Lately I’ve been re-watching Sex & The City. The series originally aired when I was a pre-teen but I don’t recall watching it until I was in my early 20s. My friend, a total Samantha, introduced me to the show. She was a part of my life during a time when I was just starting to think about who I wanted to be as an adult. She introduced me to a lot of things – she was so much fun – a total social butterfly.
As I’m watching season 1, I find myself asking so many questions:
- Why did we love this show so much?
- Why did we all say we were most like “Carrie?”
- Do other women my age look back on shows like this and hope young women don’t think this is a reflection on how dating is after 30?
I find myself watching this as a more mature adult and I see Carrie’s character so differently than I saw it 10 years ago. There are so many instances where she interacts with Mr. Big and she doesn’t express herself in a direct way – but rather, she waits until issues fester up and then she blows up. I can’t imagine acting that way as a 35 year old woman – especially over the minute issues they face – such as his casual glances towards other women in passing.
During the first few episodes (breakup 1 and 2) their relationship seems to be held back by his inability to commit. His character tells us that he isn’t ready to commit but that he loves her – and he seems to come from a place of honesty when he communicates with her. Frankly, I see her inability to communicate as a central issue in their relationship at this point. But looking back, I know I didn’t see the issues in that same vein years ago. In my early twenties, it seemed that the media I consumed and the voices I listened to didn’t teach us to actually listen to men’s opinions and feelings in relationships – but rather, critique their actions in such a way so as to anticipate cheating or other problems. We weren’t taught how to communicate properly.
I hope that people learn from family, friends, mentors or community organizations proper communication skills but I know that a lot of young people grow up digesting media – specifically learning the principles that will guide their lives, from the television they watch and I hope that we’re making better TV than Sex and the City today.