Sex and the City (season 1)

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Sex and the City (season 1)
Sex and the City season 1.jpg
Promotional poster
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 12
Release
Original network HBO
Original release June 6 (1998-06-06) – August 23, 1998 (1998-08-23)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of Sex and the City episodes

The first season of Sex and the City, an American television romantic sitcom, aired in the United States on HBO from June 6 to August 23, 1998. Based on the eponymous book written by Candace Bushnell, the series was created by Darren Star and produced by Darren Star Productions, HBO Original Programming, and Warner Bros. Television. Star, Barry Josen and Michael Patrick King served as the series' executive producers. The show follows the relationships and sexual escapades of Carrie Bradshaw, a sex columnist for the fictional New York Star, and her friends Samantha Jones, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes.

Season one, comprising 12 episodes, aired on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone, except the pilot episode which aired at the same time on a Saturday night. The season garnered mixed reviews from critics. The first season garnered strong ratings for HBO in America, as well as Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, where it landed among the top 30 weekly most-watched programs. The show received several major award nominations, including an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and a SAG award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Parker.

Crew[edit]

The first season of Sex and the City was created by Darren Star and produced by Darren Star Productions and Warner Bros. Television, in association with HBO Original Programming. The series is based on the book of the same name, written by Candace Bushnell, which contains stories from her column with the New York Observer. The show features production from Barry Jossen, Michael Patrick King, and Star. Season one featured writing credits from Star, King, Jenny Bicks, Michael Green, Jenji Kohan, Susan Kolinsky, and Terri Minsky. The season was directed by Michael Fields, Matthew Harrison, Nicole Holofcener, Alison Maclean, and Susan Seidelman.

Cast[edit]

Lead actresses Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis.

Season one featured four actors receiving star billing. Sarah Jessica Parker played the lead character Carrie Bradshaw, a writer of a sex column, "Sex and the City", for fictional magazine and the narrator of the series.[1] Kim Cattrall portrayed Samantha Jones, a sexually confident public relations agent who follows the same relationship rules that men do.[2] Kristin Davis played Charlotte York, an optimistic art museum curator who holds traditional views on relationships.[3] Cynthia Nixon portrayed Miranda Hobbes, an acerbic lawyer with a pessimistic outlook on relationship and a distrust of men.[4]

The season featured a number of recurring guest appearances. Chris Noth appeared as the slick, elusive business man and Carrie's love interest known as Mr. Big.[5] Willie Garson portrayed Carrie's gay best friend and talent manager Stanford Blatch.[6] Ben Weber played Skipper Johnson, Carrie's friend and Miranda's on-off friend with benefits.

Reception[edit]

Critical reviews[edit]

Season one garnered mixed reviews from television critics, receiving an aggregated score of 52 (out of 100) at Metacritic.[7] Caryn Lucas of The New York Times called the series "slight, breezy", "fresh and funny" while highlight Parker's performance.[8] Terry Kelleher of People Weekly praised Parker in her role, but was against the elements of New York mixed with the theme of sex.[9] Phil Gallo of Variety gave a mixed review of the series, criticizing the script but praising the performances of the main cast. Gallo also deemed the subplot of Carrie and Mr. Big's attraction "compelling."[10] Earl Crassey of DVD Talk deemed the DVD release of season one "Highly Recommended", writing that "However those not easily offended should give it a spin; you will find an enjoyable and refreshing new comedy series from HBO." Crassey noted that the frank sexual dialogue and topics discussed in the series set it apart from the other sitcoms.[11]

Viewership[edit]

In the United States, Sex and the City debuted on June 6, 1998 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone (Saturday) with the premiere episode "Sex and the City". The episode garnered a 2.9 household rating, translating to 2.8 million households. The encore episode achieved a 3.0 rating (2.96 million households).[12] The episode was watched by 3.84 million viewers.[13] The season finale "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" was watched by 4.44 million viewers.[14] The first season averaged a total viewership of 6.9 million viewers.[15] In the United Kingdom, the series debuted on Channel 4 on February 3, 1999 to 4.53 million viewers, ranking as the third most watched program on television on the week ending February 7, 1999. The following episodes attracted between 2.5 and 4 million viewers.

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the 56th Golden Globe Awards, Sarah Jessica Parker received a nomination for award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.[16] At the 50th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series while Parker received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.[17][18] Sex and the City received seven nominations from the Online Film & Television Association for the OFTA Television Awards, including awards for Best New Comedy Series, Best Cable Series and Best Ensemble in a Cable Series.[19]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
11"Sex and the City"Susan SeidelmanDarren StarJune 6, 1998 (1998-06-06)101

At a birthday party for thirty-something Miranda, Carrie and her friends vow to stop worrying about finding the "perfect" male and start having sex "like men". Carrie has several encounters with tycoon heartthrob Mr. Big. Miranda starts dating nice-guy Skipper Johnston. Charlotte goes on a date with Capote Duncan, but when she tells him she won't have sex with him, he goes to a club and winds up going home with Samantha.

