Candace Bushnell: 'Sex And The City' Was 'Not Very Feminist' By The End

The author said Carrie Bradshaw's troubled romance with Mr. Big was an example of "why people should not base their lives on a TV show."

“Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell will forever be paired in the public imagination with Carrie Bradshaw, but she maintains a discerning view of the iconic HBO franchise based on her work.

Speaking to the New York Post recently, Bushnell said she doesn’t fully understand the ongoing cultural fascination with “Sex and the City,” which will be revived as the HBO Max limited series “And Just Like That...” later this year.

“I don’t look at the TV show the way other people look at it,” she said. “I don’t parse every little bit. It’s a great show, it’s really funny. But there are fans who . . . it’s like, that show really guides them.”

A Connecticut native, Bushnell began her career as a columnist for The New York Observer in the early 1990s, documenting her own love life as well as the romances of many of her Manhattan-based peers. The columns were later collected in the 1997 anthology “Sex and the City,” on which the first season of the HBO series of the same name was based.

Sarah Jessica Parker (left) and Chris Noth on the set of "And Just Like That..." in New York.
Sarah Jessica Parker (left) and Chris Noth on the set of "And Just Like That..." in New York.
James Devaney via Getty Images

In her New York Post interview, Bushnell appeared particularly critical of the onscreen Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and, more specifically, the character’s on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) across all six seasons of “Sex and the City” and the two related movies.

“The reality is, finding a guy is maybe not your best economic choice in the long term,” she said. “Men can be very dangerous to women in a lot of different ways. We never talk about this, but that’s something that women need to think about: You can do a lot less . . . when you have to rely on a man.”

“The TV show and the message were not very feminist at the end,” she added. “But that’s TV. That’s entertainment. That’s why people should not base their lives on a TV show.”

Not much is known about the plot specifics of “And Just Like That...,” which is due for release in December. Still, the revival appears to be bringing back the best-loved elements of “Sex and the City,” including the high-end fashions and dreamy locations. In addition to Parker as Carrie, actors Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon will reprise their roles as Charlotte York Goldenblatt and Miranda Hobbes, respectively.

And while Bushnell intends to watch the revival, she nonetheless supports Kim Cattrall’s well-publicized decision not to return as Samantha Jones for the latest installment.

“I absolutely love Kim,” she said. “But it seems she wants to do other things, and she doesn’t feel like doing the show. Maybe she doesn’t want to be that character anymore. Maybe she doesn’t want to put the Spanx on!”