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Why ‘Sex and the City’ Is Still So Relatable 23 Years Later

Growing up, my mom loved to watch HBO’s Sex and the City. The show follows sex columnist and my fashion inspiration Carrie Bradshaw, alongside her three best friends through their lives in New York City. While I was too young to understand the jokes or the subject matter, it never stopped me from hiding under her bed—where I was eventually caught and thrown out—to watch the show with her.

When HBO Max announced that they would be streaming Sex and the City and had redone the quality on all the episodes, I knew I had to binge-watch it. Naturally, I begged my brother’s girlfriend for her password to finally see what I had been missing all these years. Dear people at HBO Max, if you are reading this, I was kidding and I definitely have my own account. Anyways, now that I am old enough to truly appreciate the show, I am shocked at just how relatable it is almost 23 years later and I hope you will be able to see it too. Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk!

Whether you are in your 20’s or your 30’s, dating is hard.

Hand holding remote
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

The show essentially revolves around the romantic and sexual—in Samantha’s case—relationships of the characters. Most of the women’s relationships are unsuccessful as they usually have a new beau in each episode. Many of us can understand the difficulty in finding a good guy in a sea of less than desirable choices, something that the women on Sex and the City see a lot of. We don’t have enough words or time to discuss all the awful boyfriends and flings on the show, but Ned deserves a mention. Ned is a man who is recently widowed that Charlotte meets in a graveyard and the two quickly start dating. That is until Charlotte discovers that she is not the only woman Ned is dating because he uses the memory of his deceased wife to gain sympathy and pick up women. Nonetheless, when these women manage to find “the one” for them, their relationships are far from perfect. For example, the tumultuous relationship Carrie has with Mr. Big. No further discussion needed there. Even Miranda marries the seemingly perfect Steve and he still cheats on her. As Carrie would write: I couldn’t help but wonder, does it ever get easier? 

A weekly gossip session with your friends makes everything better.

What could make enduring all the burdens of life and dating worth it? The day where you get to sit down over brunch with your best friends and complain about it all together. Almost every episode of Sex and the City shows Carrie and her friends getting together to share stories of their dating woes, offering advice to one another or just laughing about it all. Not only are these moments on the show entertaining, but they show us how different the women in this friend group are just like how many of us are different from our friends in real life. Samantha is notoriously sex-positive and does not believe in love, whereas Charlotte is less outspoken about her sex life and is waiting for her fairytale love story.

Despite their differences, these women are still friends and offer one another a new perspective on life and love. I’m sure many of us can relate to this in one way or another like when that cute guy finally messages you and naturally, you have to brainstorm with your friends to find the perfect response. In this situation, some of my friends may advise being bold as Samantha would while others would say it is better to play it cool as Charlotte would. My weekly gossip session with my best friends over some Uber Eats may not be as glamorous as brunch in New York City, but we still relate to Carrie and her friends in many ways.

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FSU ‘23
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