Darren Star created “Emily in Paris” and “Sex and the City”.

Both shows feature gorgeous clothes and are a love letter to New York City and Paris.

Ok. I had no idea how to start this post out so I went with obvious and boring…

I recently watched “Emily in Paris”. Apart from the mentioned clothes and scenery, the show was trite and ordinary. The reviews said as much, though it did garner just enough tweets to get a second season…Emily herself is naïve, but a generally nice person. The people surrounding her- let’s just say there is some tension in the sandbox..

SATC was wildly popular in its day- and the talk of an updated show (sans Kim Cattrall) has been the hot topic of late.

I didn’t love the show “Sex and the City”. This little tidbit makes me an outlier in certain circles. I was not glued to my TV waiting to see if Carrie ever found love- I would occasionally tune in to see shots of my city, and the clothes…but no. I was not a fan.

Why was I not a fan?

Because the women were mean to one another.

None of them were actually nice people.

So, now we have a few directions this post could go:

  1. Do we have to like characters in a show?
  2. Am I stating that “women” are supposed to be “nice” and therefore I’m stereotyping or I’m a hypocrite or something like that?
  3. Compounding on the post from yesterday, were the women bullies and therefore did they deserve the bad things that happened to them?
  4. Am I overthinking the show?

I’m not sure where I want to go with this post- So maybe today I am not doing such a good job of flirting with you- especially as I mentioned two shows that did make flirting an art…

I guess I’ll tell you about my least favorite episode- the episode that annoys me the most:

Carrie has thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of shoes. Every pair is designer.

There’s nothing wrong with this except that she’s a writer, and not a particularly well paid one.

At a point in time, she needs to buy her apartment or she will not be able to live there anymore. Rent is a real issue in this city and if you lose a sweet deal on a rent controlled apartment because the building is going co-op, you are in serious trouble. Your rent could triple or quadruple- (pre-pandemic of course…)

Carrie asks Charlotte to sell her engagement ring so that she can use the cash as a down payment on the apartment.

When Charlotte balks at the idea, Carrie gets mad at her.

So let’s think about this:

Women spends all money she has on shoes. She is left with no savings. Then she gets mad because her friend won’t lend her the money…

Do you want to be like Carrie?

Do you want to be friends with Carrie?

These are all the things I think about when I think about SATC. I don’t want to be like any of the characters. I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of the characters…

Yet I wonder how lifelike are these fictional characters, considering that one of the Actors has chosen not to appear in the new version…

So…

Are women often mean to one another?

Do we expect our friends to help us out “no matter what”?

Is this show a real representation of female friendship? (If so- I have clearly been doing the friend thing wrong because my female friendships are awesome and life affirming and we may occasionally annoy each other but the love is evident in every text)

Emily (Paris) is basically a nice person- she screws up, but in a lighthearted oops sort of way. Carrie is a bit more calculated…

Which heroine would you rather see?

Is there allure to a character who is not so nice?

What kind of hero/heroine do you want to watch on TV or read about in a book?

Do you want things that echo your life, or do you want things that show you something far different than how you live?

Do you want to be like one of these characters? Or do you just want the wardrobe?

87 thoughts on “Sex and Emily and Paris and City

  1. I didn’t like Sex and the City either when it came out and everyone obsessed about being ready for the new episode. But years later I watched some, maybe most of it in syndication because at the time we didn’t have netflix and it was late and I was bored and there are parts of it that were entertaining. But they are so not me, nor do I like the irresponsible fake affluence that it just didn’t ‘hit’ me in the way it hit everyone else.

    I don’t necessarily choose a show (or book) where the protagonists match my views. I’m hit and miss. I am also not necessarily attracted to the clothes or shoes or hairstyles although I do analyze them if the story itself has enough intrigue for me. Anything shot in New York though interests me as I love the city and would love to get back to it one day to do more exploring, and that includes the interiors of the living spaces.

