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SATC

By Amy Donohoe

Women are inspiring on and behind the camera. Here’s a list of TV shows that focus on the ‘F’ word – feminism.

These series contain talented,diligent women who are creating and defining the heroines we can’t wait to binge watch, all while creating the way for women of the future. 

Sex and the City

Sex and the City was the first TV show to introduce the ‘career woman’.

It was released in 1998 and it showed professional women on screen looking for love as well as wanting a successful career on their own terms, without sacrificing their femininity. The powerful female drama aired on HBO which was originally a male-dominated channel.

Sex and the City was a risk, and it was the beginning of something fresh – before then, there were few female-led series in existence.

It secured a loyal audience of 7.5 million in the US proving that audiences wanted relatable female stories such as inequality in the workplace. The six season series shone a spotlight on single women, without making them look desperate or needy.

This was the first time we had really seen women take ownership of their sexuality on TV as it was a taboo topic. The series showed men that women do talk about the dirty deed, and don’t necessarily lie back and think of England.

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies has spectacular scenery and great fashion but it also has horrendous scenes of domestic violence. It was intended to air for just a limited run, but HBO commissioned a second series – starring none other than the brilliant Meryl Streep.

It features powerful performances from its leading ladies Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley but it also tackles abusive relationships, sexual assault and motherhood in a refreshingly unique way.

Witherspoon and Kidman’s heartfelt Emmys speeches tells us there’s still a long way to go in getting female dramas up and running. Kidman opened up about why it was so important for her to be on the show “As an actress, we can read something and feel it, and in this case I could feel probably all of the women, which is a great thing…there was an enormous amount of protection and love for these characters from us as women.

'It was lovely being in their skin for a period of time, just because of the complexity of them and their truth.” This show strips these mothers back to their core to show us that they are nothing if not imperfect and complicated.

At first we see women rushing their children to school wearing high heels and driving fancy black cars. The closer we look we can see the cracks beginning to form: stories of human frailty, hidden insecurities, desire and distress.

It’s different. It takes the stories we are familiar with being told – adultery, betrayal, cattiness, dishonesty and deceit – and presents us with something new: real women, fighting real battles.

The Crown

The Crown is a story about the triumph of female strength in a world powered by men. It follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

In this series, we see a queen who not only takes her role seriously, but is also determined to be taken seriously. She is disappointed that her parents did not think it fit to provide her with a more robust education because of her gender.

Conscious that her lack of education is a weakness, Elizabeth enlists a tutor so she can feel more confident when talking to politicians and public figures.

In the show's first episode we witness the then-Princess Elizabeth promising to "obey" her husband during her wedding vows; an inclusion Churchill says she insisted upon. She clashed with her husband Philip in the early years of his reign as he struggles with feelings of emasculation due to the power held by his wife. Once she becomes Queen, the promise to obey becomes increasingly difficult to keep.

The aim to keep her husband happy soon becomes impossible to achieve because of the demands of her role and the royal protocols she must adhere to. The Crown co-stars, Claire Foy and Matt Smith, were not paid equally. Smith’s portrayal of a young Duke Of Edinburgh earned him more than Foy’s Golden Globe-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix show.

Producers later apologised and Foy was reportedly set to receive back pay.

Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy deals with many topical issues, especially those relating to females. It focuses on different ages, races, sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds of both the doctors and patients. It shows that women can hold positions of leadership and it repeatedly raises the issue of how unequal the demands on women and men are.

Relationships between women are also treated as something normal and it deals with everyday discrimination that same-sex couples face. It also consistently addresses what it's like to be a mother, including all aspects of motherhood and there's also a place for disabled women in the series.

The 14 season series reinforces that brains are more important than good looks and it also reinforces that it can sometimes be empowering to use your own body for your own purposes. When Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) is called "Dr. Model" because she used photos of her body to help pay for medical school, she embraces it.

Viewers can see that empowering women who are consistently portrayed as "tough" also need help sometimes and it’s okay to ask for it, but that doesn't mean they have to lose their independence too. Women support women in this significant series and the best relationships are the friendships made between women.

Creator, head writer, and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes is one of the most powerful and successful forces in television today. She helped star Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) get incentivised as she was earning less than her male co-stars. The bold move was successful and it empowered Pompeo and other females to fight for equality.

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The Bold Type

The Bold Type’s viewers are drawn to the empowering but messy stories the series explores, which includes learning to become comfortable with your sexuality and racial identity, and finding the courage to fight for the career you want, even if it means taking risks.

This fresh new TV series is about three women who navigate the modern world of journalism and publishing. The show deals with topics such as infertility and gun control. The women of The Bold Type fail in life, but this shows them receiving the room to explore this failure and understand that hardships aren't necessarily tragedies.

