TV Series «Sex and the City»: Pornography in a glossy cover

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«Sex and the City» is the cult TV Series of 1990s and 2000s that was created by Darren Starr. The show was very popular and won numerous prestigious awards,  like Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.  This «western sex» came upon Russian television in 2003; the TV channel NTV was the first one to broadcast it. Then the show was repeatedly broadcast by STS and Domashnyi TV channels. There were six seasons of the TV series, two feature films were released in 2008 and 2010, and there is also a prequel to original series – «The Carrie Diaries».

At first sight, «Sex and the City» is a bright glossy TV series about single New York women and their challenges. However, what does it teach if we look at it in the light of traditional family values?

The show’s characters:

So, there are four middle-aged women, each of them faces difficulties in her private life for one or another reason. Each character will be analyzed separately.

Carrie is the narrator. She is a journalist who writes a column for the yellow New York newspaper, discussing relationships between men and women. Each time when Carrie is disappointed in «love», she pours her reflections out in her column using a philosophical style. It is a weekly newspaper within the story plot and so Carrie’s life is full of disappointments connected with men.

Each new Carrie’s story gives the audience an idea that lack of serious relationship and endless change of partners is an absolute norm for every woman. Such eternal values as love, trust, fidelity have long ago become outdated and there is nothing left in a modern big city but sex. Carrie is independent, has no responsibilities, she doesn’t know how to cook, doesn’t want to have children. Her life is a mixture of shopping, glamorous parties, meetings with her girlfriends and of course new love affairs.

tv series sex and the city pornography in a glossy cover 2 TV Series «Sex and the City»: Pornography in a glossy cover

It is worth mentioning, that the main character regularly drinks alcohol and smokes, and these bad habits are wrapped up «deliciously»: we see an elegant sophisticated women with a glass decorated with fruit in one hand and a cigarette in another hand. Such an image creates a symbol of beauty and freedom, although really popularizes poison. It is remarkable that the actress Sarah Jessica Parker starring as Carrie, doesn’t consume alcohol or tobacco in her real life, she likes sports and is a happy mom to three children.

As for Carrie’s girlfriends, each of them, just like Carrie herself, in some way or another, advocates the following ideas: dissoluteness or unbound sexual affairs as a norm, feminism, material values, alcohol addiction, exchange of social role of men and women.

Miranda is a career-minded lawyer with cynical views who often makes fun of traditional family values. She accidentally gets pregnant and has a son in one of the seasons. But caring about the baby is shown as something unusual, unnatural for a normal woman, a burden that interferes with her full life. Miranda hires an elderly nanny who takes care of her son’s upbringing; and meanwhile continues to do her career, party and have love affairs.

tv series sex and the city pornography in a glossy cover 3 TV Series «Sex and the City»: Pornography in a glossy cover

Charlotte is the only one who aims at having a full family, she believes in true love and dreams about having children. But unfortunately Charlotte is shown as a naïve and sometimes even a funny character.

Despite her strong desire, she doesn’t achieve to have a normal family. Her first husband was a reach impotent man with peculiarities. Having enough of adventures in such a marriage, Charlotte divorces. Her second marriage is a happy one, but once the couple decides to have children, Charlotte is proved to be infertile.  Having Charlotte’s story as an example, the audience subconsciously gets a very simple idea: family is very complicated and even a strong desire is not a guarantee that you will succeed in having a real family, and so it’s better to live for your own pleasure with no care for anyone and no strain.

tv series sex and the city pornography in a glossy cover 4 500x321 custom TV Series «Sex and the City»: Pornography in a glossy cover

The fourth character of the TV series and the most dissolute one – Samantha is a perfect example of this kind of behavior. She is successful and beautiful and she has it all: money, expensive clothes, and her own business. But her field of interest is limited to having sex with different partners and perversions.  Throughout the TV series she goes from partner to partner, accepts any kind of sexual experiments, speaks aggressively about monogamy, hates children and denounces the family institute. Samantha has a career in public relations, she is a media person who constantly goes out to exhibitions, concerts, fashion shows, restaurants. It’s this part of Samantha’s life that made her a very attractive character.

Judge for yourself: a beautiful, single, reach woman enjoying life – isn’t she an example to follow?

Moreover, according to TV show’s logic, Samantha owes this success to her natural selfishness, unwillingness to take on responsibility, lack of motherly instincts, promiscuous sexual behavior and perversions.

tv series sex and the city pornography in a glossy cover 5 TV Series «Sex and the City»: Pornography in a glossy cover

There is also an open advocacy of homosexuality in the show. Carrie has a very close gay friend; he is absolutely positive, a very nice, appealing character. Charlotte also has a similar close gay friend. In one of the seasons Samantha decided to try to be a lesbian. And within the story plot, she liked it, there are a few episodes when she lived with a woman, all the details of their relationship demonstrated vividly.

The most interesting part is that all characters of the series have a very attractive glamorous wrapping. They are all wealthy, elegant and successful people with wonderful sense of humor; they are respected and paid attention to, they are the true elite.

They have fun together, discussing their vices as if they discussed their virtues, at the same time being so free and easy, and happy…  This kind of technique makes the mass audience pattern their behavior and perceive their reasoning as true and their actions as right.

In reality, the TV series «Sex and the City» is a time-delay bomb which will eventually lead to demographical crisis, lack of respect of men and women to each other and complete destruction of the family institute.

Summary. TV series «Sex and the City» teaches:

  • Promiscuous sexual behavior, dissoluteness, impudence
  • Lack of desire to become a parent
  • Perversions
  • Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes
  • Material values and fashion
  • Substitution of natural male female roles in a relationship
  • Feminism
  • Cynicism

Drugs

Positive characters regularly consume alcohol and tobacco

Sex

The name of the TV series is self explanatory, and sex runs through the whole film like a red thread. Very intimate details of characters’ private life make a subject of each episode.

Violence

No

Moral

The film is the classical product of ideological machine that introduces a great number of vices to the collective conscious. It is mainly aimed at female audience.


Eugenia Pesennikova

Translated by Anna Osnovina

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