Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The show that changed my life!

On February 22nd, 2004, the very last episode of 'Sex and the City' aired on HBO. Not that there is anything wrong with being a late comer to the party but I was a fan of this iconic, eye-opening, life-affirming series right from the start, all the way back in the 90s! It wasn't just about the glamour and allure of life in Manhattan when you have a decent amount of disposable income and no obligations to anyone else but yourself. For me, the true appeal of the show was the way it portrayed four very different characters (some may say they were archetypes but I would argue that by the time the show ended after six amazing seasons, these characters well and truly transcended any archetypes) living their lives unapologetically and pursuing happiness on their own terms, sometimes failing and other times succeeding.

Personally, a lot has happened in the past ten years and I have to say that 'Sex and the City' was truly my bible through this period. In fact, because of what I have been through in the past decade, the show probably resonates even more deeply now than it did when I was younger. The show helped me to navigate and find my way in that awkward period of transitioning into adulthood. I moved to New York in the fall of 2004 and lived there for three years so there were times when I found myself at the same places where the show took place, including city landmarks, like Lincoln Centre and Bryant Park, and hotspots, like Chelsea's Cafeteria and Williamsburg's Sea, thinking that my life was imitating the show. More importantly, in this period, I accepted and embraced who I was and proceeded to lead an open life that was fulfilling and meaningful. I fell in love for the first and only time (thus far!) and had my heart broken. I've met some lovely (and some not so lovely) men along the way. All along, I had the support of family, work colleagues and most importantly, good friends, just like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha.

Critics and even some fans say that the legacy of the show was diminished by the two movies, especially the second one, which was deemed by many viewers as being culturally ignorant. I am not sure if I could even disagree with that notion. Nonetheless, for me, the show lives on as a beacon of aspirational contemporary lifestyle and values; a guide for young urbanites still figuring out their identities and their place in the world.  Sure, the show was superficial and frivolous at times but why shouldn't it be? It was supposed to be entertainment, after all. However, if that was all the show had to offer, I seriously doubt that it would still have millions of fans around the glob, even ten years after it finished its run. 'Sex and the City' had a big heart and that's why I fell in love with it all those years ago and remain in love a decade later. Thus, I shall close this post with a clip from one of my favourite episodes to illustrate the ability of the show to move its audience and to celebrate the power of love, hope and friendship in this fast-paced, precarious and cynical world that we live in.