The optimistic and realistic thing about the show, is that we' see that it's okay to be imperfect. And they feel empowerment and security knowing their best friends will be by their side no matter what.

The Bold Type provides positive examples of women refusing to be held back by fear. It has genuinely good characters who happen to find themselves in interesting circumstances – there are no bad people or villains on this show.

The stories make us feel empowered and inspired, it's comforting and optimistic and it’s what people need right now.

 

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Sitting here on the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City's premiere, we couldn't help but ask ourselves – what are the most iconic looks from Carrie and co.?

SATC has provided us with some phenomenal fashion inspiration over the years, as well as some tales of warning.

The series' fashion was notable as much for its hilarious missteps as it was for its breathtakingly gorgeous looks.

So, dear readers, sit back, relax, and enjoy all of the iconically wonderful (and occasionally terrible) sartorial moments from Sex and the City.

1) The Witches of Eastwick LBDs

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First off, we could not relate to this episode from season one more.

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte all attend a friend's wedding together, dressed like a stylish coven, and end up at the singles table. And to make matters worse, it's the BAD singles table.

Nothing's going to rain on their parade though, at least fashion-wise. We love how each of their little black dresses subtly matches their personalities.

2) THAT fur coat

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Oh, you know the one. Nothing felt more cosmopolitan growing up than Carrie's (hopefully faux) fur coat, giving her that devil-may-care look.

3) Miranda's overalls

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Yep, these were pretty bad. At the time we couldn't help but think she looked like an overgrown toddler. Now, though, she just kinda looks like a guy you'd run into at District 8.

4) Samantha's gingham getup

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Sam was serving some sexy Pollyanna realness in this gorgeous checkered print. If we're throwing a BBQ, we'll definitely be needing this outfit.

5) Charlotte's second wedding dress

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Charlotte's first marriage was a hot mess, and that included the wedding dress. Actually maybe hot mess is the wrong term for it – it was too cold and stiff. Her second dress, for when she tied the knot with Harry, felt much more like the real Charlotte: sweet, romantic, and pretty much perfect.

6) Carrie's first wedding dress from the film

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While our haphazard heroine may not end up actually getting married in this Vivienne Westwood dress, it's a dream. A literal dream. That is all.

7) Carrie's 'beach party' outfit

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Sorry, but… in what world does a beach party warrant a cowboy hat? She does vomit at the end of the episode though, which pretty much sums up our feelings towards this errant accessory.

8) Carrie's opening look

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We'd be remiss to pass over her classic tutu and tank top combo (That get bus water on them! The horror!). It's bubbly, it's fun, it's Carrie.

9) The FLOWER

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Okay, so this is just one of Carrie's bouquet of fabric flowers. There's something so lovely about the simplicity of this purple blossom, though, and we love that it's paired with coloured trousers.

10) Carrie's tutu outfit in Paris

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It's difficult choosing just one of Carrie's Paris looks – from the ladybird print dress to that stripey number with the gorgeous floral design, her wardrobe is holiday GOALS. 

This one feels especially poignant, though, because not only is she wearing it when Big comes to see her, but it also looks like a more sophisticated version of her look in the opening credits. Carrie's all grown up!

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While Kim Cattrall may have felt she had a 'toxic relationship' with her Sex and the City co-stars, as she previously told Piers Morgan, Sarah Jessica Parker does not feel the same.

'I’d just like to remind everybody that there is no catfight," the actress best known as Carrie Bradshaw told Vulture.

She emphasised the fact that there were four of them, her and Kim as well as Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) and Kristin Davis (Charlotte). This wasn't a case of two divas fighting on set.

 

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"I also want to remind everybody that there were four women on the set and I spent equal time with all of them, so this was not a set with two women who didn’t get along.

"I’ve always held Kim’s work in high regard and always appreciative of her contributions."

Later on, she added, "But, no, there is no catfight, there never has been a catfight. I’ve never fought with someone publicly in my life, nor would I." 

The Hocus Pocus actress also touched on Sex and the City 3. Kim had noted before that she felt she had blame unfairly placed on her for the film being cancelled because she chose not to reprise her role as Samantha.

"If she chooses not to do the third movie, there’s not a lot I can do to change her mind and we must respect it," Sarah shared, "That’s the only thing I’ve ever said about it, you know?

"The three of us have shared our disappointment that we’re not making that movie, not just on our behalf but our crew, but also just the people that have been vocal about wanting to see it." 

However, all is not lost! The story of our favourite New Yorkers could return – albeit in a slightly different form. 

