A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tension on Sex and The City
In Doty's chapter, "I Love Laverne and Shirley," he talks about how the "media and public interest in women-centered series is focused upon potential dissention among the actors." I found this point very interesting, especially as he gave the example of George Cukor's film, "The Women," which was cast with 135 women. Of course the media took fire at this, stereotyping women as catty, jealous, and constantly feuding with each other. Stories depicted the production of the film as "fraught with jealousy and temperament." Cukor negated this statement by saying that in reality, the actors were very professional and "a rather jolly bunch." This brings to light the justification media must make on women-centered shows or films. This topic reminded me of the feuds that have circulated throughout the entire series of Sex and The City. This show depicts a pride in womanhood, lesbianism, and constructs "narratives that connect an audience's pleasure to the activities and relationships of women-which results in situating most male characters as potential threats to the spectators narrative pleasure." All of this causes the media to counter this empowerment by looking for news that portrays the actors as having problems with each other. I found an article on a gossip column about the Sex and the City feuds that made me feel as though I was reading about a high school cat fight. "While the cast is all smiles on the outside, the level of dislike is unbelievable. No-one is having a good time on this shoot. Kim has been taking every chance to snipe. You could cut the tension with a knife." Sarah Jessica Parker the refuted the issue saying, "I don’t think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim. I adore her. I wouldn’t have done the movie without her. Didn’t and wouldn’t." I found another article that said that there was tension rising over the outfits of the four Sex and the City cast members. This led them to not arrive at the premiere together in their limo but to take separate cars instead, further stating that "they are determined not to be outdone by each other." Is there really nothing else to write about? These articles portray the four actresses as extremely childish and jealous women, which is contrary to their characters on the show. According to Doty, "considering the interests of patriarchal heterosexual culture, it is not surprising most of its media should want to devalue any potential site of woman-centered pleasures in mass cultures, especially when these pleasures fundamentally rely on viewers assuming queer positions." These rumors may or may not be true but you don't see these types of stories circulating around male-centered television shows.