Everyone knows about 'Sex In The City.' Controversial at the time, it was the first show to focus on sexually liberated professional women in a big city. Let's look at the first season.
The show follows the tumultuous love lives of four Manhattan friends. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a sex columnist, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is a lawyer, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) runs an art gallery, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) runs a public relations firm.
Eventually Carrie meets a suave single man that she falls for, known here as Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Miranda bounces between seeking the right man and being happy by herself. Charlotte is the most optimist of the group, eager to settle down and find a good man. Samantha sleeps with just about any man with a pulse.
The subject matter isn't for everyone. Many unsuspecting viewers might be turned off by the frank sexual discussions and pervasive nature of it. At the same time, if you can get past that, the writing is strong. The ladies' friendship comes across as real and everyone has a distinct personality. There are some dramatic moments but they never get overbearing. Comedy is infused into enough scenes.
It's impressive that, for the most part, all four women are given equal time and attention each episode. Carrie is clearly the main character (her narration is the deciding factor there) but the others are just as likely to inspire the episode's theme.
A few criticisms can be made. Especially in the first few episodes, Carrie has a habit of talking directly to the camera. Voiceover narration is usually a big enough pet peeve of mine, but breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience, when not done in a self-aware, humorous way (think 'Wayne's World') is insufferable. Thankfully, these moments are fleeting. There don't seem to ever be any real consequences to their sexual escapades. It can also be hard to relate to women who seem to operate on unlimited budgets and go out almost every night. For all of the weirdos and losers that the women encounter, Carrie is the only character who seems to grow and evolve, thanks to her semi-constant, complicated relationship. Yeah, Miranda sees this Skipper (Ben Weber) fellow a few times, but it's not a huge focus.
Special features include: a making of featurette, a list of awards, a television promo and some DVD-ROM features.
'Sex and the City: The Complete First Season' has a few kinks to work out, but was a great foundation for the series. It sets the stage for a few more years of bad dates, good friends and adventures in the city that never sleeps.
Not rated 300 minutes 1998