Based on the bestselling book by Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City tells the story of four best friends, all single and in their late thirties, as they pursue their careers and talk about their sex lives, all while trying to survive the New York social scene.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) writes a column entitled “Sex and the City” for The New York Star, has a self-proclaimed shoe addiction, is known for her taste in fashion, and continues an on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrell) is the oldest of the girls and is known for her seductiveness when it comes to men. Though she has a few real relationships during the series – including one with a woman – Samantha is more interested in having good sex than a real relationship. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) is the most conservative of the four and has her heart set on finding her perfect soul mate. However, that proves to be more challenging than Charlotte had originally planned. Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is Carrie’s best friend and has a more cynical view of relationships than the other three girls. Miranda is career-minded and focused on making partner at her law firm, but begins to soften and take a different approach to relationships as the years progress.
The show’s emphasis on sex and sexuality, explicit language, and immorality were heavily criticized. Right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh once referred to the four characters as “horse face, giraffe neck, skank way past her prime, and a halfway decent looking brunette who’s not enough to make up for the other three.” Nonetheless, Sex and the City became one of the most successful HBO programs and won numerous awards, including Emmys and Golden Globes.