The two HBO shows depict very different kinds of female friendships - which one rings most true?
Starting from childhood, our girlfriends have a huge impact on our lives. My closest girlfriends are like family to me and I wouldn't want to imagine my life without them. Judging from the enduring popularity of Sex And The City and the phenomenon of Girls, depictions of female friendships have resonance with most, if not all of us. But are these shows really accurate representations of the dynamics of these relationships? Read on to see a comparion of the girls from Girls and Sex And The City To
Round 1: Good Time Gals
SATC: Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha — these women know how to party. Their love of the Cosmopolitan singlehandedly inspired women around the world to ditch light beer and white wine and start cocktailing. They go out dancing, they party hop, they have movie night-in. They cheer each other up when they've been dumped — remember the episode when Carrie gets dumped by Berger via Post-It note and ends up almost getting arrested for smoking pot? The ladies still manage to end the night eating banana splits and laughing at the debacle.
GIRLS: Hannah, Shoshanna, Marnie and Jessa sort of enjoy themselves, sometimes… There was that time they all went to a big warehouse party and Shoshanna accidentally smokes crack, Jessa gets distracted and leaves her to run through the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn, high out of her mind. These girls go to parties, though they seem to end in disaster without them providing each other much comfort. Maybe in a decade they'll be a little more relaxed — but for now they're all too self-conscious to really enjoy themselves and too self-centered to focus on anyone other than themselves.
Round 2: What Are You Doing Today?
SATC: In a show infamous for its lack of a realistic portrayal of life of working women in New York City, probably the most glaring fallacy is the amount of free time these professional women have to hang out. OK, Carrie is a freelance writer and Charlotte eventually becomes a housewife, so maybe they're forgiven, but Miranda the high-powered lawyer and Samantha the high-powered PR exec? I prioritize seeing my friends, too, but come on! We wish we had that much time to catch up.
GIRLS: These ladies are in a totally different demographic and are largely employed and broke (but survive with help from their parents), so it makes sense they have time to sit around and do not much of anything but obsess over their lives. Hannah is allegedly writing a book, which we don't see much of, but hey — watching a young, female protagonist typing on a laptop in her NYC apartment has already been done on HBO, with voiceovers and a better wardrobe, so that's OK.
Round 3: So, There's This Guy…
SATC: If you put "sex" in the title, there's bound to be a lot of it, and SATC didn't disappoint. The show featured hot sex, bad sex, mortifying sex, acrobatic sex, straight sex, gay sex, casual sex, adulterous sex, married sex, make-up sex and even "guilty Catholic" sex. There was no shortage of dates, hook-ups, relationships, break-ups, proposals and eventually, weddings. Through it all, the best friends were there to confide, comfort, counsel, and commiserate with each other while sharing all the intimate details. Carrie and Miranda even staged a "vibrator intervention" when Charlotte was getting too attached to her mechanical "Rabbit". These are the friends in whom you can confide anything, with no fear of being judged.
GIRLS: Hannah and company are admittedly at a disadvantage here — they are younger and understandably less sexually experienced (well, maybe not Jessa). Marnie is newly out of a years-long relationship, Hannah's ex is gay and her exploits have been limited to a quick hook-up with a married guy and a tumultuous relationship with her current boyfriend. Shoshanna was a virgin when the show began, so she's pretty much out of the running. Hannah's frequent nudity has caused endless controversy, but she's naked a lot outside of actually engaging in any sex act. These friends certainly aren't as open with each other as their SATC counterparts (well, maybe Jessa). And I don't blame them — this is NOT a judgment-free zone.
DECISION: SATC WINS! While it might not be the most realistic reflection of most women's lives, the enduring close friendships enjoyed by Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are the kind we all aspire to have. Watching Girls, I can't help but think how much better these young women's lives would be if they were able to put their friends first sometimes. Good friends are the antidote to what ails us.
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