Sex and the City

June 2nd, 2008 | Oddments

Okay, this might disillusion you but I have to confess that I’m a total SATC junkie. I never watched it when it was originally airing, just had no interest in it. And then when I finally rented first season 3 or 4 years ago I couldn’t understand what the fuss had been about… until the second or third episode, at which point I was deeply, deeply hooked. I never buy DVDs, but I sprung for the complete set and have watched each show so many times I’ve got the dialogue pretty much memorized.

Why is this? I don’t watch the L Word. It stresses me out too much. I think the fact that SATC is about straight women and gay men allows me to just completely detach and not take anything personally, even the absurd lesbian moments. It’s deeply relaxing.

So I knew the movie would be really stupid but I went anyway, and it was even stupider than I’d feared, basically just a series of product placements held together with bad soft core porn. But still, it was fun to see the audience–lots of young women all dressed up and excited. THey were also palpably disappointed –very amped up at the beginning, deflated at the end.

But I just want to mention that our blog friend June participated in an interesting discussion about the movie on Slate. She also let me know that the fabulous Lisa Kron has a tiny little part in the movie–I’m so glad I sat through the whole damn thing, just to see her.

177 Responses to “Sex and the City”

  1. cz says:

    I’m really surprised. Surprised you’re an SATC fan, surprised there aren’t any comments. amd especially surprised that the L word stresses you out.

  2. DaneGreat says:

    The L Word stresses me out too.

    And I am also a closet SATC fan who hasn’t yet seen the movie, and probably won’t.

  3. Lea says:

    me too. the l word. stresses out.

  4. Dr. Empirical says:

    I, for one, have lost ALL respect for you.

    …says the guy who’s been reading Legion of Super Heroes for over 30 years.

  5. shadocat says:

    I too, am a total SATC fan, also discovering it in reruns. I’m still seeing the movie anyway—hey it’s a soap opera, which is also why I loved D2WO4. SATC reminds me of the way I used to watch “Dynasty”; just good old fashioned junk food for the btain. Plus, I think the dialogue can be pretty witty at times, something I don’t find in the “L Word.” Besides, those “L Word” dykes just don’t look like dykes to me— but maybe this is because I live in the middle of the country, and we’re behind the times. Are spike-heeled boots and pashminas the things the well dressed lesbians wear on the coasts, or am I just toally out of it?

  6. sashark says:

    This has nothing to do with SATC…but I thought I’d let you all know that I had a sex dream about Lois last night. We were canoodling under a big bed. I had no idea my subconscious fancied fictional people!

  7. Maggie Jochild says:

    Hey — I got totally hooked on “Party of Five”. (Not able to leave the house due to knee problems and depressed from a break-up, but still… Bailey’s codependency ruled my world for a few years there.)

    I’ve only watched clips of the L Word on YouTube and elsewhere, posted by fans, and what I’ve seen sucks the big one, in every respect I could name. But I was for a dozen years a Northern California political dyke, and we had no respect for the L.A. lesbian trip. (Or, as we called them, “gay women”. Notice the series can’t even use the real word in the title.)

  8. Halliard Addison Erskine says:

    The L Word stressed out any lesbian who has no sense of humor or takes everything lesbian related entirely TOO seriously.

  9. shadocat says:

    Okay, I just read the article—so disapointed when I learned how …well,lets just say I was always an Aiden fan; I mean the guy re-did her floors! (Ya know, I always thought he had the potential to end up as a Stuart)

  10. The Cat Pimp says:

    I hated it when I first saw it until I realized that it was about four women who were really good at being friends with each other and who laughed at each others’ jokes. I also want to be Samantha (or Lois) when I grow up. I wish I was sluttier, sigh. I am going to see SATC *alone*, because I will not take a man at all. Period. My women friends are all pretty PC and Berkeley. And, if I enjoy it, I want to enjoy it. I need to get a hip flask to smuggle a Cosmopolitan into the theater.

    I am *so* happy AB loves SATC, regardless of the reasons.

  11. elisgem says:

    alison an satc junkie, now that comes as a pleasant surprise. i watched it when it originally aired, and i always loved it, i loved how i had something to look foreward to on tuesdays. luckily, my girlfriend and i shared the passion. to me, too, it was about a group of friends sharing life with each other and not being punished for not being good girls. i’ll watch the movie but my expectations are low; so maybe i will find it better than i expected it.

  12. DCS says:

    OK, if it is true confessions time, then I have to admit that my guilty pleasure is “Project Runway”. I sit there in my faded, stained jeans and faded stained t-shirts and I critique the clothes. It is so scummy and so much fun.

  13. Jo says:

    Finally.. the L-Word gets a mention! I always pictured you in a guest role, but I guess that’s not gonna happen. How about they product place DTWOF in the (final) season 6?

    As for SATC.. the screen play sucked, but who would not wanna know what happens to Carrie and Big. and the dresses were pretty (you can see where my L-Word infatuation comes from.)

    Cheerio! A good day to you all.

  14. Ng Yi-Sheng says:

    Yay, gay men and women do have something in common after all!

    (I love SATC, but I don’t like Queer as Folk or the L-Word. Except for the male sex scenes, but I’m a dog.)

  15. Maggie Jochild says:

    Ng, did you ever see the original (U.K.) Queer as Folk? Vastly superior to the U.S. version. And yeah, the sex in it was hot, too.

  16. Suz says:

    I was just thinking about (just before I read this blog post) SATC in terms of the Bechdel rule.

  17. Liza Cowan says:

    I tried to like SATC but don’t. Anyway, it’s on at the same time as Will & Grace, and that show I seriously love.

  18. kellan says:

    I adore Sex and the City, although I also didn’t see the point when it was originally on TV. I discovered the sixth season during a rainy week in a very small house with no entertainment but the DVD player, and finally had to spring for the whole set when that big pink velour box came out. The movie was terrible, though – I didn’t even expect anything much beyond a slice of straight-from-TV SATC goodness, and it still disappointed me!

  19. smutti says:

    The key to a non-stressed out L Word experience is to NOT watch while the season is on but rather watch on net flix & on-demand. It’s a whole lot more entertaining when you don’t actually have to wait to see who will be w/ whom next. 2 cents & I’m out.

  20. tama says:

    odio Sex and the city. Son frígidas y consumistas.

  21. Ian says:

    Never seen the L Word. I’ve seen the US version of Queer as Folk and Maggie’s right – the UK original is better, although I like it in a Party of Five type way. There’s a certain sex scene in the first episode of the UK Queer as Folk which made me spit out my cuppa and shout out “you CAN’T show that on TV!!!”. Still, they’re all better than Dante’s Cove so thank your lucky stars.

    My guilty secret is Friends. It’s bland, unrealistic, safe, waaay to white and middle class, but when I’m feeling low I just love to curl up under a duvet/quilt on the sofa, drink tea and watch it. It’s vastly helped by having a crush on Matt Perry of course.

  22. ksbel6 says:

    Dr. E…do you remember Batman: The Animated Series? I have every comic (incluing all the spin offs) and the 4 volume DVD set which I watch over and over and over :)

    As for The L Word, I agree, watching it on dvd must be better than having to wait to find out what happens. I also agree with shadocat (possibly the MO connection?), there isn’t a single woman on that show that would relate to my partner or I, but it is fun to watch Alice add names to her map.

    Also, Ginjoint, the dog is doing MUCH better!! As school is out, my partner and I have lots of free time to work with him, and we now have him coming in and out of the house just by calling.

  23. Alison Bechdel says:

    I hadn’t seen Queer as Folk until quite recently, and was astonished at how bad it was. In fact I got so bored watching an episode with Holly that I started making a movie of us watching it.

  24. Oh. I guess I should tag that movie “explicit.”

  25. --MC says:

    I have never seen SATC on TV or plan to see the film, but the anthropologist part of my brain wanted to go on opening night and see who turned out for it, and how they were dressed. My bus took me past the Guild 45th (which is showing the film on two screens) and I was gratified to see a crowd of happy, budget-stylish women lined up to get in .. let the guys go watch something else. (For the last two weeks, the marquee at the Metro has summed up the gender divide, as Hollywood sees it at least:

    IRON MAN BABY MAMA )

  26. a lurker says:

    I watched part of one episode of the L Word and was also bothered by it-becuase there was not one single lesbian there that I could relate to. but then I was told that actually in LA (can any one verify this?) lesbians do dress the way they do in the L word. so maybe that’s why.
    I love project runway,though:)

  27. Leda says:

    Alison you tease. Calm down people its just boy on boy.

    I vastly prefer the UK Queer as Folk as well many people here it seems, but I would, I’m British and I live in Manchester so its as much about Manchester for me as it is the characters in it. By the way does that title makes sense to anyone who doesn’t know Yorkshire the saying it comes from?

    I believe that there was a minor character called Leda at some point in the US Queer as Folk, did I imagine that? Someone here must be able to put me right…

  28. Heidi says:

    If I could afford to dress the way the women in the The L Word dress, you bet I would. I love the clothes. I don’t much relate to the characters, but that’s okay. It’s a soap, they’re not supposed to be real. My partner and I mostly watch it for the sex.

    Never gotten into SATC, but I’ve only watched it a handful of times. I always think that someday when I have time on my hands I might enjoy it.

  29. grrljock says:

    Yes, the key to enjoying The L Word is to treat is a soap opera. There are some well-written episodes, though ya got to wade through some not-so-good stuff to get there. Never had any desire to see SATC though.

