Sex and the City is an American television comedy-drama series created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of ninety-four episodes. Throughout its six-year run, the show received contributions from various producers, writers and directors, perhaps most significantly from Michael Patrick King.
Set and filmed in New York City and based on the book of the same name by Candace Bushnell, the show follows the lives of a group of four women – three in their mid-thirties and one in her forties – who, throughout their different natures and ever-changing sex lives, remain inseparable and confide in each other. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, the quirky series had multiple continuing storylines that tackled relevant and modern social issues like sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex, promiscuity, and femininity while exploring the difference between friendships and relationships.
The series received both acclaim and criticism for its subjects and characters, and spawned two feature films: Sex and the City (2008) and its sequel Sex and the City 2 (2010) and spin-off by The CW, The Carrie Diaries. It also won 7 of its 54 Emmy Award nominations, 8 of its 24 Golden Globe Award nominations, and 3 of its 11 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Sex and the City still airs in syndication worldwide and has been listed on Entertainment Weekly's end-of-the-decade "best of" list and as one of Time magazine's 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.
The show was based in part on writer Candace Bushnell's book of the same name, compiled from her column with the New York Observer. Bushnell has stated in several interviews that the Carrie Bradshaw in her columns is her alter ego; when she wrote the "Sex and the City" essays, she used her own name initially; for privacy reasons, however, she created the character of Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. Carrie Bradshaw was a writer living in New York City. Carrie also has the same initials, a flourish emphasizing her connection with Bushnell.
Cast and characters
Played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie Bradshaw is the narrator of each episode. Each episode is structured around her train of thought while writing her weekly column, "Sex and the City", for the fictitious newspaper the New York Star. A member of the New York glitterati, she is a club/bar/restaurant staple who is known for her unique fashion sense. Carrie's one-room apartment is in an Upper East Side brownstone. Stanford Blatch, a gay talent agent from an aristocratic family played by Willie Garson, is Carrie's best friend outside the other three women.
Cynthia Nixon plays the role of lawyer Miranda Hobbes
Carrie is entangled with Mr. Big (Chris Noth), whose name is eventually revealed to be John James Preston, in a tumultuous, on-and-off-again relationship. He is the reason for many of Carrie's breakdowns as he never seems ready to fully commit to Carrie. He is once divorced by the time the series opens, depicted as a prominent businessman, a big jazz fan, and a heavy cigar smoker. When Carrie and Big break up, Manhattan furniture designer Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) is Carrie's next serious boyfriend in season three. Aidan is seen as being somewhat more traditional and patient about relationships than many of Carrie's other love interests. Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov) is a famous artist who becomes Carrie's lover in the final season. Despite their age difference, he sweeps her off her feet with huge romantic gestures and shows her the foreign pockets of New York that she has never seen before.
The oldest and most sexually confident of the foursome, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), is an independent businesswoman with a career in public relations. She is confident, strong, outspoken, and calls herself a "try-sexual" (meaning she'll try anything once). Samantha has a number of extremely brief sexual relationships in the show, including a lesbian relationship with an artist named Maria (Sônia Braga) and later with hotel magnate Richard Wright (James Remar). Jerry/Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) is a young waiter Samantha seduces in the final season. He is a much younger, struggling actor whose career Samantha jump starts with her PR connections. He mentions being a recovering alcoholic that attends AA. He also shows a fierce loyalty to Samantha throughout their relationship.
Charlotte York Goldenblatt
Working in an art gallery, Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis) has had a conventional Connecticut upbringing. She is the most optimistic of the group and the one who places the most emphasis on emotional love as opposed to lust. A true romantic, Charlotte is always searching for her "knight in shining armor." Charlotte was a "straight A" student who attended Smith College where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma (note that there are no sororities at the real Smith College) majoring in art history with a minor in finance. During the series, it is also revealed that Charlotte was voted homecoming queen, prom queen, "most popular," student body president, and track team captain in addition to being an active cheerleader and teen model. Trey MacDougal (Kyle MacLachlan) is an attractive Park Avenue cardiologist with a pedigree and country house whom Charlotte meets in season three. Trey's large Scottish family is headed by his mother "Bunny," a manipulative, overbearing sort that complicates his relationship with Charlotte. When their relationship ends, she meets Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler), a Jewish divorce lawyer, at the beginning of season five. She is not attracted to him initially but they begin a relationship that eventually leads to marriage.
A career-minded lawyer with sometimes cynical views on relationships and men, Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is a Harvard Law School graduate from Philadelphia with two siblings. Miranda is often seen as the practical voice of reason in the group. In the early seasons, she is portrayed as a bit masculine and borderline misandric, but this image softens somewhat over the years, particularly after she becomes pregnant and gives birth. Her storyline then explores the difficulties she faces as a single woman juggling a beloved but demanding career along with motherhood, dating, and relationships. During the series, she purchases a condo in the city's Upper West Side and later a home in Brooklyn. Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), is Miranda's on-and-off boyfriend throughout the series after being introduced in the second season. He is one of the few men on the show meant to counter-balance all the emotionally unstable men encountered throughout the series, as he is a constant and sensitive male character. His alcoholic mother, Mary Brady (Anne Meara), is also a prominent recurring character.