    Maybe I’m odd and weird. (I’m definitely odd and weird.). But the girls in that show irritated me. 😛 sorry not sorry 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I definitely watch and read things that are all over the place, so I don’t choose my hero’s/heroines with that in mind. And I like plenty of not nice characters…but they have to lead me in

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I only watched that show occasionally, but my overall take on tv shows based on women is how shallow the women are. Comedy shows being the exception, because well it’s just fluff and doesn’t pretend to be anything but. Other shows I feel take the worse traits and magnify them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never watched SATC, but from the sound of it, I doubt I would like it. We don’t watch shows that don’t have at least some characters we would welcome into our home. We watched about a half-season of Seinfeld and realized we didn’t like any of these people and would never invite them into our home if they were real people, so why were we spending any time with them on TV? We recently learned a lesson, though: we had written off Schitt’s Creek after a couple of episodes because the characters appeared to be shallow and self-absorbed. After so many friends recommended the show, we gave it another chance and found that the characters evolved and developed depth and appeal. We’re now loving the show and the Rose family would be most welcome in our home. We apply this litmus test not just to sit-coms, but also dramas. I suspect we miss some good acting and writing, but that doesn’t override not inviting bad energy into our home. All that being said, the characters in Big Bang Theory and Modern Family are welcome to move in with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh…Schitts Creek was the perfect show about character development. The evolution of all of them. That was television perfection. I’ve never seen a show do such a good job of making their characters real and showing their flaws and how they overcame things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now Schitts Creek annoyed me. Yes, it was funny. Yes, the actors were terrific. But after a few episodes I had no patience to continue. Everyone loves it, but I found the main characters so ridiculously shallow that I couldn’t tolerate watching them. Yes, I know it’s an exaggeration of real shallow people but still…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay LA, I will give Shitts Creek another chance. There are a lot of things I watched to escape the worst days of intense chemo. So I now wonder what state of mind I was in. It could be that I was just annoyed at the characters because I was fighting for my life and they were being ridiculous. Now that I’m not on all those horrible drugs I might see things differently. I trust your judgment.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I understand how the beginning of Schitts creek is off putting. But they evolve so slowly you don’t notice it at first. And they still annoy you. But you end up rooting for them

        Like

  4. I have seen one episode of SATC and watched every episode of Emily. I watch shows like these because they are female centered and I like the fashions and city scenes. But, mean girls do put me off. Which is why I like Gilmore Girls the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do we have to like the characters is such a big question, in TV shows and in books. I think, personally, there has to be a character we can identify with – even if they aren’t always likable 🙂
    I also never watched SATC, so the re-boot will no doubt pass me by, too. I have to say though, that when I’ve seen trailers, the characters (as shown in the trails) did put me off.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No, I’m with you on the nature of female friendship LA. My most recent female friendship group got together when we were all single again & dating in our later years. Very different, very independent, all pretty strong-minded – it wasn’t an obvious mix, but it worked & worked well. That is until the dynamics of the overall group got damaged after two members fell out. In broad terms, one believed the other had played a mean trick on her and so felt moved to express some hard truths about that friend’s relationship. The entire group haven’t successfully spent time together since then, although the other members have maintained the friendship with both – if separately. I was never a huge fan of SATC, probably only watching the odd episode.

    I don’t have to like each character, but I do have to find them believable and I’d struggle to believe in a friendship that survived an exchange such as the one between Carrie & Charlotte which you describe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I dated a girl who had replicated Carrie Bradshaw’s mannerisms. ALL of them. She had the way of talking, the hair, the love of shoes. Every. Single. Thing. She loved the show and was always trying to get me to watch it. So one night, I’m home alone drinking vino and I decide . . why not?

    Needless to say, I broke it off after one episode. With the girl and with the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t get why people were so enamored. She was so broken. Did that make people feel better about themselves? Or did they see themselves in the character and think they weren’t alone?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I never particularly related to any of the characters in SATC. I’d watch it occasionally for the wardrobe changes but I didn’t really like the women on the show. So I was never invested in it. On the other hand, I watched Emily in Paris while in chemotherapy treatment and I loved it. Now, keep in mind I was in a chemo haze, nauseous, vomiting and miserable, so it was a light hearted distraction. I’d probably have to rewatch it to see if I still like it as much. But my recollection is that it showed Paris as a city that was beautiful, the characters were very stereotypical, but I could easily overlook it because I liked the protagonist. She was naive, silly, her co workers were ridiculous, but it was fun. So I enjoyed it. And I will watch season two.
    However, I’m not sure if I liked it so much because it was set in Paris or was just a good distraction from the hell I was enduring. At the time my goal was to live first and when I got better, to visit my newly found cousins in Paris…

    You see my father’s side of the family migrated from Paris to America. I have pictures of my grandparents in the early 20th century wearing long dresses and top hats in Paris and two of my uncles were born there. I have always wanted to visit Paris but life some how got in the way.
    Right before I got sick while I was investigating my genealogy, I posted a photo of my Paris grandparents on a site asking if anyone could translate the Yiddish on the back of a 1912 post card my grandmother wrote. It was translated revealing their Paris address and who the post card was written to. The next day I got a FaceTime call from Paris, France . It was a long lost cousin who thought she was the last in the Kluchin family line. I was always told by my father that all my Kluchin relatives died at the hands of the Nazis. I discovered that two young girls hid while their family and all their relatives were taken by the Nazis and killed . I now have names, pictures, and know everything about them and how they died. But what my dad didn’t know was that two of his cousins survived. So, I have a beautiful cousin who looks like she could be my daughter. When the pandemic is over I plan to visit her and see Paris first hand. … ok back to your topic…