    So what was Lisa Kron’s role in the movie? I agree – she IS fabulous. I was fortunate enough to watch 2 performances of the Five Lesbian Brothers (in Houston, TX, no less) but would really love to see her solo.

    Oh, and I didn’t really like Queer as Folk, though I thought Sharon Gless’ character was a riot.

  30. Anna says:

    They have made US version out of Queer as folk too?
    Now I am shocked, my gay roommate made me watch the british one when we shared a living room and TV together, after some weeks I did start to enjoy it.

    I am the only women at my workplace who has not seen SATC movie yet. I guess I should, otherwise they`ll think I`m queer or something :-)

  31. tea says:

    “I don’t watch the L Word. It stresses me out too much. I think the fact that SATC is about straight women and gay men allows me to just completely detach and not take anything personally, even the absurd lesbian moments. It’s deeply relaxing.”

    - i’m going to have this printed on a card so people will stop asking me why i absolutely cannot watch the L-word but will totally zone in front of satc. totally. i agree. yes.

    a lurker says: “but then I was told that actually in LA (can any one verify this?) lesbians do dress the way they do in the L word. ”

    as a dyke who grew up in LA and has deep LA pride, lesbians do dress that way…as long as they are very upperclass, white, and in the entertainment industry. which is to day, all the women in who fit that demographic, regardless of sexuality, dress that way. there are thousands of dykes who don’t, and their representation on the L word is usually unbelievably offensive. (to be clear, i’m talking about the kind of designer/superskinny/fake femme shit they have on the L-word. i’m a femme, none of this femmes-aren’t-real-dykes bullshit)

    i think that might be why it offends me so much – it puts out this image of LA lesbians that is actually just a very small part of the LA i know and love. god forbid we represent LA as it is – full of workingclass people of color who struggle daily in all kinds of political movements.
    (see? all fired up. the most i ever say after satc is “did you see her shoes?!??”)

  32. Ginjoint says:

    Thanks, ksbel! You read my mind – I was going to leave a post asking you how he’s doing. I’m really glad to hear he’s healing. Well done.

  33. Kate L says:

    When I came out here in (OZ), an elderly woman in my local Unitarian congregation informed me that all the lesbians she knew wore dresses and hose and make-up. She implied that I was falling down on the job, but I think now that maybe she was just overly influenced by television. My TV guilty pleasure? Kathy Griffen, because she reminds me of an old girlfriend. Whenever I watch her show, I have to stop myself from thinking I know what she’d be like in bed.

  34. Dr. Empirical says:

    ksbel6: Batman: TAS was groundbreaking in its day because of its high quality and the respect they showed for the source material. The associated comic books were a bit too kid-oriented for my tastes, but I think it’s important that there are kid-oriented comics out there.

    Incidentally, I was at a comic book convention this past weekend. If anyone here is entertained by pictures of people decked out in superhero drag, check them out:

    http://www.popthought.com/display_column.asp?DAID=1586

  35. sashark says:

    Leda – yeah, a character named Leda was in about four episodes of QAF as Melanie’s hot motorcycle-riding ex. I actually really liked her…

  36. kellan says:

    tea, thanks for speaking up for LA and LA pride! What (little) I’ve seen of the L-Word doesn’t come close to representing the city I know and love. For that and other reasons (Max, anyone??) I avoid the show like the plague. Sex and the City, on the other hand, is for vicarious glimpses into a world so distant and quite possibly totally fake that nothing about it can stress me out. Plus, I love contemplating Cynthia Nixon’s angst- and celebrity-histrionics-free switch to the other team…

  37. Ellen O. says:

    I remember one episode of Sex and City when Miranda asked, “Why do we always talk about men? Don’t we have other interests?”

    I thought, “Yes! Finally, some substance.”

    But 20 minutes later, toward the end of the show, she’d relented and was submerged in talk about a former boyfriend she still had not gotten over.

    In another episode, when Miranda’s mother in Philadelphia died, Miranda and Carrie had a genuine conversation about parents and their childhoods. I thought, “Wow, this show could have some depth if the writers wanted that.”

    I began watching SATC in network reruns until someone told me that it was severely chopped up in syndication. So, I rented the DVDs and was amazed and delighted to discover breasts, backsides, and lots of “fucks,” verbally and physically.

    Since I found myself severely sucked into reruns of M*A*S*H, Friends, Star Trek, and SATC, two years ago, when West Wing went off the air, I finally cancelled my cable service. I live near the mountains, so no cable = no reception. Life is more peaceful now. I watch DVDs a couple of times a week, read more, sleep better.

  38. Jen in California says:

    I too loved the SATC series, once I stopped being angry that rich people whined so much about how much they didn’t get. I always felt that the series used the characters’ superficial love of fashion and consumerism to make a point that “in the end…” blah blah friendship and lasting relationships conquer over ego gratification, which can include “ego based romance”. That’s an idea I can generally get behind, so I learned to appreciate the moments that the series conveyed that.

    Despite the last few minutes of the movie (no spoilers on plot here, just theme), I felt that the movie ENTIRELY missed this concept. Superficiality did not get subsumed to deep and meaningful connection with other people. Whereas I had been able to love the characters before, despite their flaws, I hated them in the movie. The few laughs in the film were unintentional, as I guffawed heartily every time they mentioned a designer by name, imagining the accompanying “ch-ching!” of a cash register. And poor Jennifer Hudson got a “magic negro” character, fixing everything for the white folks; which is sad, as she was the only person on the screen whom I had truly hoped to see in some sort of sex scene. It would have been revelatory to see all the skinny girls hopelessly clothed throughout the whole thing while the curvy girl gets the hot sex! (sorry, I guess that was a spoiler of a sort, sorry to Hudson fans out there).

    Ok, now I guess that’s just getting into wishful thinking :)

  39. Pam I. says:

    Yep, watched all of SATC including the re-runs – we all have to have a bit of schlock in our lives. Now I’m engrossed in Desperate Housewives. This amuses my friends esp. the straight ones.

    But – what about that Cynthia Nixon (Miranda)? Have you guys not heard?

  40. cd in Madison says:

    Leda — Yes, explain please. What does “Queer as Folk” mean? I’ve always wondered about the odd expression, and I’ve never watched it, so if it was explained there and everybody knows already, please excuse.

  41. Pam I. says:

    Theers nowt so queer as folk. Old yorkshire (i think) saying.

  42. Fabian Alvarez says:

    “Queer as Folk” (UK version) was wonderful. US version is not quite as good, in fact it could be said it’s mediochre. Russell T. Davies went from “Queer as Folk” to “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood”, and gave us (the LGTBQ community) Captain Jack Harness, so… he’s a gift from God. :)
    You have to remember that “Torchwood” is (currently) the only mainstream series (Ok, I know it’s sci-fi, but it’s mainstream…) with an… omnisexual main character played by an out-actor (John Barrowman).

    I’ve never watched Sex and the City. Guess I’ll have to take a look at it…

  43. Riotllama says:

    Dr.E, I was at the Trans Health Conference across the street from Wizard World and kept trying to use my THC badge to sneak in, but it didn’t work. I did make friends with a ghostbuster.

    I’ve never been tempted to watch STC, or the L word. I tried the US version of Queer as Folk and was hella dissapointed, by the show and by the fact that Toronto is so obviously not Pittsburgh. I’d love to see the UK version though.

    My big TV obsessions are Buffy and Battlestar Galactica.
    P.S. I still think Hillary Clinton is a Cylon and wtf with the only out dyke on the show being a TOTAL villain? pshaw.

  44. Riotllama says:

    huh. I always thought Queer as Folk was a play on Queer as Fuck that worked better when said with a British accent.

  45. shadocat says:

    There’s a pretty good review of the movie over at Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/default.aspx?id=2192379

  46. Ian says:

    Riotllama, do you remember the original Battlestar Galactica with Lorne Greene et al? Do you remember the way the Cylon warriors’ “eyes” would flash around with the weird noise that wasn’t entirely unlike a lightsaber? When you said you imagined Clinton as a Cylon, I could just imagine her eyes lighting up like that and making the same weird noise. I’ll never be able to think of the *expletives deleted* in the same way again …

  47. Jennifer says:

    SATC had it’s moments. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” though painfully obvious is a brilliant book title. I’ll always love Sarah Jessica Parker because she did Square Pegs. I’ll always love Cynthia Nixon because she did Little Darlings.

    Since I live in NYC it’s very de rigeur to kvetch that SATC is another thing that will bring idiot tourists and ruin it for everybody.

    The L Word is simply ridiculous. Those people jump the damn shark on every stinking episode. I’m sure LA lesbians dress like the costume designer thinks they do. No one acts like, ever, under any circumstance.

  48. Maggie Jochild says:

    Interestingly, Pam, in part of the Deep South (and in parts of Texas where folks are descended from immigrants of the Deep South), the saying “Nothing is queer as folk” occurs as well. Hence, I understood the title instantly.

    I first watched the UK (real) version of QAF in a completely filled screening at the Austin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival — several episodes extended through two different sittings, and I was there for both. I was alone and one of very few women there. The crowd of gay men went berserk (yeah, Ian, that scene you mention — it would NEVER be allowed on American TV). I dragged a dyke friend back the next day, and we were hooked.

