June marks 20 years since the debut of Sex and the City.
That’s right, it’s been a whole two decades since Carrie Bradshaw burst onto TV screens in her designer heels and a tutu, changing the TV landscape forever.
At the time, the show was a game changer. Four single women talking candidly about sex, especially four “older” women (in other words, in their 30s), was totally unheard of in 1998.
Nevertheless, the show opened the doors for similar ideas, giving us the likes of Desperate Housewives, Girls, and The Bold Type.
And who hasn’t at one point or another done a quiz to see which Sex and the City character they are? (I wanted to be Miranda but got Carrie). Or dreamed of riding in a limo with their very own Mr Big?
Sure, some elements of the show were unrealistic. Like, how did Carrie afford that fabulous NYC apartment with just the pay from a weekly column? And there’s no way she would have stayed so skinny on a diet of cocktails and take-out food.
Still, despite its many flaws , 20 years later, we can’t get enough.
Here’s 14 things you probably didn’t know about the classic show, we guarantee it’ll inspire a binge-watch.
14) Sex and the City Was Based on the Life of Candace Bushnell
Author Candace Bushnell isn’t just the author of Sex and the City, she’s a real-life Carrie Bradshaw! Like Carrie, Bushnell wrote a column for a New York newspaper (the New York Observer, to be exact) for two years during the 90s, until it was adapted into the Sex and the City anthology.
The book became a bestseller, before being turned into the HBO series we all know and love. Bushnell was even a producer on the show.
13) Darren Star Got a Real Bargain When Buying Bushnell’s Columns
Darren Star, the show’s creator, got a great deal when purchasing the rights to Bushnell’s work. He snapped up her columns for only $60,000. Considering how much money the show and two films made, that seems fairly lowball.
Does Candace regret selling off her work for such a small fee? Maybe. She told Radar in 2005 that she had indeed sold the rights to SATC long before the show became a hit, and that she’d likely never see any money from its syndication. However, her other novels have since earned her millions, which probably wouldn’t have happened without her SATC fame.
12) Mr Big Exists!
If Bushnell is a real-life Carrie, then there must also be a real-life Mr Big. The character, who in the show was played by Chris Noth, was based on magazine publisher Ron Galotti who Bushnell dated in the 90s.
Galotti was the Editor at GQ, and the pair met at a Wolfgang Joop party in 1995. They dated for over a year, with Bushnell describing him as “one of those New York guys with a big personality—you just notice him as soon as he walks in the room.
“I called him Mr. Big because he was like a big man on campus.”
11) Carrie Was Originally Supposed to be a Brunette
Other than the awkward pilot and post-break up make over in the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie has always been blonde. However, the character was meant to be a brunette. Producers changed their mind at the last minute as Bushnell is a blonde.
Nixon also dyed her hair for the role. With so many blondes in the group, Nixon agreed to become a red head, just like the person her character is based on.
10) Carrie’s Tutu Was Found in a Bargain Bin
The white tutu Carrie wears in the Sex and the City intro has become iconic, but few know that Costume Designer Patricia Field, who is now a legend thanks to her work on the show, picked it up for $5 from a bargain bin. Today it’ll cost you $140 from patriciafield.com.
Field also sells 14 carat gold namesake necklaces, like the one Carrie sports throughout the show’s run, which are personalised for each customer.
9) Kim Kattrall Almost Turned Down the Role of Samantha
It’s impossible to imagine anyone but Kim Kattrall as sassy sex pot Samantha Jones, but the actress almost turned the offer down. Apparently, the then 41-year-old felt she was too old for part, but changed her mind at the last minute.
One of the most appealing things about the character for Kattrall was that despite being in her late 30s, Samantha was a sexy single career woman, rather than the wife/mother type she was expecting. Kattrall ended up playing the role for 13 years.
8) Sarah Jessica Parker Had a No Nudity Clause in Her Contract
Ever wonder why Carrie Bradshaw always kept her bra on during sex scenes, while her cast mates stripped down well past their undies? It turns out that Sarah Jessica Parker asked for a no nudity clause in her contract, although she’s never given a reason for requesting it.
She also considered rejecting the part due to the large amount of sexual content. Well, what did she expect when auditioning for a show called Sex and the City?
7) During Filming, SJP Would Wear Heels for 18-Hours Straight
Carrie’s love for designer heels is infamous. After all, this is the women who couldn’t get together a mortgage deposit because she spent $40,000 on shoes. Still, we bet SJP isn’t quite so keen on Carrie’s beloved Manolos, considering the actress was forced to wear them for up to 18-hours straight while filming. Ouch!
Still, she got to wear some pretty amazing pairs!
6) Victoria Beckham Almost Made a Guest Appearance
The most stylish of the Spice Girls almost made a cameo in the first SATC movie, but had to turn it down due to the Spice Girls Reunion Tour. Which is a shame, as we’d have love to have seen Carrie talk fashion with Posh Spice!
She said of the offer: “I got asked to be in the Sex And The City film, which I would love to have done. But, because I am in full-on Spice Girls rehearsals, I can’t do it.”
5) The Cast Wanted More Diversity
One of the main criticisms of Sex in the City is the show’s lack of racial diversity, and it wasn’t until season 3 that any of the gang got a non-white love interest. This came about in the form of African-American music producer Chivon, who Samantha dated for an episode. However, the character only existed because the lead actresses pushed for more diversity.
Still, the episode, called ‘No Ifs, ands, or Butts’ has been criticised in recent years for being racist.
4) All the Cocktails Were Non-Alcoholic
All those cosmos the girls downed during the series’ run? It turns out they were just cranberry juice or food colouring. Which makes sense, otherwise showrunners would have had some very drunk actresses on their hands.
However, any food used was 100 percent real. We bet the cast could overlook fake the cocktails, since they actually got to dine on all of those exquisite NYC brunches. Mmmm!
3) Kristin Davis is the Only Actress Not to Receive an Award for her Role
Kristin Davis, who played Upper East Side princess Charlotte, was the only one of the four leads not to get an award for her role. Where as SJP, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Kattrall all won at least one solo award during their time on the show. It’s OK Charlotte, we still love you!
Sex and the City is also the only cable comedy series to have won an Emmy. The show’s network HBO has won plenty of awards for its dramas, but SATC is still the only show to win an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
2) Carrie’s Address isn’t Real
We may all have dreamed of living in Carrie’s New York brownstone at one time or another, but the address doesn’t actually exist. Her Upper East Side apartment was supposedly located at number 245 on East 73rd Street, between Park and Madison, but sadly it isn’t real.
Samantha and Miranda’s addresses are also non-existant, with the only actual residence being Charlotte’s Park Avenue apartment.
1) Carrie and Big Were Never Meant to be Together
In the book version, the iconic TV couple didn’t end up together, with Big happily married to Natasha in the final chapter. Darren Star intended for the show to end in a similar vein, as Carrie finishing up in a relationship went against everything the show stands for.
Still, the show ended up going the way of most romantic comedies, with Big winning Carrie back from artist lover Alexander Petrovsky in the final episode.