In Defense of ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Jane the Virgin,’ Beyoncé, and Dorothy Parker

cq5dam.web.1200.675I go back to Emily Nussbaum’s perfect 2013 defense of Sex and the City in The New Yorker over and over again. But I particularly go back to this one part, so many times, and it’s always to defend some of my favorite shows, and even other pop cultural works. Not just Sex and the City, but also Jane the Virgin, or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, or Nora Ephron movies, or Beyoncé’s last two albums, or Dorothy Parker’s oeuvre.

Here it is:

“So why is the show so often portrayed as a set of empty, static cartoons, an embarrassment to womankind? 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.”

Use it as you see fit, too.

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s writing takes readers behind the scenes of major moments in pop culture history and examines the lasting impact that our favorite TV shows, music, and movies have on our society and psyches. She investigates why pop culture matters deeply, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Seinfeld, to Sex and the City and Mean Girls, to Beyoncé, Taylor, and Barbie. She has written eight books, including the New York Times bestseller Seinfeldia, When Women Invented Television, Sex and the City and Us, and So Fetch.

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