In writing for the series, King concentrated on developing the characters of the four women. He offers, “Miranda’s the sarcastic, sort of angry, one. Charlotte’s the sweeter, sort of preppy one, the more traditional one. Samantha’s the sexy, sort of power-hungry one. And then, there’s Carrie, the indefinable one. From there, everything grew. You figure out their sense of humor, on and off screen. And then each year of the series we became more and more connected, like a relationship, as the girls grew and the relationships between the actresses and the writers and directors grew.”
Once the series began to air on HBO, audiences fell in love with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, and discussions about the previous night’s episode became regular water cooler talk all over America.
“It was not at all what any of us expected,” says Kristin Davis, who reprises the role of Charlotte. “You never expect something to be as successful and go for as long as we got to go. We had just a really incredible time.”
“The success of the show stemmed from a lot of things,” adds Cynthia Nixon, who again plays Miranda. “It starts with the writing. It’s really clever and heartfelt writing. People watch the show over and over, the same episode five, ten times because it’s so jam-packed full of content. Not just jokes – ideas. And I think the actors are wonderful.”
“It was about women joining together as the new family, girlfriends sticking together through thick and thin” adds Kim Cattrall, who returns as Samantha. “And those relationships are what made the show so popular.”
“The show was successful because there was a void that needed to be filled,” adds Michael Patrick King. “And that was, someone had to speak out for single women, someone going through life alone in a society that says everybody should be together. And then in the show, subliminally and sometimes not so subliminally, is the other voice that is saying, ‘Be smart, strong! Follow your own road!’”
By the time Sex and the City ended its run on HBO, its audience had grown exponentially with new fans discovering the series on DVD and in syndication.
In 2004, the series aired its last original episode, preceded by a media blitz befitting its huge following and its place in the cultural lexicon. Even those with only a passing knowledge of the show knew that it featured independent, smart, sophisticated, single women with a taste for Manolo strappy sandals, Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and the crispest Cosmopolitans that the newest Big Apple hot spots had to offer.