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Sex and the history

Cover of Sex and the City and Us: H
A review of Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love by Jennifer Armstrong

I’m a total Carrie.

How about you?

If you’re fan enough to get my meaning, especially if you dig behind-the-scenes showbiz nonfiction, you will probably love entertainment journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s fresh look at the enduring zeitgeistiness of HBO’s landmark sitcom Sex and the City.   

If however you’ve long since dismissed the show as sexed-up fluff, you’re not alone. Upon its premiere twenty years ago, critics derided it in reviews often pitifully hung up on star Sarah Jessica Parker’s physical appearance and the comfort level of male viewers. In 2018, those critics have proven shortsighted, and SATC is generally acknowledged as groundbreaking and influential television. Armstrong approaches it as such, weaving together a snappy narrative of its production history, commercial success, and place in the pantheon of American feminism. 

An overall laudatory assessment, Sex and the City and Us is nonetheless no hagiography. Armstrong confronts SATC’s shortcomings—its lack of racial diversity and its conflation of women’s lib and consumerism chief among them. Still, it’s clear enough that Armstrong believes those faults do not outweigh SATC’s resonance for myriad women and gay men as an aspirational source of joy, its reruns still shaping American dreams.

A fun way to revisit some of Sex and the City’s greatest moments while gaining insight into the bigger picture surrounding its creation and legacy, Jessica Keishin Armstrong’s Sex and the City and Us is nearly as satisfying as a Magnolia Bakery cupcake during Fleet Week. In other words, just fabulous. Read it.

Jul 31, 2018