In Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City sought to create the woman that every urban lady wanted to be in the 90s: confident, well-dressed, passionate and, most importantly, independent.
As the show wore onward, however, it was that last quality of Carrie’s that many fans saw slip from the show’s narrative. Many saw Bradshaw’s love for Big taking the center stage in her life, and eventually, it began to shape the narrative of Sex and the City as a whole.
Those of the opinion that Sex and the City took a different spin on modern young womanhood in the later seasons aren’t alone. In fact, the mastermind behind the series was also sad to see Carrie lose a little bit of her self-reliance once he stopped penning episodes.
Darren Star, who was not only the creator behind Sex and the City, but also Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place, recently sat down for an Amazon singles interview where he dished on all of the series that he’s been behind over the years. While he had meaty details about other huge stars, it’s actually his divulgement about Bradshaw that’s stealing headlines.
Darren noted that he eventually had to relinquish control of the Sex and the City to a team of other writers. Although he had started with a strong theme of female independence in mind, he felt that Carrie became progressively more focused on the marriage plot. That’s not necessarily what would have happened to Bradshaw had he remained the lead author, Deadline reported.
“I didn’t break those last episodes. If you’re empowering other people to write and produce your show… at a certain point, you’ve got to let them follow their vision… But unless you’re there to write every episode, you’re not going to get the ending you want.”
It’s not necessarily that Star thinks the writing got sour, or that Carrie became a poorly conceived character — it’s more that she evolved in a way that he didn’t envision. Simply, Sex and the City wasn’t quite as iconoclastic as the kind of comedies marketed to women as before. Bradshaw gets with the guy.
“I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage. Not that they can’t. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it. That’s what had made women so attached. At the end, it became a conventional romantic comedy.”
Despite harboring a less unique perspective than Darren was hoping for, Sex and the City finished with an extremely strong viewership. More than 10.6 million tuned in to see if Carrie would pick Mr. Big in the last episode of the two-part series finalé, reported The Guardian. In fact, until The Sopranos ended, it was the highest audience ever for HBO.
Of course, a lot of that audience came to watch characters other than Bradshaw. Charlotte, Miranda and, especially, Samantha were often as big of a draw as Carrie — if not bigger in the case of Kim Cattrall’s character. Shockingly, one of the other Sex and the City details dropped by Star in the interview was that the actress almost wasn’t cast.
“There was someone different cast as Samantha. I didn’t get a chance to know her — a wonderful woman named Lou Thornton. I don’t know if she’s still an actress anymore. The problem was that she was in her 30s, I think. And it was changing who Samantha was. Samantha was 10 years older than the other girls, a totally different experience.”
Do you think Carrie Bradshaw stuck with the original message of Sex and the City?
[Image via Mark Mainz/Getty Images]