On a long-haul flight a couple of months ago, I was scrolling through the TV shows on offer when I came across the Holy Grail: every series of Sex and the City. Ever.
I proceeded to spend the next 12 hours in a haze of Manolo Blahniks, Cosmopolitans and never-ending brunches. It was the best flight I’ve had in a long time, even though I was seated next to someone’s cranky baby and a snoring man. I didn’t care – I had Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.
But even though I still laughed at the girls’ antics (and still questioned Carrie’s bizarre outfit choices), some of the plot lines just didn’t ring true for me anymore. In fact, ten years on from the show’s finale, it all seemed a little dated.
No longer is it the height of indecency to discuss sex with your friends, or to go for exactly what you want in the bedroom or at work. Many of the things that made Sex and the City so risqué are now just a part of every woman’s normal life.
HBO has since moved on to a more current viewpoint with Girls, which is certainly a more relevant show for any Millennial. There’s no high fashion, Vogue, or power suits – the Girls girl has a realistic body shape, reads Jezebel and Gawker, and drinks beer, not cocktails. It might not be a glamorous outlook on life, but it’s certainly closer to what most twenty-somethings go through every day.
Despite all of this, there is still something that draws me back to Sex and the City every time.
One thing that SATC has in spades is strong female friendships. The SATC girls were there for each other through it all – bad one-night stands, breakups, fertility problems and even cancer. Sure, there was the odd tense moment, but what female friendship doesn’t have those?
In contrast, Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna and Jessa are always slightly detached and distant from each other, never really bothering to fight one another’s corner. I know I’d much rather subscribe to the SATC model of friendship than to say, as Hannah Hobart does, “I’m not interested in anything [my friends] have to say. That’s not the point of friendship.” Ouch.
Girls might portray life as it is lived by most 18 – 25 year olds these days, but perhaps it’s a little too close to home? I love the sharp wit and relatable role models, but when I need a pick-me-up, I’ll still turn to Carrie and co.