A decade later, those trends are largely gone, but there’s still the show—this great, thrilling, maddening, occasionally dumb show.
As a longtime fan of the show who hadn’t watched an episode in some time owing to exhaustion—I probably tore through the whole series at least twice in 20—I decided to re-watch the entire thing recently to see how it looks now that its of-the-moment modernness has given way to vintage charm.
Here’s a ranking of the seasons, from worst to best, as it looks a decade later.
What’s Good: Well, this is the season that started it all, that introduces us to Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, and Big and a few other recurring characters.
There’s no doubt that had some pretty hefty cultural influence, elevating once-niche luxury brands to household-name status, serving as inspiration for countless blogs and articles about dating and city life and, anecdotally anyway, leading to a huge uptick in brunching.
But really, who knows how many people actually followed the show's siren call to Manhattan, only to face inevitable disappointment.
What that aspiration is, exactly, isn’t yet clear, but the days when thousands, if not millions, of young women trained their gaze on a city life of flashy careers and upscale brunches and fabulous parties seem decidedly over.
If, of course, they ever existed in the first place.
You have to admire the strange moxie it took, for HBO to put together a half-hour sex comedy, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and two other women in their 30s (and one in her 40s), run by gay men. What’s Not: Oof, well, it’s obviously the most dated, in terms of both its cultural references and its social viewpoint.
The casting is perfect, the writing is flirty and sharp, and Carrie still smokes. It’s all too easy to forget that Season 1 of now and trying to separate it from every hip crime movie it inspired.
, Darren Starr and Michael Patrick King’s ravishingly decadent romantic romp through pre-crash New York City.
Ten years and two movies later, the show has ceded its cultural prominence, as a new generation fixes its eyes on an entirely different kind of aspirationalism.
Aside from the problems of time, the first season relies heavily on not only the corny people-on-the-street interviews, but Carrie’s direct address to the camera.