An insightful look at the cultural impact of the television phenomenon Sex and the City.
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one word was on everyone’s lips: sex. Sex and the City had taken the United States, and the world, by storm. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha influenced how a generation of women think, practice, and talk about sex, allowing them to embrace their sexual desires publicly and unlocking the idea of women as sexual beings on par with men.
In Sex and the City: A Cultural History, Nicole Evelina provides a fascinating, in-depth look at the show’s characters, their relationships, and the issues the show confronted. From sexuality and feminism to friendship and motherhood, Evelina reveals how the series impacted viewers in the 1990s, as well as what still resonates today and what has glaringly not kept up with the times. The world has changed dramatically since the show originally aired, and Evelina examines how recent social movements have served to highlight the show’s lack of diversity and throw some of its storylines into a less than favorable light.
While Sex and the City had problematic issues, it also changed the world’s perception of single women, emphasized the power of female friendship, built brands, and influenced fashion. This book looks at it all, from the pilot episode to the spin-off movies, prequel, and reboot that together have built an enduring legacy for a new generation of women.
Nicole Evelina is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. Her six books have won more than forty awards, including four Book of the Year designations. She was named Missouri’s Top Independent Author by Library Journal and Biblioboard as the winner of the Missouri Indie Author Project and has been awarded the North Street Book Prize and the Sarton Women’s Book Award. In addition to books, her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine and numerous historical publications. She lives outside St. Louis, Missouri.
In this insightful look back at the show that made Cosmos and Manolo Blahnik household names, award-winning Evelina compiles years of previously published interviews, articles, and studies on the impact Sex and the City had on television, women, and society. First waxing nostalgic, Evelina asserts that the show is a traditional fairy tale, with fairy godmothers for each of the main characters (New York City is Carrie’s) and white knights who rescue the princesses. The author stresses the importance of the groundbreaking portrayals of single women in the 1990s, complete with sexual liberation, third-wave feminism, and unprecedented sartorial successes. She also delves into the series’ problematic issues—a predominant theme of accepted toxic masculinity (Big is an alpha who blatantly stalks Carrie), a lack of diversity in race and sexual orientation, and tropes and slurs used by the main characters. The controversial abortion episode is briefly discussed, and the divisive prequel, movies, and recent reboot are dissected. The book ends with a summary of the 31 “most important” episodes. An interesting, well-researched summation of a piece of television history that is honest in its criticisms.
This was a super interesting read! The author picked apart SATC bit by bit to explain how the show impacted the early 00’s and women’s lives. She really made me consider things I hadn’t before and enlightened me to some behind the scenes info. What this book does really well is showcasing the good alongside the bad. The author doesn’t hold back when it comes to the flaws of SATC (racism, homophobia, etc.) and it was super refreshing. A solid, worthwhile read for any SATC fan!
For those who love the series, Nicole Evelina's work is a particularly fun read. Reminiscent and conversational, the monograph calls to mind all that was exciting, energetic, and enervating about the series and its spinoffs. As a scholarly examination of the series, Sex and the City: A Cultural History is more an introduction, offering the beginnings of examinations that future scholars can build upon.
7/14/22, Choice: This book was featured in a roundup of forthcoming books in “Performing Arts & Mass Media.”
8/24/22, Publishers Weekly: Nicole Evelina and the book were highlighted in this industry news piece.
11/7/22, Carrie's Book Reviews: The release of the book was featured on this blog.
5/5/23, The List: The book is mentioned in this article about the show.