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What I learned from my “Sex and the City” parody account

I’d had a love/love-to-hate relationship with “Sex and the City” since I first watched it all the way through in college. (I never had HBO growing up!) Unlike classically-crafted sitcoms like “Friends” or “Frasier,” the series isn’t pleasingly formulaic in a way that comforts the viewer before bed; it’s jagged and arch and withholds the sorts of pleasures that TV can provide. Characters spend long periods miserable and alone; episodes just end at the 30-minute mark without any resolution and without any lessons learned. Protagonist Carrie, obsessed with her one true love, the callous Big, makes the same mistakes over and over; her best friends are each, for some time, trapped by their own unbending personality types (respectively: status obsession, obsession with work, refusal to commit). On the occasion that there is any sense of closure, it’s only temporary -- episodes will end, say, with Carrie meeting her three best friends at a café and saying some folderol about how friends are the only thing one can count on in this crazy city, but her loneliness and emptiness hasn’t magically lifted. For all that “Sex and the City” is stereotyped as a comfort-watch for Moscato-drinking sorority girls, there’s something edgy and chilling about it, as noted in a recent reappraisal by Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker.

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