When Candace Bushnell started writing her “Sex and the City” column for the New York Observer, she didn’t think anyone beyond the Upper East Side would care about her adventures among the Hamptons-hopping media elite. But her struggles with singlehood struck a chord, making her a citywide—and soon nationwide—sensation.
Beverly Hills, 90210 creator Darren Star brought Bushnell’s vision to an even wider audience when he adapted the column for an HBO series. His four main characters: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, forever branded the actresses that took on the roles, redefined women’s relationship to sex, and elevated the perception of singlehood. With their fashion-forward lifestyle, they launched a barrage of trends, from fabric flower accessories to Manolo Blahnik shoes to Cosmopolitan cocktails.
Sex and the City and Us is the story of how a columnist, two gay men—Darren Star and fellow executive producer Michael Patrick King—and a writers’ room full of women used their own poignant, hilarious, and humiliating stories to launch a cultural phenomenon, pushing the boundaries of television and ignited a national conversation about single women and sex in the process. While the show’s feminist merits continue to fuel debate, it taught viewers—male and female, gay and straight—about sex, and demonstrated that single women could support each other through life’s tribulations, even as men came and went.
A New York Times Bestseller.
Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. Seinfeldia celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind the scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sites from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry’s famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV. Library Journal says: “Armstrong offers a masterly look at one of the greatest shows.” The New York Times‘s Dwight Garner says, “Her book, as if she were a marine biologist, is a deep dive…Perhaps the highest praise I can give Seinfeldia is that it made me want to buy a loaf of marbled rye and start watching again, from the beginning.”
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the story behind the making of TV classic The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Published by Simon & Schuster, it offers readers a glimpse inside the lives of the groundbreaking female TV writers who lent their real lives to scripts, the men who created the indelible characters, the lone woman in the network executive ranks who cast the legendary ensemble, and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives, and television. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted shows how. AP calls it “the quintessential book on one of the greatest sitcoms to hit the airwaves.” The Boston Globe describes it as “warm and funny and rife with juicy details.” “Compelling and highly readable, this book is as informative as it is charming,” Bust says. “As enjoyable as reruns of the classic show.” And The New York Times‘ Caryn James calls it “energetic … fascinating … shrewd … thoughtful.”