Upon watching Sex and the City enough times, you inevitably take to skipping through the opening credits, the jazzy sound of which starts to grate on one’s nerves after enough devoted viewing. Nonetheless, the iconography of that pink tutu worn so confidently by Carrie Bradshaw with her knowing eyebrow raises and those cuts to other NYC icons that include the Chrysler Building, the Twin Towers, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building are unforgettable.
But it might never have been had the show gone in the original direction the credits intended, which is to say, one of a rather confused-looking Bradshaw in a past-the-knee length blue dress carrying an oversized dark blue clutch purse and appearing as though she deliberately wants to trip in front of the bus with her ad on it before doing a bizarre, half-hearted twirl, then almost forcing a smile that fades quickly into an existential expression that asks, “What the fuck am I doing in New York?” In short, she almost looks senile.
While this level of realness–total lack of putting a sheen of glossiness over late 90s NY–would probably speak to the grittiness of Season One, which offered Bradshaw constantly breaking the fourth wall, getting mistaken for a prostitute and having to experience the shame of her credit card being declined, it might not have transcended to later seasons.
As we viewed the gradual evolution of the SATC quartet from more authentic versions of the struggling single woman to material girls using men for the sole purpose of being able to say they were married (except, of course, Samantha) rather than pathetically unattached, the credits originally created for the show would have looked even more anachronistic over the years. And while one has to admire its audacity, take comfort in the timelessness of the intro that ultimately came to be–which still highlights embarrassment nonetheless.