by: Yvette Valdenegro
2022 Samantha Jones: Dramatic or Dead On?
The iconic TV series Sex and the City captured our attention for six seasons. The hustle of the City that never sleeps, New York City, matches the intensity of the four robust characters Carrie Bradshaw, Charlotte York Goldenblatt, Miranda Hobbes & Samantha Jones.
The show, SATC, captured us as the audience, with four profoundly imperfect but extremely relatable women trying to juggle their professional and romantic pursuits. The original show debuted in the 1990's; however, the impact and SATC movement live on. Is this movement invigorated by the latest comeback season, And Just Like That? Is the SATC crusade creating a culture of independent women that mimic the characters, or are the characters mimicking a women's movement? To fully comprehend the impact SATC and the four characters have had on culture; we decided to discuss, dissect, and deliberate each main character individually. First at-bat, the one, and only Samantha Jones. Samantha is known to have an unapologetic attitude, be fiercely independent, sexually voracious, and unforgettable project one-liners. Although, Samantha is not the focal point of the original story plot, her larger-than-life presence heavily intertwines with the other characters. Samantha is always willing to listen to her friends' problems and offer sound advice. They lean on her for guidance, want to be more like her, and are always willing to listen because she tells the truth and sheds light on their inner voices. They desire to be more vital and less vulnerable to their internal struggles pulling them closer to the advice of Samantha Jones. Samantha is their leading example of honesty, toughness, and loyalty. Rather than allowing a relationship to be the driving force behind her life goals, she stayed true to herself and her openness regarding sexuality. Samantha consistently encourages her friends by modeling the 'move-on' element in a bad relationship. She would often tell others to 'stop dwelling on past mistakes...or relationships.....what happens is in the past. Leave it there. Although easy to say and less easy to do, Samantha did it with confidence and NYC style. As we begin this 4 part series with Samatha Jones, reflect on one of her most famous quotes, 'I love you, but I love me more.' Is this quote more relevant today than in the1990's? Is it healthy to have this attitude while in a relationship? How has this legendary character continued to change the culture concerning women and the boundaries society, each other, or ourselves place on one another? Listening Discretion Advised: content, language. Watch Our Live Here: https://youtu.be/2Q4sYUmREQg
Charlotte York-MacDougal-Goldenblatt - Renaissance Women or Pioneer for the Traditionalist?
We strategically planned our four-part podcast series on the unforgettable characters in Sex and the City. Beginning with Samantha Jones in Pt. 1 and shifting the pendulum to the paradoxical character, Charlotte York-MacDougal-Goldenblatt seemed a perfect choice. These two characters couldn’t be more different in beliefs, actions, and life pursuits. Isn’t that the fun of it, though? To watch a long-standing TV program, embrace the characters, and analyze and compare not only their lives but our own.
Charlotte was a traditional woman with naive thoughts, not because she wasn’t brilliant but because her privileged upbringing didn’t allow for world experiences. In the beginning, she was judgmental of those who were untraditional in thought and action and had a prudish bright-eyed view of love and romance. Charlotte remained confident in her idealistic personal convictions and was honest with herself and those closest to her. She, too, was judged for her traditional expectations of relationships but always remembered for her unceasing desire to never forgo the hope of joy & love.
This pursuit of joy & love led her down the marriage path twice. Charlotte was the only one of her girl group who seemed terribly interested in marriage and motherhood. In hindsight, we can see how marriage, divorce, remarriage, and children brought Charlotte through her transformation. Her first marriage to Trey she took very seriously. Carrie once suggested that Charlotte approach marriage as a club she was trying desperately to join. She bought self-help books, enlisted the help of friends, and eventually married someone she had only known for a couple of months. As an avid fan, you already know that this did not work out the way she wanted. The second time around, we begin to see the steps toward change and the emergence of who Charlotte truly wants to be. Even when she makes tremendous life changes in her second marriage, we see the changes revered toward her true self.
In this episode, we discuss a few of the changes, memorable Charlotte quotes, and the differences between her, the other characters, and the evolution of women. She was the voice of reason, practiced the power of positive thinking, and kept it classy even when she was telling it like is. No matter where you are on the spectrum of identifying with Charlotte, there is something to be learned from her personality, views, and life experiences.
Listening Discretion Advised: content, language. Watch Our Live Here: ://youtu.be/wbr45WzGX7w
Miranda Hobbes - Fiery Redhead or Timeless Classic?
When the Sex and the City series began three decades ago, viewing audiences did not consider Miranda Hobbes as a highly favored character. She was described as bland, abrasive, too cynical, and most noted for her ‘bad’ clothing. The other three characters caught our attention with their personal drama, fashion, and situations. However, Miranda Hobbes has been the one most women identify with through the years. We believe it is because her life choices and circumstances most reflect the realities of life.
