Forgotten Love: When I veer in strange new directions and talk Sex and the City
I am going off in a strange direction for me: talking pop culture. While I was working on this week's card, I reflected on "Forgotten love". I struggled a bit with it. What love have I forgotten? I considered devoting this week's blog to things that I loved in years gone like a rendition of the song "My Favorite Things" in the movie, "The Sound of Music" but then Cynthia Nixon popped up on my screen in relation to something she's been working on and then this morning I stumbled on an article talking about a revival of the show, "Sex and the City".
It's been a number of years since I've watched it. I remember when it came out, it seemed edgy and very "of the moment". The show focused on the lives of women, but not in relation to their family dynamic or suburban homes. The stories revolved around their lives as single women with only the occasional reference to their careers or their pasts.
Looking at the show now, it feels very dated. The women on the show (except for Miranda) don't have children but instead their lives revolve around men and dating. Their careers are almost an afterthought, just a means to pay for their high end fashion items. There doesn't seem to be any real passion for them in regard to their work. Their passions are all directed toward the men they are dating.
I wasn't particularly cognizant of this when I initially watched the show. I loved the glamour of New York City. I loved all the high end fashion clothing. It seemed as if they were living the dream.
At the height of its popularity, it was a trend to identify with one of the main characters. I remember thinking that I was definitely a Carrie with a little bit of Miranda and Samantha thrown in. I never related to Charlotte (she was the hopeless romantic).
I was not one of the girls in grade school who wrote in pink script and put hearts over her i's. I didn't have a string of crushes on boys the way some of my classmates did. I had ambitions, very vague ambitions, but I knew that I didn't just want to marry and have children. I wanted fulfilling work.
Years and years later, I've found fulfilling work and have only recently started to realize that a real connection with a romantic partner can actually be a good thing; a thing that can add value to your life.
The re-boot of the show will follow the lives of Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbes and Carrie Bradshaw as they maneuver through Manhattan as women in their fifties. (Kim Cattrall has refused to have anything further to do with the franchise).
I did enjoy the character of Samantha Jones but maybe they can use her absence as an opportunity to add some diversity to the show, another thing that was desperately lacking in the original "Sex and the City".
I can't help but hope that the writers update the value system of the show as well. Watching the original, I'm overwhelmed by how little we really know about the characters. Why did Charlotte York want to manage an art gallery? How did Samantha Jones end up owning and running her own publicity firm? Why did Carrie Bradshaw become a lifestyle writer when all her passion seems to revolve around high end fashion?
We know the most about Miranda Hobbes and the demands of her time consuming career. For her character, it feels like a negative. She devotes all her time and energy to being a lawyer and trying to make partner in the firm. She works 60+ hours a week. She spends very little time with her son and husband (which Steve uses as justification when he has an affair).
In a poll, viewers ranked their favorite characters and Miranda polled at just 8% yet looking back on the original show, Miranda is the character with the most modern sensibilities. She's articulate. She's ambitious. She's intelligent. She's the only one who ever points out that they are fully independent women with fully realized lives and careers. Why do their conversations always revolve around the men they are dating?
I thought I was a Carrie but really I think I would prefer to be a Miranda. As they re-boot the show and start work on new plotlines and character arcs, I can't help but hope that they modernize the show; that they give all the female characters fully realized lives and careers.
We aren't just foils for men. We don't actually sit around all day and talk about men. We love, yes, but we love many things. We have interests. We have ambitions. We feel passion for things that don't involve romance. We lead fully realized lives that don't revolve around men or children. I truly hope that they are cognizant of this as they bring the show back for a second time.
Charlotte York and Carrie Bradshaw need a little bit more Miranda Hobbes in their characters and in their lives.