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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2887

The realism of Sex and the city is easily assessed by identifying what aspects of the show the audience relate to.

Extracts from this document...


John Fiske said that,

‘Like many domestic comedies of our time, Sex and the City has incorporated qualities of the serial or soap opera that make for what many researchers have studied as pleasure in melodrama.’(1)

 The realism of Sex and the city is easily assessed by identifying what aspects of the show the audience relate to,

‘ Nothing is out of bounds, sex is an adventure playground which doesn’t necessarily have much to do with love. It works as it turns on its head the age old female sexual victimhood. The rationale of Sex and The City is that these women want pleasure know how to get it and are determined to do so and the kick is in the assumption that the women are always great in bed, the men more varible.’(2)

 This is one explanation for the popularity of Sex and The city and in my opinion the most fitting as continuous viewing much like in a soap opera means viewers are able to admire the lead women for their career successes while at the same time, identifying with the relationship troubles they each endure.

        In Sex and the City the central theme in each episode is articulated by Carrie, often filmed looking out a window or walking meditatively around her apartment, then filmed looking at her computer screen while she types and speaks the central theme of the episode. The transference of the gaze from looking at her to looking with her is an example of the feminine gaze which contrasts to the long- standing male gaze which we media students would be most familiar with. However the female characters in the sitcom are still victims of the male gaze.

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powerful and dominant, telling her “every woman has a male inside of her.” The scene ends with Charlotte saying, “I think I need a bigger sock,” and falling into passionate embrace with the photographer. Samantha is in a power struggle of her own in this episode in which she has hired a male assistant. The assistant is described as an “alpha dog” and proceeds to run Samantha’s business in an aggressive and arrogant manner. In a final confrontation, he is rude during a client phone call. Samantha subsequently fires him and then propositions him, with the implication made that during sex she would be on top. In the final scene of the episode, Carrie’s relationship with her “bisexual”boyfriend comes to a head when she goes with him to his ex-boyfriend’s birthday party.

A multitude of sexualities and complex relationships are portrayed in that the ex boyfriend is now involved in a committed relationship with another male, and they have a baby together. The baby is the result of an egg that was donated by the exboyfriend’s ex-girlfriend (played by Alanis Morissette) who has recently gone to Hawaii to marry her female partner. Ultimately Carrie describes the party as “Confused Sexuality Land,” and compares herself to the character of Alice in Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. The scene concludes with a game of Spin the Bottle in which Carrie is kissed by the Alanis Morissette character. Carrie leaves the party resigned to not being comfortable with the deconstruction of the gender roles, chalking up the ambiguity to youthful dalliances.

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 While the show does not try to tackle issues of feminist activism nor does it regularly incorporate images of women of color, it is able to offer a “realistic” portrayal in which many in diverse circumstances can still find meaning and perspective on the complicated subject positions of single women in our society. This is why Sex and the City can be considered a post feminist sitcom it shows there is not longer the culture of feminism that was present in the 1960’s. The abnormality of a woman engaged with technology and living an independent career fulfilled life has been completely turned around to the extent that it is perfectly normal to see women like Carrie and her friends lead their high flying promiscuous lives.

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