Saturday, May 29, 2010

TV Sex And Self-Interest

You know, I have to endorse every bit of this Lindy West review of Sex And The City 2, surely destined to become a classic of the culture-piece-as-punishment-beating form. As someone who spends far too much time hurling convoluted, sexually explicit insults at various political and media figures, I have to applaud.

And sure, I can get down with the various attacks on the show I've seen in the past few days. Truly, the SATC phenomenon is astonishingly shallow, man-obsessed and materialistic, and took about ten episodes to use up the entirety of its writers' ideas.

Speaking as a man whose girlfriend maintains executive control of the TV remote however, I have to point out that SATC should appeal to guys a little more than other shows targeted at women. While it's intensely annoying and hollow, at least its writers made the occasional stab at comedy. The subject matter is one close to our hearts. Most of the laughs come from the characters' schemes blowing up in their faces, rather than their triumphs, which strikes me as very British. There are dick jokes and nudity.

Now, I can imagine how this is going over right now. Gents, if you disagree, I suggest you sit down for an evening with The Hills, Desperate Housewives, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Loose Women or anything on the E! Entertainment Channel. We're talking damage limitation here, not looking for a ladies-only version of the Champions League final or Starship Troopers.

(Is this patronising enough yet? No? Very well, I'll redouble my efforts).

Selfishly, I'd say that a show that encourages women to enjoy healthy, enthusiastic and experimental sex lives is hugely preferable to horrible shit of the Dawson's Creek genus. A former girlfriend once forced me to watch an episode which featured a seventeen-year-old lad explaining to his mate that he just didn't think he and his girlfriend were ready to have sex yet, which is up there with James & The Giant Peach for gritty realism and believability.

While I'm sure I'm doing a disservice to female-targeted viewing here, it's no exaggeration to say that you could turn your TV on in the morning and watch tacked-together "documentaries" obsessing over skeletal, tottering socialite morons shopping and crash-dieting uninterrupted until midnight. While the producers of such shows always contend that they're investigating eating disorders etc., they can't disguise their role as vampiric scumbags sucking on women's nagging self-esteem issues.

So yes, SATC sucks like a nuclear-powered Hoover. For me though, I'd prefer women to be watching stuff that might just make them fancy a kiss and a cuddle while the credits roll rather than an extended bout of sobbing and self-harming in the bathroom. I'd still rather slam my clackersack in a car door than see the new film, of course, but let's keep things in perspective here.

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