TV

Why is Hannah Ford the only one talking about sex?

If someone asked you to name a successful HBO drama from the last few years, you would have many to choose from: Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Wire. The broadcasting company has expanded hugely in recent decades, with some of the most critically acclaimed TV shows in America and abroad being shown on the channel. You would most likely date its success back to one of the most successful dramas of recent decades, which began airing on the channel in 1999, The Sopranos. But another hugely successful show began airing a year before that; Sex and the City. But of course, compared to The Sopranos, a silly little comedy about four middle class white women in New York fades into the background.
But Sex and the City did achieve great success, gaining countless award nominations and winning several Emmys and Golden Globes. It received praise from critics and viewers alike. Yes, it may not have been a gritty, “something-to-sink-your-teeth-into” drama, but, when juxtaposed with HBO’s other successful shows at the time, it provided much needed light relief. It also catered for a whole different audience who were often overlooked. It cannot be ignored that Sex and the City was equally as important to the development of TV as The Sopranos just because it wasn’t about an old white man in a crisis. It deserves to be revered, rather than ridiculed. And no, I am not saying that with the bias of a fan of the show; in fact, I am personally not a fan of Sex and the City. However, I still believe that its importance in television history cannot be overlooked. Some of my favourite and critically acclaimed shows would not exist without it, such as the recent HBO comedy Girls, about a group of women in New York (sound familiar?), and Netflix’s hugely successful Orange is the New Black.
SATC ran for six highly successful seasons, spawned a successful movie (and a much less successful sequel, but let’s not go into that one). Sex and the City was one of the first major comedy drama series focused solely on women as main characters. And yes, whilst Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda may not exactly be feminist icons (in the words of The Daily Telegraph’s Tanya Gold, “Sex and the City is to feminism what sugar is to dental care”), it opened the door to more female-centric comedies and dramas, and with it a whole new portrayal of female characters in TV. No longer just the mothers, wives, or sisters of the main characters, women took centre stage. Surely the show must be applauded for that.
Instead, Sex and the City is repeatedly marginalised and made the butt of the joke; the “guilty pleasure” associated only with bored, gossipy housewives and gay men. It’s not seen as acceptable for anyone else to watch at the risk of being ridiculed. While I may not personally be a fan, I still respect and admire it for changes in TV it caused, and the entertainment it provided for its demographic. Love it or loathe it, Sex and the City deserves its place amongst TV classics, and to be remembered for being the first step towards more gender equality in the previously male-dominated world of comedy drama.

26/10/2014

About Author

Avatar

h.ford


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Why is Hannah Ford the only one talking about sex?”

  1. As much as I appreciate SATC, I don’t think any TV show deserves to be “revered”. That’s just silly.