Sue Murphy on why the finale betrayed the series
I'm 32. I remember when Sex and the City was the most significant entertainment for women, besides maybe Friends.
I remember how many of the women I knew likened themselves to one of the lead characters in the show or said things like "I can be a bit Charlotte about that, but I'm also a little Miranda."
I remember how the final episode divided fans.
Before Bridesmaids had ever made it to the big screen, there was a HBO show that honestly tried to represent women. It was revolutionary. All you had to do was watch your mother squirm on the couch while watching Samantha's sex scenes to know they were doing something right.
If you aren't familiar with Sex and the City or were one of those people who sadly got sucked into the films, here's a bit of an update about the real series.
The story followed Carrie, a writer whose musings about her relationships and that of her friends were published every week in her column for the New York Star. Carrie had three very close friends, Samantha, the "sex one" as she became known to everyone, Charlotte, who believed in fairy tales and Miranda, a successful lawyer who liked to be her own person.
Now, yes they were rich, yes Carrie owned a closet that was basically the size of Manhattan and yes, they seemed to do nothing but eat lunch but at least they discussed some of the real problems women were having and not just problems that revolved around the men in their lives. Besides Carrie, who let's face it was a little self-involved, we had a woman who struggled with an unexpected pregnancy, another who suffered with cancer and a third who believed in nothing but fairy tales but found herself in a failed marriage. They openly talked about sex; bad sex, good sex, weird sex, you name it. They were fabulous women who had real issues.
And they were well-written characters. They were witty. They were smart. They had more going for them than just being someone's hot date. They respected themselves.
But you know who didn't respect their characters? The very show who created them.
Cast your mind back to the finale. You may remember that Carrie moved to France with her artist boyfriend and suddenly found herself quite isolated within an abusive relationship. She abandoned her entire life to move to Paris with Aleksandr and now suddenly everything was going wrong.
But wait, a knight in shining armour arrives! The one and only Mr. Big, the man who had an affair on his wife with Carrie, who abandoned her before because he couldn't commit (not even in the movie, he abandoned her again there), turns up to "save" her. She's the one.
Charlotte finds her man, Samantha finds peace and Miranda manages to become super mum.
Everything's going to be fine etc etc etc.
What a betrayal.
Those women didn't need the men in their lives to "complete" them like the finale suggested. We had watched for four series as they dealt with their own dilemmas. Charlotte ended up with someone she previously would never have considered, Samantha was a strong empowering, successful woman who openly discussed her sexual prowess while Miranda was one of those independent women who found it a little difficult to give up her independence.
But no, they found the one and everything was suddenly happy ever after. This is not to say that they can't find happiness with their other halves but why did this suddenly have to define them? Why give in to that typical Hollywood ending where the men in their lives suddenly defined them? It was infuriating. Carrie should have returned to New York by herself and not needed anyone to "save" her. The very next scene she's wandering through New York looking fabulous on the phone to Mr. Big. They couldn't even end the show with the four women who began it. It makes my blood boil even thinking about it. Mr Big gets that last phone call. Why does he get that honour of that last scene?
Last week, even the creator of Sex and the City admitted it betrayed the entire affair. He told Deadline: "I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage. Not that they can’t. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it. That’s what had made women so attached.”
Let's not even get into the films. The series finale cut too deep.