    The thing I liked best about it was the fact that it dealt with class. In the way that British and European art will but Americans can’t even imagine. Plus the difficulty and exploitation of coming out as a gay teenager, not just the starry-eyed version.

    I, too, have gotten hooked on Friends through reruns, can tell you every episode in detail. Matthew Perry is a thread that runs through West Wing and Studio 60, from “Mrs. Chanandler Bong” to one of the best roles about being a writer ever created. Friends is like having candy for dinner, and as Stuart Smalley would say, “that’s…okay”. I appreciated the MAD TV skits about it, where Phil Lamarr played a lonely black UPS driver who went home at night and watched Friends, pretending he was the only African-American character on the show and they all included him in their conversations, complete with cardboard cut-outs in his living room. That’s sometimes how I feel, watching it.

    Tea, EXCELLENT reality check on the L.A. lesbian thing, thank you VERY MUCH.

  49. Ginjoint says:

    Plus, I love contemplating Cynthia Nixon’s angst- and celebrity-histrionics-free switch to the other team…

    Yeah, how about that? She just kind of went and did it, without any teary Barbara Walters interview or anything. She knows what she likes, who she wants, and what turns her crank, and fuck Hollywood if it doesn’t like it. The woman’s got some quiet moxie. I like that.

  50. shadocat says:

    Plus, I always thought she was the sexy one…

  51. trapped in IN says:

    I got hooked on SATC nearly 6 years ago. I’d moved to a small city where I couldn’t pick up anything on my antenna and was determined not to get cable. After a few months though I needed something to zone out to and arbitrarily pick SATC. Watching the first three seasons (all that was available at the time) I spent a lot of time wondering why on earth I liked the show, but I enjoyed it very much.

    The discussion here made me curious about the seasons I missed so I just downloaded and watched the first episode of season 4. In it Carrie turns 35 and has a bit of a crisis about being single. I recently turned 35, am single, and had a bit of a crisis about it. The episode cheered me up.

  52. dna says:

    Jennifer Says:

    The L Word is simply ridiculous. Those people jump the damn shark on every stinking episode.

    –So so true.

  53. j.b.t. says:

    I hadn’t heard any advance press on the SATC movie (living in a hole, I guess), so wasn’t prepared for how disappointing it was.

    I loved the show (rented all the episodes – never had cable) because it was smart and funny. The movie was dull and bland and had none of the spark of the show. Maybe because the show was written by a bunch of women – sometimes with Michael Patrick King (the producer/director) – and the movie was just written by him alone. BUMMER!

    It was fun to be in a theater that was totally packed (we went opening night) with almost 100% women. It did surprise me how young they all were – I expected more women my age (late thirties) and older.

    And Jennifer Hudson’s “magic negro” (!!!- thanks to whomever came up with that one!) was indeed a tired stereotype, but was also the most compelling character.

    I’m also tired of the rich thing. Can’t relate. I could look past it in the show, but the movie wouldn’t let me.

    J.

  54. j.b.t. says:

    Oh – and shadocat – what’s the Aiden thing you’re talking about? I read the article and didn’t see any reference to him… (and yes yes yes on the Miranda tip.)

    And who is Lisa kron?

    Thanks,
    J.

  55. Maggie Jochild says:

    j.b.t., from Wikipedia: ‘The magical negro (sometimes called the mystical negro, magic negro, or our Magical African-American Friend) a term generally used to describe a supporting, often mystical stock character in fiction who, by use of special insight or powers, helps the white protagonist get out of trouble. The word negro, now considered by many as archaic and offensive, is used intentionally to suggest that the archetype is a racist throwback, an update of the “Sambo” and “savage other” stereotypes. Spike Lee popularized the term, deriding the archetype of the “super-duper magical negro” in 2001 while discussing films with students at Washington State University and at Yale University.’

    Go to Wiki for more examples.

    It has been invoked often during this campaign season on non-partisan progressive political blogs to explain some of the white Democratic response to Obama — not the REALITY of Obama, but the way he is seen as a source of “hope and salvation” by some whites who, when asked for specifics about his talents and skills, cannot name a single one. This is tricky, because their ignorance and stereotyping should not detract from the man’s actual accomplishments and character. However, if a percentage of those who will elect him are operating from this flip-side-of-the-racism-coin, we need to know about it and organize accordingly.

  56. Helen says:

    I just have to reply to the Aiden comment way up there. I love him. Nothern Exposure has a very special place in my heart so any face from there is a friendly one. I like sex in the city… to steal and change a line from _Finding Forester_: if Dykes To Watch Out For_ is my dinner then _Sex And The City_ is my dessert.

    And the L Word, I boycotted for a long time and I honestly can’t watch it if there’s something extremely stressful going on in my life – just all the drama, I get too involved in the characters.

  57. The Cat Pimp says:

    I went to SATC alone. I had to hurry before people spoilerized it for me. It was what I expected. It was four women who were friends, lots of pretty clothes, SHOES, the men and a pleasant surprise for this Cat Pimp – dogs! Lots of dogs! Cute dogs! A funny dog! A scary dog (bit part, but no biting). I didn’t see Fatty, the cat, but Scout is a beautiful border collie and it was such a treat to see him.

    The movie was, to me, four and a half episodes of the TV series. I expected nothing more or less. I do wish that I lived in a place that was warm enough that I could actually dress like Kim Cattrall and that I had ankles strong enough for something other than sneakers and cowgirl boots.

  58. Em says:

    While the Jennifer Hudson character did give off a definite vibe of Magical Negro, she did at least have a life and desires of her own, which can’t be said for most characters of that archetype, who are _never_ seen on their own.
    And hey, it’s always nice to get a shout out to my hometown of St. Louis in such a New York=Center of the Universe show.

    SATC is one of those shows I can bitch and snipe about about all the ways it ignores reality, and then I watch it and get all into it in spite of myself. I’m a nerd about tv-reality in the littlest ways, like the fact that their occupations still wouldn’t make them rich enough to live that lifestyle in New York City (have ANY of them had roommates, not including boyfriends?), or the fact that their kids are a little too well behaved for their age. And the simple fact that I just don’t find Big attractive in the least. I wonder if thats a generational thing, my friend and I agree that he isn’t yet both of our mothers think he’s cute.
    But still, I adore any time we see a “female gaze” in play (if you’ve seen the movie, you know which scene…), and I can’t help but cheer on any positive portrayal of a, well, anyone like Samantha (it still feels weird to type out “slut but in a sex-positive sense”… curse you english language!)
    And gosh darn it, it’s just pure eye and brain candy!

  59. Leda says:

    Lawks its been busy overnight!

    cd in madison – Pam I is right, Queer as Folk does come from “there’s nowt so queer as folk” an expression I’ve always liked as, to my Polyanna-ish mind, it seems to celebrate the diversity of humans – we are all odd, so we are all equal. I know it as a Yorkshire saying (and I should point out right now I am a pasty faced Southerner and no keeper of Northern folklore knowledge) but fascinating to hear of it occurring elsewhere. I’m sure I remember reading somewhere (the dvd booklet probably) that Russell T Davies and the production crew always referred to it Queer as Fuck…

  60. NLC says:

    Leda:
    Yes, without thinking about it too much (and without having ever seen the show) I just casually assumed that the above was somehow related the origin of the name of the show.

    Thanks to those who posted the explanation about the Yorkshireism (naught such spoken in the American midwest).

    I guess I should probably read back through to see if the phrase shows up in James Harriot.

  61. Ellen O. says:

    Perversely to the show’s intention, I always found the woman of SATC most attractive when they were wearing cut-offs and old sweatshirts. Also, Carrie wearing Aiden’s underpants. Very hot.

  62. Dr. Empirical says:

    Riotlama, there were big posters showing what all the correct badges looked like, right by the entrances. Trying to bullshit your way in with a different badge wasn’t going to work. It IS possible, though, to sneak in by emulating Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Step…two, three…Turn…two, three…In!

    Aunt Soozie, riotlama and other Philly locals- Are you aware that Lynda Barry is speaking at the Free Library tomorrow night?

  63. EJS says:

    I too discovered SATC on DVD. It was my escapist TV and funny at a time when I was very very in need of a laugh. Any show which has a major budget for shoes is my kind of show.

  64. kat says:

    Cat Pimp, had you waited a little longer, I would’ve sent my mother to see it with you. All of a sudden, this Berkeley-est of Berkeley women is all into SATC. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than watch it, though, so she’s on her own too.

    Not like my guilty pleasure TV is any better, though…..

  65. Lisa (Calico) says:

    My post got hosed. Don’t know why.

    What I just wrote was that I think the L Word jumped the shark after season 2 or 3.

    My favorite comaedy ever is Ab Fab, but I think even Jen pushed it too far after completing “The Last Shout.”

  66. Lisa (Calico) says:

    Comedy, I mean. Oops.

  67. Riotllama says:

    Holy donkeys, Batman!!! Lynda Barry!!?? I’m so there. are you going? aunt soozie? anyone else on this blog? we really ought to consume liquids afterwards. (does that pub you like serve tea?)

  68. Riotllama says:

    arg. it’s times like these that i wish i had the option to click on a poster’s name and send them an email if they let me.

  69. capers says:

    Yo A.B.,

    I think it’s rad that you admitted liking this TV show. TV shows should be for fun. This is why I could never watch the Sopranos (diminishing fun), but love Ugly Betty (very fun). I know it’s wrong, but I don’t care.

