What ‘Sex and the City’ Critics Have Always Gotten Wrong

The show’s message about expectations, relationships, and women still endures

Caren Lissner
6 min readFeb 23, 2019
Photo: Bill Davila/FilmMagic/Getty Images

This winter marked the 15th anniversary of the last episode of Sex and the City after a six-year run on HBO that garnered it 54 Emmy nominations and seven wins. In the final episode, which ran February 22, 2004, perennial single gal Carrie Bradshaw fled her handsome but abusive artist boyfriend in Paris to return to her old life in Manhattan and an uncertain romantic future.

With each anniversary of the program’s beginning or end, the show’s fans have been treated to a spate of belittling articles about how it inspired high-maintenance women to flock to New York in search of shoes, parties, and the perfect 6-foot-3 real estate developer to marry. As film studies professor Diane Negra was quoted as saying in the Irish Times last year in one of the kinder retrospectives, “A less attractive feature of Sex and the City is the glorification of luxury lifestyling.”

One story last June had former dating columnist Julia Allison telling about how, as a Georgetown University student, she wanted to be just like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha, so she used the show as a “road map” and “envisioned nonstop brunching and shopping.” She spent years dating the wrong men and, for…

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Caren Lissner

Author of nerdy novel CARRIE PILBY (film version‘s on Netflix). Finishing up offbeat memoir. Love dogs & puns. Read more: http://carenlissner.com.