    Soooo. I watched Emily in Paris to take in the sites. To see where my family lived. To enjoy the fashions, and dream of the future. Even in a chemo haze I knew many of the characters were silly and very stereotypical of how we view the French. But still I enjoyed the series. Now, keep in mind…. when my French cousin and I FaceTime ( she speaks English beautifully), she keeps telling me I’m not at all like an American. She tells me my soul is French because I am enlightened. The fact that I disliked Trump, protested against him, she thinks that is what is so “French” about me. Because the French you see think most Americans are rather shallow. She and I talk literature, theatre, novels etc. and her preconceived image of Americans is someone who wouldn’t do any of that. So I would like to know what someone who is French thinks about the series. How real is it and how stereotyped are the French characters? I’ll have to see if she can watch and let you know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought Emily was delightful fluff. I love Paris and the show did it justice…it highlighted the gorgeous city. And yes…clothes. That’s so cool that a cousin found you! That’s the amazing thing about genealogy…finding lost lost people or stories or bits of history!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m glad you found Emily delightful. I did too. I thought the actress who portrayed her was marvelous. I had to laugh because of all the smoking. When my French cousin and I FaceTime she lights up one cigarette after another and acts a lot like the characters in the show.lol Except she looks like a younger version of moi! It’s very cool! She went to the address where my grandparents and her great grandparents lived. And video taped it on her phone for me. It was eerie to see their history. Like traveling back in time. There is a courtyard between their apartments and it is still charming a hundred and ten years later. The postcard I wanted translated was from my grandmother to her great grandmother. What an incredible discovery! My father before he died was still trying to locate any French relatives who might have survived. He was an officer in WWII and tried to find them after the war but was told everyone perished. The Nazis kept excellent records and my Kluchin relatives are now documented on the “Memorial de la Shoah” Museum wall in Paris. My cousin worked there for several years because she studied in England and could translate English to French and visa versa. That’s what got her interested in finding her mother’s side of the family. Her Jewish side were all killed and she was unaware that her great grandfather’s brother ( my grandfather) came to America. C’est la vie! I look forward to this crazy virus ending and finally visiting her. Her apartment is across from the Louvre. One time when we FaceTimed she held up her iPad as the dawn was emerging and I could see the louvre from her balcony. What a sight!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with you about the smoking! Ugh! I have already told her that if she came to visit in Florida she couldn’t smoke in my house and that smoke really bothers me. And then in her glorious French accent she said, “ Dearest cousin, I am not a barbarian. I don’t have to smoke. But, There is not much else to do these days..” ya gotta love the French. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I wasn’t big into Sex and the City either. I watched it occasionally, but the characters didn’t draw me in. It wasn’t that I disliked them and their lifestyle, I just didn’t care about them. Nothing there but the surface which bored me. *meh*

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I only caught the show once in a while but Mr. Big looked exactly like my husband at the time and people regularly stopped us in the street to ask for a picture with him, while I was standing right there! One girl wanted a kiss which he refused! So that’s my SATC connection and Carrie was a writer (which I thought was glamorous especially when she was syndicated) but I have no designer shoes and btw no one ever wanted my picture! Meh! C

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved SATC – mostly because of the fashion and the fact they lived in NYC (and you know how much I love NYC). I don’t recall the episode you mentioned, I will have to look it up! I was single during a huge chunk of the series so the dating parts were entertaining to me. And I do love expensive shoes, but I do own my own home AND have savings. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I admit I saw the movies. And the second movie she’s still trying to be the same person. After awhile it’s sort of sad of you haven’t changed at all

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So – just watched it….In the end it was a very sweet outcome! The one thing about this episode IMO, is that there was vulnerability – Carrie admitted to being a crazy lunatic with Charlotte out of desperation…Charlotte, drew a boundary with her and in the end agreed to give her the ring, because of a great trust in the friendship. Wouldn’t say that’s such a bad thing! Would I do it for a friend? Not sure, if my friend had a crazy shoe habit!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I get it ending up nice. But should she have put Charlotte in that situation? She strong armed her. If my friend had a crazy shoe habit, would I have done that? I mean…see everything you own!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. One of my close friends recommended Emily to me. I haven’t bothered to watch it yet and now I won’t. I wasn’t a fan of SATC either. I loved Seinfeld because of the humor and the characters were quirky but friendly with each other, not mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t recall the SATC girls being mean all the time or with mean intentions. I’ll have to pay better attention.