The 53-year-old said, "So whether we choose to revisit it at another time and reimagine that story — that’s something Michael and I just haven’t talked about yet, that doesn’t mean we won’t, but we haven’t at this time."

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Fingers crossed we get to see the ladies back together! We will sorely miss Samantha's presence though, and her hilarious stream of innuendos.

Sarah reflected that, despite some of the public controversy between her and Kim in recent months, she will always be proud of the work they did together:

"We are enormously proud of what we got to do and I don’t want someone sharing thoughts publicly, which is Kim’s right to do and that is what it is, but we spent 10, 12 years of our life doing something that I really loved and I feel privileged to be part of and I don’t want this to eclipse it or change its experience for that audience that was so good to us for so long."

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Carrie Bradshaw is a complete style icon, whether you love or loath her daring looks.

Sarah Jessica Parker rocked Carrie's wardrobe for the best part of a decade, and in hour of the esteemed actresses 52nd birthday, we want to pay homage to some of her sassiest Sex And The City looks to date. 

10. Like this drop dead gorgeous printed frock, accessorised with a Mr Big

 

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9. And this divine swirl of mint green tulle

 

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8. This red frock looks perfect teamed with a black beret and a bag of Mc Donald's fries

7. While it is technically from the film, we couldn't not mention her amazing wedding gown. And that peacock feather? Iconic. 

 

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6. This deconstructed look sort of screams Vetements, no?

5. This Dior frock was just as controversial as the episode.

4. We're not sure how we feel about this plaid tea cosy with we appreciate SJP's commitment to tartan.

3. This floaty gown is spring wedding guest dress perfection.

 

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2. This ensemble is sexy AF, and we're not even mad about that gas little bustle at the back

1. Of course, the tulle ballerina dress had to get a mention. 

 

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Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote for YOUR favourite style icon, and you can do it right here!

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Sex and the City entertained us with the antics of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha for the best part of a decade, and now Instagram page Every Outfit on SATC keeps us amused with throw backs to some of the foursome's fiercest looks.

The hugely popular page has recently branched out into creating merchandise on their SATC shop, Miranda Solidarity

While having a browse, we spotted a very saucy surprise nestled amongst the Carrie tees and Miranda tote bags.

The store is selling sex positive Samantha Condom Gift Sets, the perfect gag gift for Galentine's Day.

Entertain the Samantha of your group with this gas gift, which includes a SATC-themed "Do Not Disturb" door hanger.

Each condom comes in individual pink and leopard print cardboard packaging, perfect for keeping in your clutch bag. 

The set comes wih five condoms, one for every NYC borough. 

"Samantha Condoms are made of FDA-approved premium latex and are lubricated, obvi," says the site.

Better safe than sorry, and who better to promote safe sexual encounters than the character who furthered the cause of female sexuality back in the 90s. 

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There's no denying that the pilot episode of Sex and the City way back when (1998, fact fans) signalled a major change to the way in which TV execs approached women's treatment of sex and relationships.

And while the viewer knew they were witnessing something pretty epic, it seems the show's leading actress wasn't as quite as quick off the mark when it came to recognising the show's potential.

Recalling the role which made her a household name, Sarah Jessica Parker admitted that she hadn't anticipated the impact the show would have, and initially decided it wasn't something she'd be comfortable with.

"When I did the pilot, I didn’t think it was going to change my life at all except that when they picked it up — or when I was reminded I did it, frankly," she said in The Jess Cagle Interview.

Explaining that after being approached on the street and congratulated on her involvement in the show, Sarah suddenly decided that the role would infringe on other pursuits.

"I was like, 'I don't know if I think I want to do that. Is there a way to not do that?' I met my agents in L.A.—Kevin Huvane—and I was like, 'Do you think maybe I could not do this now?'"

Sarah feared that she would be forever tied to the role of Carrie, adding: "Because I wanted to keep doing a play and doing a movie and doing a play."

"So, the way I thought it was going to change my life was that it was going to like hold me hostage to a commitment."

Thankfully for die-hard SATC fans, Sarah was convinced to give it a shot, and admits that she's so grateful she did.

"It was the happiest, it was the most productive, fulfilling professional experience I could have imagined," she gushed.

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If you – like us – were a die-hard Sex and the City fan back in the day, you'll be all too familiar with Carrie's notion that the world revolved around her.

While she may have claimed her friends were her life – or 'her insides' as she once told Aleksandr Petrovsky – it was pretty clear who the New York Star writer put first.

And now it looks like Sarah Jessica Parker has offered an explanation for her character's fairly healthy sense of self.

