Reading Sex and the City

Reading Sex and the City

by Kim Akass
     
 

HBO's hit series Sex and the City has a huge international fan base and has picked up major awards. This highly readable critical celebration of the life and times of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha looks at the series as a new departure for television. It discusses the show's position in an increasingly complex television landscape, and pioneers

Overview

HBO's hit series Sex and the City has a huge international fan base and has picked up major awards. This highly readable critical celebration of the life and times of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha looks at the series as a new departure for television. It discusses the show's position in an increasingly complex television landscape, and pioneers innovative approaches to the study of contemporary television culture. The book explores, among many other issues, female fandom and fan culture; fashion and fashion journalism; male archetypes and the search for Mr. Right; third wave feminism; and of course, sex and the single girl. The book includes a full episode guide, reports from the Sex and the City Manhattan tour and a map of Sex and the City New York.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although HBO's Sex and the City has won Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards, film studies lecturers Akass and McCabe are peeved that some find the show a "'worthless pile of swill' with no cultural relevance." With this wide-ranging collection of essays, they set out to dispute that view, calling on various contributors to reveal the myriad ways of interpreting the show's plot and characterization. Sex's narrator, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), details the exploits of gal pals Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, simultaneously exploring issues of sex, independence and relationships from a decidedly female perspective. The book's most heated debate centers on whether the overall image of women on the show is positive or negative. Are Carrie and company third-wave feminists who won't conform to a preconceived image of emancipation? Or are they enmeshed in a traditional yearning for Mr. Right? In the 21st century, according to most contributors, happy endings are relative. The book covers a wide array of topics, such as the symbiotic relationship between fashion and costume, and historical representations (by Woody Allen and Theodore Dreiser, among others) of single New York women. Some writers criticize the show's image of men and the instances of lesbian homoeroticism, claiming both detract from the celebration of women, sex and gay life. Others enjoy walking in Carrie's Manolo Blahniks. Most of the analysis is thought provoking, and the majority of the clearly written arguments allow readers to make the final judgment. Some viewers may not crave such scrutiny, but other fans will enjoy the added depth. Photos. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Finally, a respectable academic companion to a guilty pleasure. This collects 17 scholarly articles about the iconic HBO show Sex and the City and is a guaranteed page-turner for those who enjoy nothing better than a mesmerizing essay by Foucault, followed by a luxurious wallow in Vanity Fair. Both film studies professors, Akass (London Metropolitan Univ.) and McCabe (Trinity Coll., Dublin) have assembled a compilation of topical, interesting, and entertaining (for academia) writing about some of the dominant, nonviolent issues of our day. Topics covered range from representations of sexuality to the role of fashion as spectacle, male archetypes, the queer sensibility of the show, the narrative viability of the search for "Mr. Right," and the sources of Manolo Blahnik's inspiration. Truly, this is essential for the intellectual fashionista! Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781850434238
Publisher:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date:
03/18/2004
Series:
Reading Contemporary Television
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Kim Akass is Lecturer in Film Studies at London Metropolitan University. Janet McCabe is Lecturer in Film Studies at Trinity College, Dublin.

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