Get your head out of your ass

I was thinking about posting something on my Dexter outline (which is almost done). Or on Dollhouse and Joss Whedon's article in the Times today. But instead, I'm going to post about Sex and the City. That's fucking right.

There’s just so much whining out there about the upcoming Sex and the City movie. I can understand the concerns about whether or not it’ll pay off due to the time lapse from the series, the endless copies that have floated about since it signed off of HBO, it’s R rating, and the fact that "non-city" people seem to only like government-issue-cheese movies (horrible action crap and lower-than-low-brow comedies) and reality TV.

Sure. Reason for worry there.

But there’s all this talk about how straight men won’t go anywhere near the film. I even read an article from the unreadable John Kass in the Chicago Trib saying guys would rather have their skin ripped off and roll around in salt and lemon juice. Even the LA Times had a lovely little article where they blathered on about the four quadrants and how one would be more likely to see straight men buying gas for $2/gallon than in a theater watching this movie.

Get your heads out of your asses. I want to see the movie. Sure, my fiancée is dying to see it, and sure, since I’m going to this movie with her I’m gonna make her go see Indiana Jones IV with me – but I’m going to see this of my own volition. I want to see it. And let’s take a little look at my stats:

sex: male
orientation: straight
head: out of ass

I’m getting really sick of all the gender expectation bullshit. Now, I understand the hesitation. It does smack of girl, Carrie usually looks like a gay Barbie doll, and sometimes there’s definitely such a thing as way too much pink. And I was definitely wary of it myself. But then I moved in with Mychela, and she owns every season on DVD. During my jobless stretches in my first months in LA, I watched the whole series from beginning to end.

And it’s a damn good story. Not a woman’s show built for Lifetime, but a good story. And a great TV show. Here’s why:

1. It’s smart. (Both in the writing and in the sense that it’s intelligent, not Two-and-a-Half-Men retarded.)

2. The characters are distinct, dynamic, and wonderfully developed. (And for the guys out there, I mean this both literally and figuratively, so all the more reason to watch.)

3. It’s funny. (There’s a serious dirth of really good comedy on TV. It’s TRUE. And this show is full of it. And good raunchy comedy too. Who doesn’t like that?)

4. It has the emotional maturity that a well-adjusted adult should crave in a Reality TV world. (I’m sick of the obsession with the actresses' ages. If I played to my own demographic, I’d be a fan of Transformers, Lost, and every schlocky horror film they belch out of the cineplexes. Shoot me. There’s a big, thriving community of entertainment-thirsty people in their mid-20’s to early 40’s who one can only assume aren’t interested in teenagers. At all. And I don’t care if they act like they're in their 30’s, drink mojitos in high school and act like Manhattan powerbrokers.)

5. The acting in this series is fantastic all around. (I personally think Cynthia Nixon and Sarah Jessica Parker are incredibly strong in the series. And John Corbett tacks on a great performance, adding a second series to his list of great shows he’s been in. Maybe the United States of Tara will make it three.)

6. For guys, it has male characters one can root for and not despise.

7. It’s chalk full of sex.

Now, for most guys out there, Reason #7 should be enough. If you can’t draw interest from a fun, smart show that’s just dripping with sex, then well… your whole Guy Argument is a little weak. See Reasons #1-5 and reexamine your stance against the show – and maybe your professed orientation. The show certainly meets the Joey Tribianni rule of entertainment: nudity.

Now, yes, there’s issues with the show. Let’s look at the Male Caveats:

1. Womens’ POV. On the whole the show does a pretty good job of respecting the POV of all genders, orientations, etc. But there are certainly moments where the female perspective trumps all and the writing staff is clearly enjoying skewering the male character effigies of their own ex-boyfriends. This happens a fair amount, but you just have to get past it – like you would in any show. Lord knows that there’s often perspectives in all shows that make you want to scream, this one just happens to be a Womens’ POV. Deal with it. [Not that I didn’t do a lot of screaming and hollering at the end of Season 3. Damn you Carrie.]

2. Mr. Big. This character, I can only assume, is some female wet dream. He makes next to no sense, has no appeal at all to anyone who doesn't have a uterus or a fondness for dick, and, yes, you’re going to hate him. He’s a cliché, he’s obnoxious, and he’ll make you think Carrie is the embodiment of the female stereotype that drives all guys who aren’t assholes NUTS. But he’s not going anywhere, and (sorry to spoil it for you) he doesn’t get hit by the truck he deserves, so – let’s move on.

3. The guys get screwed. Figuratively, they do – and this is good reason to watch. But I’m referring to the characters guys will identify with. There are several characters on this show that are well-drawn men, and characters that most guys will enjoy. But they get screwed. Just about each and every one of them. (And the trailer for the movie makes it look like they’re going to come full circle on this one.) And I guess after an untold number of years of the trend going the other way, well, it’s our just deserves. But just realize that this means you’re in for some of our own medicine with this series. But, watch, enjoy, and we can all commiserate for Aidan and mutter about women over a beer some other time.

But it looks like I may be in the minority on this one. Apparently guys only like 24, Lost, and CSI – shows I wouldn’t go anywhere near with a 10,000 foot pole. Go figure. But if you like smart TV, and you enjoy the ladies, then I really see no reason why you can’t enjoy this show. And go see the movie – prove all the pundits and middle America wrong.

Let’s just hope the movie lives up the series. But in a world where a free-thinking, intelligent adult wants to see a comedy and is to choose between What Happened in Vegas, Baby Mama and Sex and the City -- dear god I hope there's a enough people out there to shake a stick at that'll choose Sex and City.

ps. OK. So I guess I will post a bit about Whedon. Joss Whedon is back in the Midseason hot seat with Dollhouse at Fox. So in terms of showing up, pulling our heads out of our asses and WATCHING THE DAMN SHOW, let’s all make sure this one works when it airs. It’s Whedon, and it’s Dushku, and it looks like it could be pretty Whedon-tastic. I’m going to end on a writerly quote by Mr. Whedon himself from today’s LA Times:

“So when somebody's coming up to me, or they're writing, they're in the same space I am in. I write for fanboy moments. I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of. I write to do all the things the viewers want too.”

God, I can’t believe we’re gonna have to wait until January…


Emily Blake said...

And to continue breaking gender expectations, I will add that I have less desire to see this movie than I have to slam my little toe with a hammer. And I am a straight female.

Erika Anderson said...

Because of your blog, I may have respect for Sex and the City for the first time in my life. It could be fleeting, but it exists. Consider that one of your writerly achievements.