    P.S. are you going to post the live-photo episode of DTWOF, featuring fans who happen to look like characters? I know I am probably just trying to eke another thing out of you when you are on a break, but I thought that was coming up a while ago, and then I never saw it. Or maybe I missed it.

  70. LondonBoy says:

    Oh, I’m so glad that this thread has appeared ! I went to see the SATC film with my partner at the weekend, and just this morning I was thinking of how I’d like to comment on it to the DTWOF crowd, but didn’t dare for fear of seeming shallow… It’s so good to be among people who don’t always swim at the deep end of the cultural pool.

    I was looking forward to the film, and found myself rather disappointed by it. Where I think it went wrong was in betraying my expectations. After tying up everybody’s loose ends in the last episode, there was only one thing left to do: give Carrie the perfect wedding to Mr Big. Instead, everyone got niggling problems to resolve, which was not particularly inspiring or entertaining. I feel the correct way to have plotted the film would have been to introduce a clear external difficulty preventing the wedding, and then shown the characters dealing with that – a scheming ex-wife, perhaps, or some other friend or relative of Big’s. This would have given a direction and force to the plot that I felt was lacking.

    Still, it was nice to see the outfit from the original titles being reprised…

  71. Scotia says:

    “Queer as folk” is also an English Midlands expression, and that’s where the original TV show got its title. Since many people from Appalachia trace their roots to that region (it has been suggested that the pre-broadcast media Appalachian dialect may have been closer to 17th century English than anything spoken in modern Britain), the expression must go back a long way.

  72. shadocat says:

    What really may be most impressive about SATC is it’s box-office take and it’s audience, which is primarily women and gay men. Women broke the box office records to see this move about 4 over-35 and then-some women, which seems to have suprised the execs in show biz, but not me. Could this be the beginning of more movies for and about women, of all ages(and sexualities) than ever before? Here’s a link to a Salon article about the money it’s making:

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/06/03/sex_and_the_city/index.html?source=newsletter

  73. Dr. Empirical says:

    Riotlama, I’m planning to go, but I sprained my ankle last night while walking the dogs, and I may wussie out. If I make it, I’ll look for you in the autograph line afterwards.

  74. cybercita says:

    j.b.t.,

    lisa kron is a brilliant actor and playwright. she had a play on broadway a few years ago, called well, about her relationship with her mother, who was always sick and never there for her but somehow had the energy to do a lot of community activism when their neighborhood was changing.

    aiden in SATC {and i am a total fan, although i haven’t seen the movie yet} is played by john corbett, the same guy who did chris in the morning on northern exposure.

    i occasionally see chris noth, the actor who plays big, in the village. he sometimes has breakfast at the same crummy diner where i stop for coffee on saturdays.

  75. shadocat says:

    j.b.t.—I didn’t mean to compare Aiden with ALL Stuart’s qualities; just that, if Aiden were female, he’d be my ideal girlfriend. He was handy around the house; he actually could BUILD stuff (I’m always a sucker for someone who can do that), more at home in jeans and a T-shirt than a suit. He loved the outdoors, his dog, and when we last saw him, was carrying a baby on his chest in a snugli. I understand he’s not in the movie. Too bad, that.

  76. shadocat says:

    Oh and Ellen O.—totally agree about the underpants…

  77. CS says:

    Sashark:
    I recently had a Lois dream too. She came to a post pride parade block party at my house. Then informed me that my partner had cheated on me (not with her). Perhaps toomany late night readings for my own good…

  78. Aunt Soozie says:

    Oh Drat,
    I have to work tomorrow night. Dr E. do keep us informed of these events though. My pseudo email is still phoebephiles@mac.com.
    Never watched satc.
    also find queer as folk impossible to sit through.
    I like the L Word but prefer watching it in one fell swoop at the end of the season.
    I love Alison’s review of the Sex in the City movie.

    I’m hankering for the Get Smart movie… I hope it does the TV show justice. I think the tv show was good, am I remembering that correctly?
    I’m sure the Speed Racer movie could never live up to my first comic crush. Ahhh Speed… I so adored him. Did you know he’s transgendered? Yeah, Speed is Queer. He identifies as a trannyboifag dragracer. It wasn’t made public until recently. That’s why he was my heart throb… I always knew there was something special and sexy about Speed… even if he was a drawing. sigh.

  79. Maggie Jochild says:

    Back when Northern Exposure was still on (I still have the Roslyn founding episode on tape, talk about lesbian TV, WAY better than what’s available now) — I became so enamored of Chris in the Morning’s selections that I went snooping for some of the music. Turns out, there are compilation tapes — cassette at that time — of his playlists. I still regularly play two of them. Native American music, world-class jazz, 50′s ballads, you name it, it’s on there. And, yes, opera.

    Speaking of which: Letterman last night said a group in Italy was planning to make an opera of “An Inconvenient Truth”. He made a joke about it but I think it was a legit news item. Throwing that out there for all the opera lovers on this list — Jana, Kat — what do you think?

  80. Allana says:

    I love the reason why you prefer SATC than The L Word. I thought I was the only dyke who dislikes The L Word. I have the same reason too for not watching that show!

  81. Aleatorio says:

    I enjoyed the first two seasons of the L Word, but since then… Let’s just leave it there, shall we?
    Anyway, I can totally relate to the SATC detachment thing. I’m so young that I had to secretly watch it (and I wasn’t allowed to watch Ally McBeal without adult supervision), and even though I wasn’t even aware yet of my own lesbianism, I always felt that those people were so far off from my own world that I didn’t have to feel any inadequacies (as opposed to younger, “real” people on “rough” teen series like As If).

    My secret favourite is Frasier. I was talking about racial stereotypes with a Latino friend and after hearing my confession he (jokingly, of course..? ;) ) declared me the whitest person ever.

  82. Jennifer says:

    Lifetime Movie Network + Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatre Company = The L Word

    Alright, I’ll shut up now.

  83. Aleatorio says:

    tea: “But I was for a dozen years a Northern California political dyke, and we had no respect for the L.A. lesbian trip. (Or, as we called them, “gay women”. Notice the series can’t even use the real word in the title.)”

    OT About the expression “gay woman”: I’m not a native English speaker, and I’m always thrilled to hear new English GLTBQ words (I speak a smallish European language that borrows most of the lingo from you people). Does the term “qay woman” generally have the kind of a nuance to it that I think tea means (that stereotypical gay (male) “lifestyle” with your “pink money” and designer outfits)?

  84. Natkat says:

    I love SATC because it’s about women who love and take care of each other. Ever notice how in Disney movies the mother is dead and all the female characters hate each other? The movie Peter Pan is the screenplay for Women’s Inhumanity to Women. I also love the dialogue in SATC. It helps that it was written by a gay man. The episode where Carrie farted in front of her boyfriend was classic.

    I think the L Word has gotten better over time. I don’t know if Gwyn Turner is still writing for them, but I get the feeling that it was her writing and Rose Troche’s directing that made it so awful. I especially love Alice’s character. My partner and I chuckle at her antics and witty remarks all the time. My favorite was the last episode of series 4 when they decided to steal a sign from a building. When the cops came they all ran away. Alice’s jacket got caught on something and she said with such melodrama, “Just leave me. Go on!” We were cracking up!

    I think someone nailed it when she said that it’s better to watch it on DVD. I’ve never seen it while it was being aired – only on DVD – and have always enjoyed it.

  85. Kate Evans says:

    I recently wrote about lesbians liking SATC on my blog (www.beingandwriting.blogspot.com). My partner and I have watched it for years. I was disappointed in the movie, too.

    I think writers liked the show because it was very writer-centered; each episode was another chapter of Carrie’s life. The movie lost that completely.

    I don’t find the L Word stressful–just irritating, because of the bad writing and bad acting.

  86. Beyonce Holes says:

    I liked SATC on TV. The film was . . . good, but not brilliant. I felt the main problems were that the crises were contrived. First, Steve would never cheat on Miranda. And, if he did, we had to believe it. I never believed it. We never saw this other woman. We knew nothing about her. We knew nothing about his infidelity–so it felt thrown in, to give Miranda something to worry about.

    I also felt the Carrie/Big breakup went on for too long. She moped and moped and moped. I wanted to wring her neck!

    Charlotte was content and boring, for the most part. She played a bit part in the film.

    Samantha’s female gaze was great, but I felt it was fogged by tranquilisers. She wasn’t the spicy, fiery spirit of the TV series. She was depressed, dull and boring most of the time. And I’m not sure if her getting a dog instead of a boyfriend was too cute. Don’t get me wrong, she had to be single–that was the whole point of Samantha: to show you didn’t need a man to complete you, just love for yourself and your friends–but giving her a little dog seemed out of character for her. And it made her a spinster.

    Also, the acting wasn’t as great. The actors were too knowing. They seemed spoiled by the money; they knew they were doing this not for the love but for the cash they never made on HBO.

    The pacing was far too slow, because it felt a climax should come every 35 mins, and it didn’t. MPK effectively wrote five openings, five middles and one end. The constantly changing storyline, which seemed to build up and then die, before a new story built up died, was very frustrated. It felt piecemeal and ill-considered.

    Finally, the product placements were terrible.

