Twenty years after the publication of Candace Bushnell’s collection of “Sex and the City” columns, the writer is speaking up about the staying power of her creation, and voicing her opinion on the Carrie/Big coupling.
In an interview with the Guardian, Bushnell says of the New York Observer column that inspired the HBO series: “We all grapple with the issues in ‘Sex and the City’. And now people grapple with them in a different way, maybe online.
“I don’t know if it was radical, but it was definitely something that hadn’t been written about much except in women’s magazines,” Bushnell says of her column’s honest approach to sex.
The same could be said of the TV series, but the show has been criticized for betraying its values of honesty by giving viewers a happy ending.
“Well, I think, in real life, Carrie and Big wouldn’t have ended up together,” Bushnell responds. “But at that point the TV show had become so big. Viewers got so invested in the storyline of Carrie and Big that it became a bit like Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. They had become an iconic couple and women really related to it; they would say ‘I found my Mr. Big’ or ‘I just broke up with my Mr. Big.’ It became part of the lexicon.
“And when people are making a TV show, it’s show business, not show art, so at that point it was for the audience and we weren’t thinking about what the impact would be 10 years later,” Bushnell adds.
Still, Bushnell has great affection for the show, and even sees herself in it.
“It’s funny, because my life is pretty similar to Carrie’s,” Bushnell says. “I mean, the first two seasons, when I’d be changing the channel and the show was on all the time, I was always laughing because I look back on my life and see directly where that story came from. I get a little kick out of it.”