Features: Tuned into “Sex and the City”

During HBO’s “Sex and the City” season, once loud and noisy residence hall rooms become hushed and quite. The only noise that can be heard comes from the television as GW students gather together to watch one of the most popular shows on TV today.

Many GW students, both male and female, said they look forward to watching the show’s fourth season, which will air Sunday nights beginning January with six new episodes. Students interviewed said the fresh story lines and sassy characters are the reason they tune in weekly.

“`Sex and the City’ is so different from other shows on TV,” junior Michelle Milberg said. “It is interesting to watch the story lines the writers come up with.”

The series follows the lives of four friends – Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. All but Charlotte are single, although Carrie recently became engaged in the season finale. Samantha moves from one relationship to another, while Miranda, who recently decided to have a baby and raise it alone, shifts from hating men to wanting one.

Each episode centers on a new dilemma facing one or more of the characters. The topics range from clothing to relationships to careers and, of course, sex.

Many students said they enjoy the shocking nature of the show.

“They don’t candy-coat anything on that show,” sophomore Allison Mazer said. “I love that.”

Some GW viewers said they find it easy to relate to the characters themselves, which is another big draw.

“Carrie is the every-women, there is a little bit of her in all of us,” Mazer said. “Samantha, is my favorite, though. She is such an individual and very self-confident.”

Mazer said one of her favorite aspects of the show is that it portrays independent women in a positive light.

“It makes women believe that it is OK to have your own career and to make bold choices, but most importantly it teaches women that it is OK to be single,” Mazer said. “It has always been a man’s world. Now women are catching up and making time for themselves; it’s nice.”

Sophomore Matt Lynn said he thinks the characters in `Sex and the City’ are positive role models for young women who want to be more independent.

“The show does a great job of portraying independent women that want to be successful and stylish at the same time,” Lynn said.

But not all fans of the show agree with the value it adds. Some said they think it presents an image of women that is false and misleading.

While he is a fan of the show, junior Jordan Usdan said he finds its portrayal of women ironic.

“It doesn’t portray the happy aspects of single life,” Usdan said. “The characters are always in search of a man. If anything it shows the depressing aspects of being single.”

Sophomore Debbie Lichtenstein said she thinks the characters in the show and the issues it addresses are superficial.

Characters on the series stress the importance of material items like shoes and handbags.

“The show does illustrate that if you are successful you can live the life you want, but it makes people believe that is very easy to live a glamorous life,” Lichtenstein said.

Junior Michelle Milberg said the show can often be unrealistic. Carrie writes one column a week but can afford several pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes, which cost between $400 and $600, Milberg pointed out.

“In some aspects, the show is true to life; however it leads some people to believe that they can live this unattainable lifestyle which is wrong,” Milberg said.

Sophomore Meredith Brooks, a fan of the show, said “Sex and the City” should not be taken too seriously.

“The program is not telling people that they can do anything,” Brooks said. “The characters are somewhat realistic, but somewhat exaggerated, but that’s because it’s TV. Take it with a grain of salt.”

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