For as “frothy” of a show as Sex and the City was perceived to be, a new theory put forth by Sarah Jessica Parker (more than likely due, at least in part, to wanting to eradicate the masses seeing her solely as “one-dimensional” Carrie Bradshaw in the midst of Divorce premiering on HBO) lends a different level of complexity to the story’s universe and will have many fans’ heads exploding.
Revealed on a podcast called, appropriately, The Nerdist, Parker discussed, in addition to her Divorce character, Frances, a belief she has apparently long held about Carrie, which is that “Samantha,” “Miranda” and “Charlotte” were mere conjurings from the columnist’s imagination. Matter-of-factly, Parker told Chris Hardwick, “They’re such perfectly archetypal characters. So you’re writing a column about sexual politics and observations of female/male, primarily, heterosexual relationships, so you’re picking one type.” Thus, positing that the way each woman “neatly” fit into every standard blueprint–whore, prude and bitch–a little too neatly, Parker also explains Bradshaw’s own presence in the “fictional” narrative of the trio’s lives by saying, “She is among them because that’s her way of infiltrating story and affecting story too, to have her own actions affect those friendships and document their response.” Leave it to SJP to render Carrie true to narcissistic form.
Adding to the meta nature of this revelation, Candace Bushnell herself created the alter ego of Carrie Bradshaw to write about her own escapades from a more distanced perspective in The New York Observer. Thus, it was never truly certain how “stylized” Bushnell’s own column was–at this rate, was Mr. Big ever real? Sure he was “sprung” from the image of Ron Galotti, but who knows how much of what Bushnell wrote was invented? And then, there is the Chris Noth incarnation of Big to negate Galotti’s toady existence, as the former is clearly more attractive and maybe even a little more dickish, if you can believe it.
Parker then added of Carrie’s writing method, “You’re saying ‘this type is this and this,’ and then you complicate it more, like any good writer does. So I’m not entirely sure they are actually real.”
At the same time, because Sex and the City was created by a gay man and written primarily by gay men for the entire duration of the show, is it any wonder that the women were so caricaturized into distinct prototypes?–portrayed as essentially four, what Madonna would call “queens on the rag,” walking the streets of Manhattan.
And yet, in many respects, Parker is giving far too much credit to Carrie as a writer. The woman was only capable of publishing “compilation books” out of her best articles. Sure, Carrie was great at making puns and asking unanswerable questions, but, beyond this, her writerly skills, were, quite frankly, not adept enough to invoke the imagination required for the level of embellishment Parker is referring to.
Plus, giving Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte Tyler Durden status is a (curly) hair far-fetched–even by post-postmodern standards.