So that’s it for the first season, eh? It was definitely an exciting ride and I can see why it hooked so many people, but I don’t think that this season portrays the series at its best.
Like so many shows, this one suffers from First Season-itis. It is inflamed with unnecessary elements and identity issues.
Let’s start with the identify crisis. Some shows are lucky to know exactly what they are when they start and their first season is always one of their best (Glee, Desperate Housewives were great starters but lost their ways). Sex and the City, however is torn between two things: sex and relationships.
I won’t deny that sex is a great hook, but when you’re main characters are basically mannequins that you throw into different sexual encounters every week, it gets boring. Thats when the relationship portion gets introduced, but that can be a problem if things get a bit too soap opera-ish.
While the show does eventually focus on relationships (actress Sarah Jessica Parker actually emphasises this later in the series’ run), and soap opera shenanigans ensue but with HBO’s signature edginess, in the first season we get an uneven mish mash. Some episodes are sex heavy and plotless, while more plot based ones are rather dry and not very sexy.
Let’s also talk about some unnecessary elements. I enjoyed the journalistic approach for the first few episodes, I admit. It’s a much different tone than what we get later on in the series, but it’s fun. However, once we start to get to know our girls a bit more, I found that the random interviews were more distracting than informing. I would rather hear the main characters’ opinions on sex rather than some innocent bystander.
While the series does juggle its slew of guest stars rather deftly, this season was a bit too haphazard with the supporting characters… oh, who am I kidding…
I can’t stand Skipper. Even his name!
You either love Skipper or you hate him. While the writers eventually found some usefulness for him in the last episode, he was just a really bad concept. Some of you might find his nerdiness endearing, but he just clashes too much with the girls. He’s not sexy, and is a bit too immature.
But here’s where I change my tone. Sex and the City is a show I really enjoy, and for all its faults, I consider the first season to be a prototype for the seasons that follow. There are several themes that are reused and expanded upon, namely sex, but also things like marriage, pregnancy, strange men and women and their sexual kinks, and of course, relationships.
It’s the last one which divides most people about this show. Season one gives us all this sex and a sense of adventure into a topic that many people find difficult to discuss. Don’t worry that it disappears because we get more of these adventures throughout the show, but many people were turned off when relationships got involved.
But seriously, we have all kinds of shows about relationships and the drama they cause. Why did Sex and the City have to become another one?
The switch in focus is just drawing the conversation this series started with the public into more mature and deeper topics, and sex was just the pick up line. This show became famous for bringing a modern, and, more notably, a female perspective to what sex means in our modern world. The switch to relationships also mirrors our gals maturing into women as well as fleshed out characters that get actresses nominated for all kinds of awards…
It can be seen as a rough start, but the show gains traction soon enough. Everything you got in this season you get exponentially more later on, minus some needless details. Besides, some of the most beloved shows had a rougher start than Sex and the City. Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, had *two* seasons of mostly crap before becoming one of the best sci-fi series ever.
Did I just compare Sex and the City to Star Trek? Oh yeah, because that’s how I roll.