  87. Ilana says:

    Can’t say I like SATC at all, and I did hear the movie was terrible. Mostly I just think Sarah Jessica Parker’s a sellout for getting a nose job…
    I have to admit to liking the L Word, though. It’s just so absorbing…

  88. Feminista says:

    Well,I’ve only seen SATC 3 times and wasn’t impressed,and I’ve never seen the L-Word. From what y’all have written,though,I think I’d be put off by the same shallow materialism & self-absorption of the former.

    However,I have had some guilty pleasures: Seinfeld & Friends re-runs when I need distraction and a few laughs & ER because of the (mostly)interesting characters and fast pace.

    I don’t feel guilty about having watched Roseanne re-runs,because that was a funny,genuine show about real people. It also raised important issues like physical and sexual abuse,reproductive rights,L/G/B cocerns before any other sit-com,racism,and class issues. And did I say it was FUNNY?!

    Northern Exposure also was very well done,with great music,characters & scenery (even though it was filmed in WA,not AK). I also liked the use of new actors such as the woman who played Marilyn Whirlwind,and the attention to and respect for the Native people. I was disappointed when it,as well as Will and Grace,went off the air.

  89. Feminista says:

    P.S.In the early 90s I liked watching Thirtysomething because of the good & sometimes witty dialogue,and the fact that some of the characters had a socio-political conscience and actually DID something useful,instead of just whining. Gary met Susannah,director of a homeless shelter,when he volunteered there.When they married, their judge was a Black woman. Hope had taken women’s studies classes; writer Carolyn Forche was mentioned one episode. Other feminist issues were raised throughout the series.

  90. Dr. Empirical says:

    I’m going to have to weenie out on the Lynda Barry talk tonight. I can’t work a clutch with my sprained ankle. If she makes it there, maybe Riotlama will favor us with a paragraph on it?

    I’ve got a business trip to San Francisco tomorrow! How will I make it to the art museums and drag queen shows when I can barely walk?

  91. jude says:

    will read all this later. just to say i also did all of SATC on dvd. like a box o chocolates without any nutrition or body issues. in many ways it and the L word are equally surreal …

    anyway – the series *I* ended up getting the most excited about as a dvd-year-after-everyone-else-saw-it experience is Battlestar Galactica. all i can say is that it wasn’t a fan who got me to try it – i don’t know anyone else who watches it. it was the third time some writer in one of the left wing political mags i read said words to the effect that the only folks on television who are analyzing politics or war in a nuanced and insightful way are the folks at (the revisioned) Battlestar Galactica. and they were right.

    if you are not already a fan, please check em out. if you check em out, please start at the beginning with the 2 hour pilot. and get the version of season one with the extended finale, and watch RAZOR. etc. it is very odd sounding like a Trekkie about this, but there we are. the television series is a unique form of theater that at its best can rival all the others. this one is quite a ride. and i haven’t even mentioned the women…

  92. kat says:

    Maggie,
    I hadn’t heard anything about it, but I’ll look….I also loved “Chris in the Morning” more than was rational. Especially since I was a small child when Northern Exposure was on.

  93. kat says:

    Turns out it’s real. La Scala (in Milan) will mount An Inconvenient Truth opera……I’m really, really, really sceptical.
    Here’s a link:
    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D90V9JD81&show_article=1

  94. Cate says:

    I saw the opera of the Handmaid’s Tale. I didn’t think that was possible either. It was visually stunning, but in the interval my friend said, um, there haven’t been any SONGS. Heh.

  95. Liza Cowan says:

    Jude, I’m a major Battlestar Gallactica fan too. Everything about it is wonderful – the writing, the characters, the plot, the actors, the direction, the set design, the lighting, the cinematography. A real treat.

    Maggie alerted me to the blog written by the co-executive producer, Jane Espenson, who also wrote for Buffy, Firefly, Gilmore Girls. http://www.janeespenson.com The blog is not about BSG in particular, but more about the process of screenwriting, sort of.

  96. Pam I. says:

    Six Feet Under !!!!
    I bought the lot in a box set last summer and the just-one-episode-more effect meant I had to write my dissertation in three days flat.

  97. ocd/twof says:

    tama: yo tambien – y L Word.

  98. falloch says:

    OT: check out these strips drawn by a Chinese woman, Coco Wang, about the rescue work at the Sichuan earthquake sites

    http://www.paulgravett.com/articles/133_china/133_china_1.htm

  99. Jana C.H. says:

    On opera of “An Inconvenient Truth”? Where’s the sex and violence? Seriously, operas are usually about the emotional relationships between individuals, which works out to sex and violence (or sex and silliness in comedies). They’re not really suited to science and social movements, though both can be emotionally exciting to those caught up in them. Some years back I saw Philip Glass’s “Satyagraha”, which was about a social movement (Ghandi and Indian Independence). I have no desire whatsoever to see it again.

    Final question: Should Al Gore be cast as a tenor or a baritone?

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith WSG: They sing choruses in public! That’s mad enough, I think!

  100. Falloch! The earthquake strips are amazing! Thanks fer the link.

  101. chriso says:

    My friend just told me that they saw women openly weeping when they saw Carrie’s CLOSET. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry myself.

  102. kat says:

    Baritone, definitely. Or else Placido Domingo. No other tenor could do Al Gore, I don’t think.

    Maybe there will be scenes of him lecturing, so that the singer can do the “baritone claw” thing while he alerts the audience to our impending doom.

  103. Dale says:

    I can’t stand the L Word myself. They’re SO fake. In my travels I have never met one lesbian that looks anything like those women. Let’s face it – if a series or movie has a lesbian in it, it’s to appease straight men. You’ll never find a big ol’ 185lb unshorn bull dyke in Doc Martens, jeans, and a tye-dyed muscle shirt.
    That’s why I love DTWOF – it’s much more realistic! Lesbian drama! She slept with WHO? Lesbian moms! Overweight lesbians, butch lesbians, femmes, tops, bottoms, stones – WHOO!…all this ranting about real lesbians just made my nipples hard. Maybe this is why Mo does it.
    Pardon me….oh, and I’ll just take my box of Ivory. LOL!

  104. Jana C.H. says:

    Kat– I was thinking baritone, too. As the cliche puts it, tenors have voices, not brains. Dick Cheney should be a bass (basses are generally villains, grandfathers, or God), and W can be a trouser role– soprano, I think. Condi can be the mezzo. The tenor role will be, let’s see… Some fervent young scientist? Bill Clinton? I know: Barack Obama! A tenor to the bone.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Georges Bizet: As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.

  105. Ian says:

    Lesbian stones? Tops and bottoms I understand but stones has me mystified.

  106. liza Cowan says:

    Don’t you know we’re into crystals?

  107. cd in Madison says:

    Jana – Satyagraha was one of the words in the National Spelling bee last week. At the time, I’d never heard the word, but I’ve run into it twice since then. Funny how that works.

    And, oh, re: National Spelling Bee — did anyone see the kid who thought they’d given him the word Numbnuts to spell? Too funny.

  108. Ellen O. says:

    Ian –

    Stone as in stone butch. Serious, hardcore butch. Read Stone Butch Blues to learn more. T

    hough I do like the crystal concept too, Liza. Maybe _Crystal Butch Silvers_, a novel about mystical lesbians in their 60′s.

  109. jude says:

    feminista- i loved 30something too. so earnest and ambitious. i remember certain scenes so clearly – i was engaged with the characters the way i did when i was a kid. thanks for bringing it back for a moment…

  110. Maggie Jochild says:

    CD in Madison — yeah, I watched the Spelling Bee and was hysterics when Sameer Mizrha thought they were actually giving him “numbnuts” to spell. He handled it with amazing aplomb. When it turned out to be “numna” on repetition, his face when he said “That’s a relief” was priceless.

    I loved how hard his older sister cried when he won. She’d competed three times but never won.

    We always used “stone” to mean a butch lesbian who is not necessarily more butch than others, but unable to let a woman make love to her because it would destroy the myth of her so-called masculinity. As feminists, give and take in bed without confusing desire with power dynamics made them not so desirable as sexual partners. I.e., not a “do-ee” and a “do-er”, but as Teresa Trull sang it, “I’d like to make love with you / Not to you or at you as men often do.”

    The earthquake strips are revelatory. Going directly to my blog. Thank you, thank you, Falloch, for sharing them here.

  111. Natkat says:

    Pam, I hear you about Six Feet Under. My partner and I watched the whole thing from start to finish on DVD. Hearing the theme song still gives me chills. I remember us hurrying through dinner every night so we could watch the next DVD. We were mesmerized. I absofuckinglutely LOVED the series. It was amazing.

  112. michelle says:

    Dale–I hate the L-word, too (bad acting! worse writing!) but can we stop with the idea that lesbians who look like that aren’t real? My New York art historian partner looks and presents so much like Bette it’s a joke between us, especially since I look like Tina. We don’t present as we present to please straight men. Harassment on the street makes me crazy, not being seen as a couple because we’re not seen makes me want to cry, but we look like what we look like. When I was younger and less secure in my identity, I’d try to butch up. It felt awkward and awful, and like I was stifling an intrinsic part of myself–not what I came out of the closet to do.
    I love SATC. Love the clothes, love the unbridled femininity, love seeing the love between women–it’s everything the L word should be and isn’t.

