Last year I re-watched all the season of SATC. A show I practically worshipped in high school based only on its glamour. As a teenager I couldn’t full understand the weight of the adult topics being played before me. I was simply enthralled about the big city life and fun clothes. While the series was still on, I only started watching it its 4th or 5th season. By then the fashion had become a dominating factor of the show and the characters. So as I am now the supposed age of these characters, did the show actually address single life in the 21st century?
Re-watching it in 2018, I wanted to see if the situations and relevance could still be applied to today’s millennial era. The first season and episodes aren’t about the style and fashion and pursuing glamour in the Big Apple, it actually focused on relationships and why they failed. It addressed the topics of being an independent woman and having choices. More importantly, it actually focused on experiences on modern day relationships that was relatable in real life.
Single life in the 20th century
The first three season do not give too much into the character’s personality. They are rather 2-dimensional and are in a place in their lives that are easily to connect with. What made them distinct was their problems they encountered in the dating world. The dates they went on weren’t full of glamour and rather showing the awkwardness of first impressions, mistakes and those red flags!
Season 4: The Game Changer
This is the season becomes the show’s game changer. It now focuses on the characters, money and the all-encompassing fashion. The plot no longer addresses various issues on single life, searching for love through situations and different spaces. The characters became the focus and they even start talking differently. The start dropping quippy one-liners and puns while talking over lunch. Their personalities become based on stereotypes and they become wealthy. Super wealthy. As a result the glamour aspect overrides everything and start living rather unattainable lives as they pursue, for what I felt towards the end, the perfect men and the perfect lives. Having it all becomes the goal.
While Carrie continues to pose some realistic questions about finding love in the 21st century while smoking and reflecting into her computer screen, the writers start attempting to give the answers through the characters. Re-watching this, it didn’t really serve it justice. It’s actually really hard to identify with a specific persona or character.
Could you identify?
Watching it in the early 2000s there were many magazines articles on the seasons and episodes. These characters were supposed to present a ‘proto-type’ to the modern women that was identifiable. For someone in school this was obviously not possible, so we rather based it one who fashionable style we liked the most.
The cosmopolitan became the hottest cocktail to order around the world. The fashion became streamlined with the collections of fashion week. Carrie’s name tag chain became a must-have item and Jimmy Choo became a household name.
Before blogs, social media, Google and easily accessible internet, TV and print was how you got your info on trends. It was pretty one-way and the media was setting the trend. Nobody was questioning anything as the stable economy and limited social awareness made anything seem possible, even if it was unrealistic.
Is it still relevant for the millennial era?
Hmmmm…..for the large part I don’t think it is. While it’s fun to look back into a time where the standards were so much different we can also be very grateful how information is shared today and how it’s changing the way we see ourselves individually instead of as a prototype.
Did you know Donald Trump makes an appearance in the show? He hangs out in a bar where Samantha Jones looks for a certain type of man. Mr Big even gets likened to him. The Donald Trump man was somewhat the ideal type. Ja…… def not relevant.
In fact ideals are so last season anyway. The world’s economy also changed drastically after 2009, employment opportunities, career aspirations and our identity have become more complex issues. Today we are open to addressing the inequalities of different racial, social and economic factors that point out privileges that were easily overlooked before. In SATC, we only watch the privileged side of the spectrum and it’s ‘struggles’.
I think as I become the characters ages in the show, I have already faced far more serious realities than buying Vogue magazine. Our generation are also ‘woke’ to the narrative we put out in the media and inequalities created through it in the past. This makes SATC look outdated.
On a last note, I definitely think two things about SATC stay relevant: Miranda Hobbs and the fashion. While the fashion remains a testament to the era’s style and prosperity, Miranda Hobbs takes the title of the heroine. I felt she was made a bit dowdy in the show, but she was realistic and she actually posed seriously good questions and always had proper answers to them. Her approach and solutions were actually spot on and can be taken with good advice all the way to present day.
Cosmo anyone? Not sure when I last saw that on the cocktail menu.