The Unpopular Opinion: Girls Is Better Than Sex And The City

Vicki Notaro reveals why Girls is so much more satisfying than SATC.


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I LOVE Sex and the City. So many female journalists my age became one because of Carrie Bradshaw; indeed, my own first foray into professional writing was a column called Sex and the Students for the Trinity News. No plagiarism there, nope, not a jot.

I think the original series is brilliant, and deserves all the hype it gets. I adore Miranda, love to roll my eyes at Carrie, am enchanted by Charlotte and Samantha brings the laughs. I’m obsessed with Stanford and Marcus, Mr Big, Aidan, Smith and Steve. The Russian and Berger were rage-inducing blips, and don’t get me started on the Post-It.

However, and it’s a big however; I’m not very excited for the revamp. Sex and the City was so very of its time, and Internet Huns now find it *problematic*. Not only that, I don’t trust SJP with it anymore – not after those godawful films that very nearly ruined the show for me.

In transition from niche, cable television to the big screen, the concept lost its magic and grit. SATC wasn’t about big budgets, head to toe designer gear, desert locations and completely illogical affairs. It was about New York, friendship, brunch and spending too much on a pair of shoes.

To me, there is another New York show also brought to us by HBO that truly speaks to the modern woman, and that’s the one I want revisited. However, it never gets the praise it truly deserves. This could have a lot to do with its creator – Lena Dunham rubs people up the wrong way, and I totally get that – but that doesn’t mean Girls isn’t a work of absolute genius.

Yes, the characters are irritating sometimes. But (and I hate to break this to you) twenty-something women discovering who they are, are often irritating. Girls sums up that half-brave, half-terrified stage of life so well – when you’re with a guy because you don’t want to have to break up with him, or you’re sleeping with someone just for attention. When everyone is expecting you to grow the f*ck. up and cop on to yourself, but you can’t find your way towards actually being yourself.

The sex is realistic and unairbrushed. The clothes are a mix of Urban Outfitters, American Apparel and thrift stores. The dialogue is sometimes all too real. And the transition of these girls to women is heart-stoppingly familiar.


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Hannah’s quest to be the voice of her generation doesn’t go to plan (quelle surprise). Marnie’s privileged existence and high self-esteem is thwarted at every turn, and from pain she grows. Jessa realised that being a free spirit is just code for running away from some serious issues. And Shoshannah goes from naive wannabe to self-assured woman of the world in the blink of an eye.

For a show called Girls, the men are great. Adam, who you’re totally willing to write off as a creep at first. Charlie, the nice guy who actually isn’t. Ray, angry at everything and struggling to find an outlet for it. And Elijah, who is actually the real star and the person most responsible for tugging at your heartstrings. His Let Me Be Your Star audition in season six is the most perfect piece of television that I’ve ever seen, and I make my husband watch it whenever I’m drunk.

This is where my opinion gets truly unpopular – Sex and the City has become basic.

I’ll always remember the marketing for the first movie – Cosmos, pink and high heels everywhere. It’s been taken over by the masses who Carrie Bradshaw would most definitely look down her nose at.

I’m never here to shit on what people like – by all means, enjoy the Sex and the City reboot if you want to. It’s just not deserving of being such a cultural moment, in my opinion. I don’t think I’m going to be that interested without Samantha, and with all the women at very different stages of their life.

But who am I kidding, I’ll dip a tie in and hope against hope that it’s somehow decent. When I want to actually feel something though, I’ll reach for Girls. No signature drink or colour, no labels. And if Lena wants to do a catch-up on the gang in the mid-30s, I’d be on that like butter on toast.