During an interview on Nerdist podcast, the actress suggested that the three main gals in Carrie's life were nothing more than a figment of her imagination.

"I used to wonder if Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda were real. That it’s all for the column."

"They’re such perfectly archetypal characters,” she continued.

“So you’re writing a column about sexual politics and observations of female/male primarily, heterosexual relationships, so you’re picking one type."

Suggesting that Carrie used these imaginary ladies to give her column added authenticity, SJP added: "She is among them because that’s her way of infiltrating story and affecting story too, to have her own actions affect those friendships and document their response."

We've never so much rubbish in all our…oh my God, wait…'her insides'.

Well, that's that then.

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Back in June, Kim Cattrall had everyone in a tizzy when she hinted that a third Sex and the City movie could be on the cards.

And now, Sarah Jessica Parker – aka Miss Carrie Bradshaw – has furthered that suggestion by saying there is a “possibility” that SATC will return.

While it is not yet clear whether the show’s long-awaited comeback would take the form of a seventh season or another big screen instalment, the 51-year-old actress told the Press Association that she and her co-stars have not ruled out furthering the adventures of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

The Hocus Pocus star said: “I don't think any of us have said no.  I don't know whether it's a series or the movie.”

“I think that remains an open question and discussion that will continue until it's been resolved.”

“I think [a comeback is] always a possibility, definitely.”

We have everything crossed that this “possibility” becomes a reality.

 

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While many of us consider the relationship between Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big to be a fairytale ending to Sex and the City, the series' creator would have done things a little differently. 

Darren Star, American television producer behind the show, revealed he was ultimately unhappy with how the hit HBO show concluded.

"I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don't ultimately find happiness from marriage," said Darren in a recent interview for Kindle Singles.

"Not that they can't. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it. That's what had made women so attached."

Carrie met Mr. Big in the first episode of the series that ran from 1996 to 2004 and many fans felt it was a fitting conclusion that the couple ended up together. 

The pair ultimately went on to marry in the first Sex and the City movie. 

The 54-year-old producer revealed that the decision to have Mr. Big and Carrie end up together was made by other producers and writers on the series. 

"For me, in a way – I didn't [write] those last episodes. At a certain point, you've got to let them follow their vision.

"At the end, it became a conventional romantic comedy. But unless you're there to write every episode, you're not going to get the ending you want."

We don't mind because we love a good fairytale ending, even if it's totally not real life. 

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Maire O’Flynn, is the envy of all Sex and the City fans right now (us included) – as she managed to meet her hero and style icon, Sarah Jessica Parker on her wedding day.

Marie and her new husband, Peter were enjoying their big day in Donegal, when the actress happened to arrive at the same hotel with her husband, Matthew Broderick

The bride said that even though she was hesitant at first to speak to the actress, guests insisted it was too big of an opportunity to ignore.

“I was very hesitant to approach her because I didn’t want to disturb her on her holiday and at a private dinner. But a few of the other guests thought it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t get a photo on my big day with such an iconic celebrity.”

Marie’s brother then went over to the SATC star who said she would love to meet the bride after she had finished her meal. Sarah then posed with Marie before she left the hotel, and even complimented Marie on her wedding dress.

“She said that I looked beautiful and hoped that I was having a great day… It added a bit of celebrity status to the occasion.”

Well Marie got the SJP approval, what more can you ask for?

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We always knew Sarah Jessica Parker was a big deal in the fashion world and not just for her brilliant portrayal of Sex and the City‘s, Carrie Bradshaw.

Now it seems that Sarah is now finally getting awarded for her own amazing sense of style.

It was announced yesterday that the iconic SATC star will be honoured at New York’s CLIO awards next month.

Parker is the first person to be ever awarded the new Honorary Image Award, which is mainly due to her big contributions in both fashion and beauty industries.

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Fifty Shades of Grey babe Jamie Dornan has ‘fessed up to watching re-runs of Sex and the City to get himself in the mood for his raunchier scenes.

While the former Calvin Klein model doesn’t strike us as someone who needs any help in the intimacy department, Jamie has admitted to turning to Carrie and the girls for a bit of help.

Having wrapped up filming Fifty Shades earlier this year where he played the lead role of Christian Grey, Dornan will soon be seen appearing in Channel 4’s new drama, New Worlds.

The Northern Irish actor said he watched all the SATC box sets with New Worlds co-star Joe Dempsie to prepare for upcoming sex scenes.

“Joe and I watched all the Sex and the City box sets,’ he said. “That helped.”

Jamie added that the whole cast of the Channel 4 series got involved in the steamy scenes.

“We had a ball,” he said, “It was a good craic.”

Where was our invite Jamie?

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