Miranda’s personality had not yet become vogue or identifiable in the first few seasons. She centered around her career, cast judgment, and acted aggressively. She tended to alienate those closest to her when they didn’t behave in a way that she found acceptable. She was doing all the things she was encouraged to do, go to college, Harvard Law School, and build her career. She has on-again, off-again relationships with several men before deciding to marry Steve Brady, an NYC bartender. None of this fit Miranda’s ideal thoughts on marriage or the perfect partner, but getting pregnant with Steve made her face choices.
As the years go by, Miranda stays focused on her career. She stays true to her self-assured, low maintenance, and independent traits while juggling mom & wifehood. We observe the inevitable storyline as the audience sees Miranda & Steve slowly grow apart yet adroitly balance their family lives. Steve cheats on Miranda. Whether we have gone through an experience of infidelity, known someone, or heard about the trauma, we can identify with this deep heartbreak. Miranda & Steve go through the ebbs and flows of such an experience but decide to go to therapy to mend their relationship. In therapy, they make a choice together never to discuss the past and the infidelity.
We witness at a distance a tragedy for two fictional characters that feel so real. If challenged with the same experience, or even now if you are in this same circumstance, would we continue to move forward? Could you hope for a better future? Could you forgive your partner for such a betrayal? So many identify with Miranda because marriages are faced with this challenge more often than anyone wants to admit.
Although the decisions between couples are private, we know the healing process, no matter the choice, needs to happen. You may believe when you get married; you become ‘one’ with your spouse. At the end of the day, that ‘one’ begins and remains an individual interacting as ‘one.’ The healing, growth, and change start as individuals first, without looking to anyone else to blame. Ouch! We know that it is hard even to read. Of course, that doesn’t sound like what we wanted initially. It is so much easier to blame someone else for their actions. We are not saying infidelity is ok, but being a victim and remaining in pain will never bring you the life you want and deserve.
Listening Discretion Advised: content, language. Watch Our Live Here: https://youtu.be/oA4nR3JBdWI
Carrie Bradshaw - Trendy Optimist or Flawed Faux Pas?
Our 4 part Sex and the City podcast series will conclude with the one and only Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie Bradshaw began the series as the main character of the rom-com. She is famously known for her fashion sense, charm, flirtations, and quirky ways she goes about doing life. As we watched Carrie, a part of us loved to see her romantic career as a writer, her fame, her lavish style, and admire how everyone fell in love with her. She was the center of the show initially, and New York City seemed to be at her feet. Ironically, while wearing four-inch Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos, and Christian Louboutins, there wasn’t anything Carrie couldn’t do.
There is chatter on the internet between the SACT fans about Carrie being selfish and self-centered. This 2022 example of Main Character Syndrome has gone viral. This term was made famous on TikTok, describing someone who sees others in their life as supporting actors.
That doesn’t mean Carrie was a bad person or character, though. She was essential to her friends, the energy of the show, and the reflection of real life. As the audience and admirers, we saw all her flaws, and we loved her anyway. She was the first single woman on television who wasn’t cast as the perpetually perky and warm woman that every show had, nor was she unemotional, cold, and heartless. She was neither preoccupied with marriage nor commitment-phobic. Carrie was genuinely complex, and she represented a change in how society viewed single women. Those Jimmy Choo four-inch heels gave Carrie what she needed to take steps no other TV character had gone before.
We could describe the details of her love life, but if you know the storyline, you know that Big, eventually the man she marries, was the love of her life. Carrie spent many show seasons dating Big, breaking up, and getting back together. We bring up the idea that Carrie, just like Samantha, Miranda, & Charlotte, evolved overtime when it came to love. As Carrie grew as a person, so did her thoughts toward love, what she wanted, and what length she would go to keep it. Somehow, after Big left her at the altar during their first wedding, Carrie found some way to forgive him and let Big back into her life. The second time around, we see a more mature Carrie and a woman who embraces her power to change.
All four of the characters in SATC, embrace life, grow, and recognize the value of making choices for themselves. We can all see a little bit of ourselves in each character. Hopefully, we learn from their maturity over the years as they decided to put themselves first. Ironically Carrie, as the main character, is a writer. Writers can create, dream, and express a story in words. We, too, are like Carrie when we believe we have that same power to create the life we desire.
Listening Discretion Advised: content, language. Watch Our Live Here: https://youtu.be/_MPoD5vUAgQ
Let's experience together with Geovanna Burgess White & Yvette Valdenegro, the co-hosts of REdesigning Your Relationship Podcast, Season 2, Episode 14, Samantha Jones: Dramatic or Dead on? Spotify, Apple Podcast & YouTube.