    As much as friends should be reaffirming and supportive, I agree, they should also be real. I would want to know if my hair was stupid or my dress was unflattering or if I was whining instead of venting.

    Only having people around that reflect “us” back to us isn’t healthy and doesn’t help us grow.

    Balance. 👍🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post – I liked SATC but was never a Carrie & Miranda fan – Charlotte and Samantha all the way. I just watched Emily in Paris again and love it. Great clothes, scenery, funny. I enjoy the escapism. I have had a bad run with friends of late, so friendships and relationships are heavy on my mind these days. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Carrie Bradshaw is a trash human. But you want to root for her because she pretends to be “every woman”.
    In all the years of the show and two movies, she never evolves. She doesn’t grow. That’s not natural.

    I think we like to watch characters like that because they behave in ways (most of us) can’t, won’t, or don’t. We all have (for lack of better language) light and dark within us. Most of us choose to act upon the light within us.
    I suspect these characters exist for us to love to hate. They behave in ways we sometimes might want to bit don’t.
    That’s attractive.
    Like young children engaged in imaginative play, it’s a risk-free way to act out complex social situations.
    Consider Frank Underwood in House of Cards…
    Talk about a trash human. But no matter what horrible things he did, there was a part of us that was fascinated by his behavior.

    The lack of redemption for these characters is off-putting as hell. Makes them unlikable even as they go through all the motions of trying to ingratiate themselves to the viewer(s).

    I kind of went off on a tangent there. I don’t think I explained my thoughts well, but I know what I mean and hopefully you can follow my thought process well enough…

    Anyway,
    Thing 1 watched that Emily show. She told me it was trite. But she choose to watch it because she wanted something easy and mindlessly entertaining. Also because she speaks French and wanted to see how they played that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s my problem with Carrie. She never changes or grows as a human. She’s shallow and looks obsessed and is always reaching for something she can’t have. She also has self destructive tendencies that never go away. I’d have liked to see her in therapy because she’s got some issues that need more help than a cosmo and brunch with her friends

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hmmmmm.

    I’ve never seen either show, however, will write that I love both. Meaning, that I like shows that show me a side of myself, or of humanity is better, and shows that are so far out, they are just absurd in their fictional tale. I think as human beings we gravitate to both sides of the spectrum. What I don’t like much are shows and movies in the middle. Hm. Not sure if I’ve ever really thought about that this way before, yet do believe it is true. I also think we want to see parts of ourselves that we don’t want to let out, or act upon, which can be seen in either of the aforementioned. Have a great week, LA!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve never watched an entire episode of SITC…..just bits and pieces and thought they were women who seemed shallow and stupid…..but I didn’t know they were mean too. Read bad reviews of the Emily show by someone who visits Paris often.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi LA. My French cousin face timed me last evening and I asked her about Emily in Paris. Her eyes lit up. She enjoyed it, said Yes, she and her friends smoke and drink that much as do most Parisians when they are out at a cafe. And she said they got the feel of Paris right. However, she laughed when she said that all French women do not dress like supermodels nor are they all skinny. And that Emily’s apartment, which the character thinks is small, is really rather large for being located where they say it is. She said Emily could never be able to afford living in the center of the city. So that is wrong. And that her downstairs neighbor would not be such a handsome chef. It would most likely be an old lady who had lived in the same apartment for decades. Lol then she laughed and said none of her neighbors look like hers. But, they really did capture the feel of Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My first exposure to SATC was from some of the ladies I knew in Brentwood (I wrote about that place and those ladies on my blog and I hope you can get there thru this link https://hbsuefred.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/brentwood-tennessee-not-california/) who were just dying to see the first film when it came out. I think I saw it on my own and didn’t hate it or love it, unlike the 2nd one which was baaad. I have been watching late night reruns and discovered that I probably wouldn’t have like it if I ‘d seen it in its first run. I never at any time in my life would find any of the characters in the least relatable or realistic or likable. Now it’s just fluff background noise to lull me to sleep. IDK about Emily in Paris so have no idea what to say/think about it or some of the thoughts expressed about it here. I do know, though, that I just love the expat American realtor who shows people looking for property in Paris around on House Hunters International. She’s a hoot and just the kind of colorful yet wise character you’d expect to see doing that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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