Owing to the rise in niche media, specificity—of language, of dress, of eating habits—is taking the place of narrative empathy. People love thinking about themselves, and getting someone to like something—or to “like” something—seldom requires much more than giving them the chance to celebrate their own personal history.
Alice Gregory on the peculiar realism of Nicole Holofcener’s films in the New Yorker
… until that last-minute stumble it was sharp, iconoclastic television. High-feminine instead of fetishistically masculine, glittery rather than gritty, and daring in its conception of character, “Sex and the City” was a brilliant and, in certain ways, radical show.
Yes, it was. Thank you, Emily Nussbaum. Towards the end the show most certainly failed and became a sad parody of itself. Let’s not even talk about the films (of which I’ve only seen the first one). But in the beginning, it was tremendous and tremendously exciting. I remember watching it as a teenager in the late nineties. It was on once a week really late at night on the one Swiss tv channel we had (next to the boring German public broadcasters) and I would watch it in secret. And every week I couldn’t believe my luck that I had found it.
These days, it is being treated with condescension because A) it was pretty much only interested in (certain) women (which is obviously a valid complaint, to a degree) and their perspective and B) pretty much only women like it. Therefore it must be ridiculous and devoid of substance.
Right, Emily Nussbaum?
It’s a classic misunderstanding, I think, stemming from an unexamined hierarchy: the assumption that anything stylized (or formulaic, or pleasurable, or funny, or feminine, or explicit about sex rather than about violence, or made collaboratively) must be inferior.