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Things I Probably Shouldn’t Admit #224

12 December 2012

When I got home last night, my wife was watching Sex and the City DVDs. Because I enjoy criticizing the life choices of fictional characters in bad clothing, I joined her… and promptly realized I remember far too much about Sex and the City.

I’ve been an innocent bystander every time that show was on — someone else chose to watch it, and like a casualty in a drive-by shooting, I didn’t move out of the way. But there must be something that kept me from ducking under the couch until it was over, because I think I’ve seen most of the episodes.

Then I realized — the show is actually very well put together. The writing itself varies from episode to episode, but the characters are well-drawn, relatable archetypes. The central theme — relationships — is something that most of us can relate to in one way or the other (sociopaths and survivalists living in mountain shacks excluded). The show kept me watching even though the characters often got on my nerves and the individual plot lines could devolve into drooling stupidity — the through line was real, relatable, and human.

(Note: None of the above applies to the movies, neither of which I’ve seen; I understand the second one is just four women running around being racist for two hours.)

There’s a lesson here for all of us who create fiction, I think — that no matter how absurd or unrelatable your problems (sci-fi war or rich New York women who can’t get their shit together), you need that human element. The story should be about people, not lasers, or shoes, or laser-shoes. OK, maybe a little about laser-shoes.

So, yeah. I just admitted to watching Sex and the City. Your turn — what’s a guilty pleasure TV show?

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