  113. Sarah says:

    Ilana: “Can’t say I like SATC at all, and I did hear the movie was terrible. Mostly I just think Sarah Jessica Parker’s a sellout for getting a nose job…
    I have to admit to liking the L Word, though. It’s just so absorbing…”

    Have never seen the L Word, have seen and liked a few SATC episodes, and will probably see the movie — I’m in graduate school (public policy) and am working full time, so I need the brain candy!

    I’m usually with you on the nose jobs, but Sarah Jessica’s works for her. Her nose still appears pretty prominent, so it doesn’t seem like she was trying for a cutesy button-nose effect. As the proud possessor of a long face, curly hair, and a big old schnozz, I adore any actress who doesn’t feel the need to turn herself into your basic white-bread conventional “beauty.”

    (OK, it does make me sad that S.J. Parker straightens her hair. I was brainwashed into doing it as a teenager. Never again. I’d rather sleep than wake up 45 minutes early to fry my hair a la blow dryer.)

  114. Jain says:

    Willamette Valley area DTWOF fans are meeting next Saturday evening, June 14th, at 5:00 at Pasta Ravello, 345 Van Buren, next to the Red Barn Grocery in Eugene. Come join us.

  115. Deena in OR says:

    Regarding QAF…not too long after I came out, my gay male housemate sat me down and started Season one in the DVD player-and worked me clear through Season Five eventually. He considered it a tutorial. Maybe in *his* world…

    I will admit to having an eternal soft spot in my heart for Emmett and Vic, though.

  116. Ian says:

    Thanks for de-myst-ing me Maggie and Ellen O. One piece of language that hasn’t made its way across the ocean.

    I think I like Liza Cowan’s explanation best though! ;)

  117. Alex K says:

    @Jana C.H. — Countertenor. Maybe a trouser-role mezzo, there up on the ladder with the PowerPoint backdrops.

    Shouldn’t the news of the end of the world have something, well, unearthly about its presentation?

  118. tea says:

    michelle,
    thanks for speaking up girl.

  119. --MC says:

    A new addition to the taxonomy of dykes: crystal dykes, which I guess would be like Sparrow. Crystal packin’ mama, lay that crystal down.

  120. Ian says:

    Deena, obviously straight people have dating, weddings, procreation and a whole culture to teach them how to interact. Gays have TV programmes. I’ve met a fair few men who see Samantha as a role model!

  121. Ian says:

    Thanks –MC, you’ve just inspired in my very dirty mind, a flash image of Sparrow and Stuart’s sex life.

  122. Deena in OR says:

    Ian,

    Yeah, I get that. But there wasn’t much there but soap opera for a newly out dyke besides Mel and Lindsay. Entertaining soap opera, surely, though.

  123. Anonymous says:

    They should make Dykes to Watch Out For into a TV show, I vastly prefer it to the L word. However when I need my lesbian fix AND my TV fix, The L word is really my only option (although it stresses me out, EVERYTHING stresses me out so it’s okay).
    I have never ever ever ever met a lesbian who even remotely resembled anyone off the L word, but then again I live in small town Missouri so I haven’t really seen any women who resemble anyone off the L word. T-shirts and jeans are kind of the norm here. I’m desperate enough to complain about the L word and still love it though (like most lesbians). I’m even desperate enough to have watched every single season of Queer as Folk just for Mel and Lindsey despite having sift through all the gay male sex.

  124. Richard says:

    there are a lot of series I didn’t care for when they were current: Seinfeld, for one (though I’ve gotten over that – “not that there’s anything wrong with it”). Sex and the City was one. I love it in syndication, and have considered springing for the set on DVD (especially in the hopes of seeing bloopers, out-takes, etc.)

    But I have no desire to see The Movie: it’s a phenonmenon that has passed, like Senator Clinton’s bid for the 2008 Presidential Candidacy, or a relationship with someone one loves and for whom one once had a passion, but it is over. One wants to see good things for them, one has hopes, but sometimes one has to let go and move on. And, particularly, not try to re-create the past.

  125. Richard says:

    Side note to Jana:

    Years ago, there was an ad campaign to the effect (according to my deficient memory):

    “Sex. Love. Lust. Betrayal. Revenge. Violence. Murder.

    You must be at the Opera!”

    It was an ad campaign by the New York Metropolitan Opera.

  126. dc says:

    Wow, I’m a relatively new lurker, (altho I’ve probably posted once or twice), and I thought it was the most high faluting blog I’ve come across! (Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s brilliant)

    But one mention of SATC, and we have a deluge of low brow confessions [grin]. LOVE. IT.

    Alison, if you want a good series, and haven’t come across it yet – try the UK series Bad Girls – Season 1 & 2. Exceptional. Produced by a lesbian & gay production company. Lead writers are lesbians.

    btw, L Word is just godawful. The first Season had some great storylines, but after that it plunged into inexplicably nightmarish scripts.

  127. BrooklynPhil says:

    wow… so many posts! Is it SATC, or the whole retro/forbidden pleasures of TV theme.

    My SATC experience oddly parallels AB’s. Didn’t have cable, so I spent years hearing about it from friends. Then started watching it on DVDs, so I could watch an entire season during a weekend. Going through a hard break up in 2003, a friend lent me all of her SATC DVDs, and it was terrific therapy.

    I went to the movie opening weekend in NYC with another gay male. The audience was 88% women. There was another gay male couple seated in front of me.

    I did find myself tearing up at a few moments, but as so many have already noted, it really wasn’t anything more than a few episodes cobbled together.

    I only found out that Lisa Kron was in the movie when we read the credits. I’m so sorry I missed her part, and/or that it was edited to near oblivion.

    Judging from the responses on this blog, the producers of Queer as Folk/Fuck shouldn’t think about a movie version anytime soon.

    My favorite gay-themed TV show is “gay comedy sketch show” on logo. They have some awesome lesbian parodies of “Facts of Life” and the character of Fitzwilliam, the pre-op British transgender boy who longs most passionately, and vocally, to get a vagina, is just a RIOT!

  128. kat says:

    Jana, I think W should be a countertenor, actually.
    That, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with my being a mezzo and therefore not too fond of countertenors who take roles away from me (of course not…..right….)

    Other than that, you’re dead on with the casting.

    Maggie and CD, the kid who won the Spelling Bee was too funny. Apparently his sister coached him, and part of why she was so emotional was that it was a big day for her, too. Just before her brother won, she found out she was admitted to Princeton.

  129. Kate L says:

    BrooklynPhil,

    Interesting that you should find a transsexual a laugh riot. Glad you were amused.

    I keep waiting for someone to mention Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. A lot of young women scientists were inspired to follow their careers because that character.

  130. Jana C.H. says:

    A countertenor would do for George W. I can’t see it for Al Gore, though. He’s so innately baritonish. For eerie predictions of doom, we could cast David Korn, male soprano, as a fervent young scientist. I’ve seen Korn perform two or three times here in Seattle, and I can easily imagine him bringing the terrible knowledge to Gore, who then warns the rest of the world with suitable gravitas and claw-like gestures. A chorus of Nobel-prize judges can sing and dance in the background.

    Richard– Yep, that just about sums up opera, as does the wonderful “Opera in 10 Minutes” linked above. In both chases comedies are left out, but the only difference there is that the blood is replaced by embarrassment. (Yes, Kat, I know the cliches we’re laughing about really only apply to the 19th century at best, but that covers a lot of opera.)

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Ed Gardner: Opera is when a guy gets stabbed and instead of bleeding, he sings.

  131. andrewo says:

    I used to watch the show with a horrified fascination. The self centeredness of the characters — especially Carrie herself — never ceased to amaze me, as did the clothes (note to costume designer: SJP is bowlegged; short skirts are a disaster on her). What was so wonderful about Carrie? Only because every one else said so. She’s shallow, vain, selfish; narrow; not interested in anything much but the next pair of shoes. Her only interest in culture is whether or not it’s fashionable. Did she ever read a book? Go to a movie? The only play anyone ever went to was the one where Samantha’s boy toy dropped trou (and why didn’t we get to see his full glory?) Every thing that was wrong with their all important relationships was the fault of the men, who alas were not mind readers, and thus could not anticipate every new whim and thought of the Four Bitches of the Apocalypse.

  132. Maggie Jochild says:

    JANEWAY! I have her action figure. Of course, my favorite from ST Voyager was not her but Kes, the Ocampa empath. I really wanted to explore those funky ears…

    Mentioning Star Trek could drop us down the wormhole (humor intended). The “lesbian kiss” episode between Jadzia Dax and the former partner of her trill was way hotter than most other TV versions of lesbianism. I always wanted to see a love scene between Ensign Laren Ro and Lt. Tasha Yar — but of course, they had to get rid of both of them because they were too powerful, and focus instead on fembot Deanna Troi and doormat mother of Wesley Crusher, can’t even remember her name.

    I LOVED B’Elanna Torres from Voyager and Kira Keryns from DS9. Ditto Saavik and Uhura from the original — Uhura may have just sat in front of a bunch of flashing lights repeating things, but she carved out her own presence. The later Guinan was a little too “Magical Negro” for me. I also liked some of the villains, like the Borg Queen and of course 7 of 9.

    And yeah, I have all of these action figures. TWO of Jadzia Dax, in regular uniform and in Klingon disguise.

  133. Liza Cowan says:

    Jedzia Dax. Sigh. Loved her.

    Janeway? Never. Every word out of her mouth seemed to say, “Do you know that I’m Katherine Hepburn’s niece.”

