because the only thing that matters in Hollywood is not a movie’s quality but whether or not a movie makes any money, and there are likely enough still-sucking-down Cosmos ladies of a certain age and their hellspawn who will posse up in their minivans and go see this … this … whatever this is.

Surely, “Sex and the City: The Movie” wasn’t much. In a word, it was depressing. Exhaustingly so, really. It was mopey, often misanthropic, a paean to rejection. Big left Carrie at the altar, leaving Carrie miserable. On the heels of all those tears, the Cinderella ending felt like an afterthought.

This time around, the girls go to Abu Dhabi (actually Morocco), where they wrestle with menopause, cheating, and well-oiled young men. One imagines the problem here isn’t the advanced ages of its stars, the craptastic storyline, or the clawing materialism, but that whatever “Sex and the City” once was, it is no more.

Back in the day, “Sex and the City” was scandalous. It was shocking! For the first time on TV, women talked openly of vibrators, dished on backdoor assignations, and discussed their lovers’ funky spunk. In 1998, that was the cutting edge, kids.

No more. Now, every obscenity is but a click away. The censors have left the building. (Left to our own devices, we find self-censoring isn’t particularly appealing.) We’ve seen it all. We’re so jaded. Without sexual taboos, “Sex and the City” has nothing — no transgression, no insight, no wit.

Adding insult to injury, when Carrie got hitched finally, she no longer represented the endless internal debate of single-something women. When the franchise realized it had created a dud and a downer, it forsook character altogether for clothes.

Is this love? Hardly. As Carrie once told Big, “We’re so over, we need a new word for over.”


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  1. collapse expand

    1. People used to be thrilled by all that talk about kinky sex on SatC.
    2. But then the internet came, and made porn readily available for people.
    3. Therefore, people have no interest in SatC 2.

    Is that your argument? Because, if so, it’s rather weak. To make it work, you’d have to show that the ‘people’ in (1) and (2) are largely the same group. I doubt it; but feel free to make your case (with evidence).

    Why not reach for more plausible explanations? Exempli gratia: some have realized that the whole concept was rather insulting to women; the writing got lazy and dumb; it tail-spun into clueless materialism and general lack of ideas; and the women in it have been turning into off-putting, sad marionettes. I’d be interested to hear your guess on why the writers for SatC 2 hit all the wrong notes, judging from the trailer (I’d rather get a lap-dance from a relative that spend 10 bucks to see that horror).

    And I’d have welcomed, in your post, a note of a depressing fact about SatC 1. My missus tells me in the TV series the Carrie woman and the Chris Noth character had been having this on-and-off relationship for about 10 years. That’s the surest sign of dysfunction, to me. Yet they end up getting married, in the movie — the surest way to long-term unhappiness. What is the meaning of that marriage? Is it a tacit acknowledgment of utter defeat — screaming “I am a loser!’ at the top of a pile of Manolos? Or is it a perpetuation of that noxious American myth that, no matter how fucked up your relationship, it’s best to stick with it, for the sake of a goddamn ring and the illusion that ‘love’ will somehow fix things? That might explain why half of marriages in this country end up in divorce.

    Based on this verdict, I expect SatC 2 to be a tacit endorsement of ’shopping therapy’ — the illusion that buying shit you don’t need with money you don’t really have will somehow assuage the crushing pain deep down in your empty, unhappy soul. It may be meant as an escapist comedy, but I can’t escape being dispirited by its true message.

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