Amid sobering current events unfolding around the world, humor me. Let’s take a break as I delve deep to uncover ageing revelations within a series that teeters between superficial and soulful.
Sex & The City made its HBO debut in 1998. It chronicled the dating adventures of four single career women taking on the privileged social scene of The Big Apple with steely determination.
Yet swirling beneath the cutting-edge fashion were relatable dreams, insecurities, and challenges that all women have as they search for love and acceptance. Above all, there was a constant spotlight on valuing the power and security of female friendships.
I remember never missing an episode when the first season aired. I was also in my 30’s, but that was the only commonality. I lived in the Midwest suburbs, juggling a full-time career with chasing an active toddler. There was no late night clubbing in spiked Manolos and satin slip dresses. Nor did I regularly sip on Cosmos during Happy Hours, chattering about current boyfriends or new restaurant openings.
“I don’t believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party. I just believe in parties.” —Samantha Jones
Now, don’t misunderstand: I wasn’t unhappy with my life. But who doesn’t seek a little change of scenery every now and then? The S&TC sparkling repartee, the full social calendars, and the endless appearance of intriguing new men satisfied my yearning for a little escapism.
And for those who also tuned in eagerly, who didn’t ponder endlessly if they were more like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, or Charlotte? In their own unique ways, each was independent and smart, yet tenderly vulnerable. Sometimes even comical.
“I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted! Where is he?” — Charlotte York
Yet consider this:
- Each was in search of her Best Self, on her own terms
- Each waffled between confidence and uncertainty
- Each had a distinctive style
- Each was on a journey to evolve
In a way, there was a little bit of each of us in each of them.
After an 18-year hiatus, the series resumed last year with And Just Like That. The series continues to dish up witty lines and feature beautiful people inhabiting penthouse pads or Brooklyn brownstones. It’s an affluent slice of life most of us don’t experience.
Now the ladies are navigating their 50’s and I was curious to learn what had changed with the ageing of the Fab Four?
- What emotional baggage was shed?
- What new paths were they forging?
- What visible signs of aging would be present?
- What frivolous footwear would middle-aged Carrie strut in?
While I don’t want to present spoiler alerts, I’ll confirm that the fashion show continues, along with the women’s nonchalant acceptance of their privileged status. But there are definitely some curve balls pitched for three of the four friends (Samantha is not part of the cast).
I was disappointed with the fatuous, slap-stick lines about ageing sprinkled liberally throughout. And the show’s heavy-handed inclusion of LGBTQ and POC characters felt contrived and calculated. Whatever was deemed essential for a PC cast or script—that was stuffed in there.
Regardless, this series was never about a deep dive into the challenges and issues unique to women. It was about skimming these topics in a superficial manner so we could focus on the eye candy and effortless banter. And they demonstrated how good friends keep us centered and moving forward.
Carrie nailed it with this statement:
“No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you’ll never go through it without your friends.” — Carrie Bradshaw
Who can argue with that?
The Wrap on Ageing in The City
While ageing may not be realistically (dare I say respectably) represented in the new series, it does deliver on plenty of frothy fashion, true to form.
I welcome the new cast lineup which is studded with diversity—yet it feels rather forced. Reminds me of how the last season of ER ended with a bang, literally: one after another of some of the most improbable hookups!
Female friendship continues as the enduring theme. Yet have you noticed that the ladies only gather when Carrie is present? Without her in the mix, you start to wonder exactly what the ladies have in common, other than her.
For a sneak peek (if you haven’t watched it yet) check out the trailer.
A short read on my own midlife search for female friendship, is over here.
- Did you watch “And Just Like That…”? What did you think? Yay or Nay?
- What’s your take on how the series represented ageing?
- Are you not a S&TC fan? Why is that?
- How have your female friendships changed in midlife? Have they? Why do you think?
Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!
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