    So, I’ve been watching SAT because of this conversation and first of all, yawn. Second, Aiden? He gives me the creeps the same way as his character on Northern Exposure did. He’s like a piece of old gum. Shapeless, tasteless and needs to be peeled off.

    Best part of SATC? The apartments.

  134. Deena in OR says:

    Off topic-community request…

    I could use some good psychic energy in my direction today. Without getting into it too much, I’m meeting with a loan workout officer this evening (7:00 Pacific time,, if it helps focus things) to try and stave off foreclosure on my house. It’s a matter of being less than a full payment behind. I’m hoping he’ll approve the plan I’ve devised to bring things up to date. It’s a practical one from both sides, but I’m not bargaining from a position of strength, here.
    I can’t pay off the entire amount that I’m behind before the pending foreclosure, and am hoping that he’ll approve a repayment plan. (Too much sharing here, I’m sure.) But anyway, for those here that I’ve build community with…please think of me tonight.

  135. Deena in OR says:

    …errrr…that would be built, not build.

  136. Kate L says:

    Deena,

    As a member of the First Congregational Church (an open and accepting congregation for the LGBT community), my prayers are with you. I’m also a member of my local Unitarian Fellowship, so I’ll send positive thought energy your way, too! These are not boom times for the housing industry, so the loan officer may prove to be more accommodating than you fear.

    Maggie, Liza,

    I once wrote some Star Trek Voyager fan fiction that featured an affair between Belanna Torres and Janeway…
    btw, Kate Mulgrew, the actress who played Janeway, was actually unrelated to Kathryn Hepburn. Hepburn did have a niece who is an actress, though (Katharine Houghton).

  137. Dr. Empirical says:

    Deena,

    It’s actually very expensive to foreclose on a home, and banks are scrambling to find ways to avoid having to do it. You have more power than you may think. The key isn’t selling your payment schedule, but convincing them you’ll be able to stick to it.

    Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you tonight.

  138. lurker-no-longer says:

    I’ve been lurking here for ages, and always enjoy reading. I’ve never seen SATC, have enjoyed (without taking seriously or getting stressed over) the L-Word on DVD, but Star Trek!! I could lurk no longer….remember the episode when Dr. Beverly Crusher fell in love with an alien who happened to be a parasitic entity living in the body of a human male? The human body began to die, and the medical team needed to find a replacement human body, which happened to be…you guessed it, female. Dr. Beverly had to decide whether she could make the leap, and still be lovers. I can’t even remember what happened, but I do remember it being an amazing bit of television writing, particularly for the time.

  139. Liza Cowan says:

    Ah yes, Kate L, Mulgrew wasn’t related to Hepburn. My mistake. Apparently she played Hepburn in a stage production and I was confused – a normal state for me.

  140. Pam I. says:

    Isn’t Katherine Ross K Hepburn’s niece too? From not just The Graduate, but Stepford Wives, which I was delighted to watch again last night on TV. Hard to forget the ending as you go along tho, does anyone not know the classic plot?

  141. Pam I. says:

    no – Katharine Houghton is KH’s niece – in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner she played her daughter. Can’t find connection re KH/K Ross.

    Actually I don’t really care – just distracting myself from work.

  142. Deena in OR says:

    Argh. The guy just called and rescheduled for Thursday…family emergency. Oh, well-gives me time to get paperwork together.

  143. Dr. Empirical says:

    Keep us posted, Deena.

  144. Ginjoint says:

    Yeah, Deena, my thoughts are with you.

  145. shadocat says:

    Deena,

    There’s a nationwide nonprofit organization called NACA that is working to help people facing forclosure. They might be of some help—here’s a link to their website:

    https://www.naca.com/index_main.jsp

  146. j.b.t. says:

    Good luck Deena.

    Thanks, Maggie, for filling me in on “magical negroes” – the first person I thought of was Guinan!

    And now here we are talking about Star Trek. I never got into the original, but loved Next Gen and Voyager. I’m thinking of starting the DS9 series via netflix… (When did I turn into such a dork??? How’d that happen?)

    I’m very happy to have this blog – thank you all, and thank you Alison.

    J.

  147. Ellen O. says:

    I thought DS9 was the most complex, plot and characterwise, of all the ST series. At one point I started counting all the regularly-featured characters and I came up with over 20. It felt more epic than the others, especially the last two years.

    One line I remember from the pilot: “Your brave frontier is my back yard.” (I think this was Kira to Bashir)

  148. Ian says:

    Good luck Deena. Will be hoping for the best for you!

  149. kylie says:

    I just saw the SATC movie 2 days ago in Manhattan (I’m visiting) and loved it! Loved all of it despite the non-stop product advertising. I also loved the TV series. I agree – it’s deeply relaxing.
    I can see why the L Word stresses you out but I’m glad it’s there.

  150. NLC says:

    This has zero to with this thread’s nominal topic (SATC), but…

    As part of its noon-time call-in/talk show today Vermont Public Radio had an interview with Robyn Warhol-Down, one of the editors of the new _McGraw Hill’s Anthology of Women’s Writing_.

    There was some discussion of various contributors to the anthology; and while it was a little brief, there were some nice words about a favorite Vermont memoirist.

    Available here (including audio):
    http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/80891/

  151. Ellen O. says:

    Thank you to who(m)ever raised the notion of the Magical Negro. I remember watching Driving Miss Daisy and not liking it because, like the tree in _The Giving Tree_, Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman’s character), seemed to give of himself way too much. He seemed more like a prop than a developed character. We didn’t get to see his personal life.

    As I was reading about this phenomenon, I was wondering if certain groups of white people saw Barack Obama as a Magical Negro.

    Thoughts?

  152. mk says:

    I totally loved SATC (the series) too – it was great mind candy, plus the clothes were fun and crazy. It just took me out of my head, plus I love that whole idea of being in love with NY city. I felt the same way about San Francisco for a long time,
    There are a lot of women who love STTNG & DS9 & Voyager. I met my first girlfriend when we met at a get together to watch TNG

  153. Josh says:

    I guess it greatly depends on where you stand.

    To a degree SATC stresses _me_ out: if I were living and working in New York, I’m sure I’d be looked down on and judged by the foursome as not pretension enough, not “creative” enough, not upward-aimed enough, not hipsterish enough for them. So to a degree they and contemplation of their like make me uncomfortable.

    I watched the first season, but didn’t start into the second.

    I thought the show was well-written, with clever, witty dialog and something that made me laugh a lot at least once in every episode.

    But… they _are_ a bunch of straight women, and for that reason, I have a hard time identifying with them. Lesbians I can kind of understand, but straight women, well….

    I enjoyed the episodes I saw, but never felt a big pull to keep up with the show. But… you all did mention Samantha. Now that I think about her, I remember her as the sexiest of the four, but also the most like me, in that she’s oldest, and was always having to deal with guys who might give her crap for being older than them, but who was hotter than most/all the other women these guys had ever been with. Sort of an inspiration for a middle-aged guy who is putting himself out there and making it in the rather youth-oriented gay male community. :) Well, maybe I _will_ start on the second season one of these days.

    I like and at times have loved the American Queer as Folk. At times the show spoke VERY directly to my reality. In it were things I hadn’t seen anywhere else, for instance unpleasantly but rivetingly realistic portrayals of anti-gay bigotry. Say what you want about Am QAF, but it wasn’t afraid to alienate straight people by showing us being victimized by such as themselves. It wasn’t afraid to make us look like the party that deserved sympathy as a result of interactions between us and them.

    That sort of things is mostly somewhat muted in The L Word, while the lesbian characters are almost universally (except for Ivan and a few bit players?) aimed at turning on straight men, and all young straight guys in the show are of the “duhhh, lesbians are hawt” variety. (I say this after seeing the first two seasons.) I have to question how lesbian-oriented a show is that has a sex scene with women wearing high heels in bed. I mean, do ANY lesbians find that to be a turnon? That only other place I’ve ever seen that is in straight male porn.

    Wait, did someone say that there’s an openly lesbian character in Battlestar Galactica? I’ve only seen the first two seasons, so if she’s been introduced after those, I haven’t met her yet.

    However, one lesbian that I know insists that Starbuck isn’t exclusively hetero. And I always thought the physical tension between Starbuck and Racetrack had a certain… ambiguous quality to it. Which is funny for a show that was so heterosexual, and so _straight_. Also, well… Jamie Bamber’s arms may be tres butch, but that voice promises something else. One wonders what REALLY happens when Apollo and Starbuck get together. Anyway, I can’t wait to get hold of the disks for the third season. :)

    And speaking of science fiction, what about Babylon 5′s Claudia Christian? Sure, as Commander Susan Ivanova she was married to her work and avoiding involvements, but everyone could _tell_. So it was more of a relief than a revelation when she let her hair down (in Signs and Portents?) and told Delenn, “I think I loved Talia.” For me that episode ranks up there with DS9′s “The Lesbian Kiss.”

  154. Donna says:

    The L-Word stresses me out too.

  155. Donna says:

    And I feel exactly the same way about being able to detach with the straight stuff. I like(d) not being targeted while I was growing up by the Sex Sells methodologies of the media and this society. Het stuff didn’t really apply to or affect me, and that allowed me deflect the brainwashing by either being appalled or roll of the eyes humored at its absurdity. That’s changed (Logo, L-Word, etc.), but I don’t watch it, so I’m not affected.

  156. lurker-no-longer says:

    Josh asks; “….. a sex scene with women wearing high heels in bed. I mean, do ANY lesbians find that to be a turnon?”

    Um…well, yes, actually. I’ve known a couple.

  157. Deena in OR says:

    Good news!! Well-getting there, anyway. The meeting with the loan workout guy went very well. The final decision is now in the hands of a reviewer at the mortgage co…but the processor said that it looked good. Will know soon. Keep the good energy coming-will keep you posted.

  158. j.b.t. says:

    Great to hear it, Deena! Will keep up the good vibes.

    J.

  159. --MC says:

    Continued good luck to you, Deena!

    The Guild 45th theatre here has been showing “Sex and the City” with the line “Shoes And Booze” on the marquee. Yesterday morning, either high winds or pranksters had gotten to the sign, and it said

    SEX AND THE CITY
    HOES AND BOOZE

  160. Kate L says:

    Good news, Deena! : ) I was wondering how things went with your meeting yesterday. Here, I nearly had another kind of house problem – a tornado came within four blocks of my home, then lifted back up into the sky. My dog was NOT amused – when the sirens went off and it was time to head for the basement, I had to go find her, curled up and hiding in a corner of the first floor.

  161. Feminista says:

    Happy LGBTQIQ(XYZ)Month to ALL!

  162. Anonymous says:

    I’m late in this conversation, and I like SATC, but I have two issues (and I know I’m crazy to even think about this in relation to tv) but–why do these women not have any sort of families who show up at weddings–beyond Steve’s family, who Miranda has to deal with? For God’s sake, friends are a bree

  163. Anonymous says:

    ze…hmm, see that cut off. And my other issue is that these sophisticated, smart women seem to have no knowledge or curiousity about the world outside America–even Paris, as we saw in season 6. Paris, for God’s sake. The Montezuma’s revenge joke was frankly offensive. And stupid. Let’s not forget that Miss Carrie, who supposedly worships the NYC public library, oouldn’t deal with Baryshnikov reading poetry to her–ooh, yuck, weird, they all decided. This is what passes for smart sophistication in the US? And I haven’t seen it questioned anywhere. Does that not seem odd to anyone else?

  164. Aunt Soozie says:

    Beyonce Holes…. nice!
    crack me right up with that moniker!
    Aleatorio, I never heard “gay woman” used that way but I don’t know.

    I have also known some lesbians who were hot for the high heel shoes in bed thing. Personally, I prefer a babe who can f*%# with her birkenstocks, dansko clogs, crocs, thick, fuzzy wool socks or some combination of the aforementioned still on her feet… shoot, anyone can rock in stilettos… though screwing in them is probably a better choice, all the way around, than walking in them.

  165. Lori in NYC says:

    dc, I agree – Bad Girls is great!

  166. Dr. Empirical says:

    I always thought the high heels in bed thing was silly in straight male porn, and I enjoy straight male porn. Hell, I PREFER it!

  167. Dr. Empirical says:

    Now that I’ve sung the praises of straight male porn:

    Congratulations Deena! Best of luck, and please keep us posted!

  168. d/f/ says:

    i once walked into a discussion of fetish stilleto shoes (not *meant* to be walked in — too high) at one of my former (les-queer-heavy) workplaces.

    so..mm… i don’t think we yield that one to the straight boys.

    or their depictions / fantasies of us.

    ;>

  169. Beyonce Holes says:

    Thanks, Aunt Soozie ;)

  170. an australian in london says:

    Okay, ‘Queer as Folk’ I got, because of the lovely moment at the funeral in ‘The Full Monty’ after Gaz and Dave work out that their two male friends have gotten together, but ‘jump the shark’? (dna – June 3rd). Is it a dildo thing?

    (As a member of the ‘the L-Word stresses me out’ (or would if I gave it the time of day) school, one of the things I remember from one of the episodes i did catch was a strap-on scene by a swimming pool – not that that stressed me out…).

    Now DTWOF. There’s some lesbian representation that doesn’t stress me out!

  171. NLC says:

    Concerning “Jump the Shark”

    For those who didn’t grow up on American televsion: The phrase refers to the point when a (say) a TV series can officially be said to have moved from “has remained on the air too long” to “the status of self-parody” (or just plain silly).

    Specifically it refers to an episode in the old American sit-com “Happy Days” (this was a “nostalgic” comedy set in the 1950s, and was roughly based on the movie “American Graffitti”).

    Anyway, in the episode a character (Fonzie or “The Fonz”) literally jumps (on water skis) over a container containing a live shark.

    If you’re _really_ interested, you can see it here on-line:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpraJYnbVtE

  172. Dana says:

    Ha, your feelings about being utterly detached and thus relaxed watching SATC are mine, but exactly, re The Girls Next Door(life at the playboy mansion for the 3 remaining blond fluffhead gfriends of Hugh Hefner!!) LOL! Disgusting thing to have to admit, though :)

  173. J Max Stein says:

    We had a whole discussion about SATC the other day at my big gay chorus — turned out a bunch of us dykes were closet fans. We theorized it was because the characters are relatively sexually empowered women looking for love and making their own choices — something relatable for everyone!

  174. Annie in Hawai'i says:

    Aloha All!

    I haven’t read all the posts but someone must have already made note that SATC is so enjoyable because the characters are actually deliberately constructed as queens disguised as straight women. By the same token, The L Word is just as fantastic (and I mean that literally–it is fantasy) and not to be taken seriously either and enjoyed on its own merits or lack thereof.

    ciao, ciao

  175. Chris says:

    It’s that “gaze” thing that is the difference between SATC and the L Word. To me, the L Word is totally made as a show for guys to watch lesbians. Whereas, for some reason, SATC, despite its ridiculous consumerism and totally fantastic premises (like they drink multiple Cosmopolitans and never gain an ounce) feels like it is made for women to watch women. Not necessarily to lust after, just to SEE. To me, the L Word always feels fake as it tries to reproduce lesbian institutions — the coffee house, for instance. I don’t really expect to understand life (or sex) in NYC, so I have different expectations — which does make it relaxing.

  176. Josh says:

    I think I kind of understand why many women here find watching The L Word stressful: it seems to be creating a weird tension between trying to force lesbians to be the kinds of women they’re “supposed to be” (femmy straight women) and lesbianism, so you can’t escape the expectations, and the implicit condemnation for not measuring up to them, even by being a dyke anymore….

    More and more about that show appears to be ridiculously untrue to lesbian life as I watch it. In the third season it’s clear that “lesbians” (the L Word ones) don’t consider gay men to be “real men”. Since they cut out the extended, graphic heterosex in each episode after the first season, I’m not sure who exactly the show is trying to appeal to. Is there actually a cohort of affluent-to-rich lipstick lesbians who buy into the ideology that this show is selling?

  177. Duncan says:

    I know this is comment is late, but here goes anyway.

    I had never seen The L Word before this summer, and then I came across the first season on DVD at the public library, so I checked it out. Of course I was put off by the rich skinny women, but since there’s no chance of a TV series starring only women who look like Lea DeLaria, I just ‘read’ past them as it were and enjoyed the series more than I expected. (Ditto for tea’s rhetorical question about depicting LA as the working-class multiracial city it really is: it’s not gonna happen on TV.) Thanks to the city and university libraries, I’m now in the middle of Season 4.

    I think I agree with Alison. I’ve never been able to watch Queer as Folk, and I think that the L Word doesn’t bother me because I’m NOT a lesbian, or a woman, which “allows me to just completely detach and not take anything personally, even the absurd [gay male] moments. It’s deeply relaxing.” (Hey — isn’t Alan Cumming the most annoying actor around today?)

    If anything, the producers’ attempts to cover Serious Issues and Our Community’s Diversity (Breast Cancer! Bisexuality! Transguys!) bother me more than the unreal upscaleness of the central characters. I see them trying to include a wider range of women, though it’s just not very convincing. And I agree that the writing and direction are very uneven, but I happen to like Rose Troche and Gwyn Turner, so I generally enjoy their contributions more. To each her own.

    And yet, one thing I’ve enjoyed while watching, as a longtime DTWOF fan, was comparing the way the L word handled topics and issues compared to the way Alison does. Sometimes I wondered (and I don’t think it’s impossible, I’m sure that at least some of them have read the strip) if the producers went through the DTWOF archives and made a checklist of issues they should cover. Almost everything they did reminded me of this or that strip.

    I disagree with Josh when he writes that “I’m not sure who exactly the show is trying to appeal to. Is there actually a cohort of affluent-to-rich lipstick lesbians who buy into the ideology that this show is selling?” It appears to me that a lot of lesbians do watch and like the show. Why do you assume that characters must be exactly like the audience? After all, Alison isn’t like those rich white women on Sex in the City, yet she likes that show. The interaction of audience with content is extremely complex.

    Also, I’ve been skeptical of this kind of complaint ever since I heard other gay men attack The Boys in The Band for its supposedly unrealistic portrayal of gay men — yet those who complained the loudest were, to my eyes, the most like Crowley’s characters. Or other men who attacked books like “Dancer from the Dance” because they supposedly had absolutely nothing to do with their lives — yet those men drank and cruised a lot, just less in a midwestern college town than they could have done in Manhattan. So the more vehemently they distanced themselves from Holleran’s world, the more I wondered about their motives.

    None of this is to say that The L Word is great art, or even great entertainment. But it is better than I expected.