The songs that played in this episode are "A Martini For Mancini" by Joey Altruda, and "Mucci's Jag Mark II" by Joey Altruda. Aside from the four main characters, Big (played by Chris Noth) is the only character to appear in both the pilot show and the series finale "An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux". Mr. Big's nickname is created by Carrie. His real name is jokingly covered up throughout the series run and remains unknown until the last scene of the final episode.
22"Models and Mortals"Alison MacleanDarren StarJune 14, 1998 (1998-06-14)102

After Miranda and Skipper bump into each other at the convenience store, they sleep together for the first time. Carrie interviews Barkley, a modelizer who videotapes his conquests. Derek, a male model client of Stanford Blatch, spends the night with Carrie after a fashion show, although they don't sleep together. Samantha chases Barkley while at a fashion show, in order to be taped.

The "Derek" character is supposedly based on one-time Calvin Klein underwear model Michael Bergin, with whom Candice Bushnell was once briefly involved. Bergin has stated he auditioned for the job of his alter-ego, but was told he was too old for the part.
33"Bay of Married Pigs"Nicole HolofcenerMichael Patrick KingJune 21, 1998 (1998-06-21)103
Carrie is invited to go up to their Hamptons beach house by Patience and Peter, but in the morning she bumps into Peter in the hall without his underwear on. Some friends introduce her to Sean, 'The Marrying Guy'; when she can't keep up on his quick-march to commitment, he ditches her for commitment-phile Charlotte. Miranda's colleague from work, Jeff, introduces her to a lesbian, Sid, at a baseball game, and they are invited to her senior partner's dinner party as a couple.
44"Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys"Alison MacleanMichael Patrick KingJune 28, 1998 (1998-06-28)104
Mr. Big and Carrie continue to bump into each other during social events, which leads them to try to organize their first "drink thing". On a night out, Carrie meets twenty-something Sam (Timothy Olyphant) for a fling, which turns out not to be so glamorous in the light of day. Charlotte despairs over the possibility of having anal sex. Samantha dates a younger chef, but finds the appeal wearing off.
55"The Power of Female Sex"Susan SeidelmanStory by : Jenji Kohan
Teleplay by : Darren Star
July 5, 1998 (1998-07-05)105
Carrie bumps into international party-girl Amalita and her latest man Carlo in a shoe store, who in turn introduce her to a French Architect, Gilles. He leaves Carrie $1,000 on the nightstand after a one-night stand. Charlotte meets Neville Morgan, a renowned artist, who paints pictures of her vagina for his latest exhibition. Samantha tries to get a reservation at a hot new restaurant.
66"Secret Sex"Michael FieldsDarren StarJuly 12, 1998 (1998-07-12)106
Carrie and Mr. Big have their first official "date", but Carrie suspects Mr. Big is keeping her secret from his social circle. Miranda dates a man from her gym class, but she discovers a spanking video in Ted's apartment.
77"The Monogamists"Darren StarDarren StarJuly 19, 1998 (1998-07-19)107
Carrie and Mr. Big begin dating on a regular basis, but she learns after bumping into him that he is dating other women. Samantha begins to look for an apartment to purchase. Charlotte dates a man who prefers oral sex while Miranda becomes jealous after seeing Skipper with another woman.
88"Three's a Crowd"Nicole HolofcenerJenny BicksJuly 26, 1998 (1998-07-26)108
Carrie finds out that Big was married once, and that he had a threesome. Charlotte's boyfriend wants to have a threesome. Miranda feels left out because she's never been "threesome material", so she responds to a classified ad to validate her sexual appeal. Samantha becomes involved with a married man, and his wife offers to have a threesome to keep the marriage together, which Samantha declines.
99"The Turtle and the Hare"Michael FieldsNicole Avril & Susan KolinskyAugust 2, 1998 (1998-08-02)109
Carrie is unhappy when Mr. Big tells her that he never wants to get married again. Stanford Blatch proposes to her in order to please his grandmother and inherit his part of the family fortune. Samantha's latest pet project is "The Turtle", one of New York's most successful yet style-impaired bachelors. Charlotte becomes addicted to a rabbit vibrator called "The Rabbit".
1010"The Baby Shower"Susan SeidelmanTerri MinskyAugust 9, 1998 (1998-08-09)110
The four women attend a baby shower for their one-time wild-child friend Laney in her new buttoned-down Connecticut-suburb environs. Carrie is forced to think about motherhood by her late period. Miranda regards the other guests as part of the cult of The Motherhood. Still-single Charlotte fears her dreams of being a wife and mother are slipping away. Samantha throws a "no-baby shower" in response to the one the four women attended.
1111"The Drought"Matthew HarrisonMichael Green & Michael Patrick KingAugust 16, 1998 (1998-08-16)111
Carrie's relationship with Mr. Big has been going on for long enough that it is becoming less physical, especially after she farts in bed. Charlotte is dating a man who isn't interested in sex anymore thanks to the side-effects of Prozac. Samantha discovers that not having sex can be erotic. Miranda realizes that she hasn't had sex for months.
1212"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"Matthew HarrisonMichael Patrick KingAugust 23, 1998 (1998-08-23)112
After being introduced as "a friend" to his mother, Carrie realizes her relationship with Mr. Big is one-sided and breaks up with him. Miranda dates an up-and-coming playwright who is also an up-tight Catholic. Samantha falls in love with a perfect man, but he doesn't measure up to her requirements. Charlotte gets psychic readings to see if she'll ever marry.

UK ratings[edit]

All viewing figures and ranks are sourced from BARB.[20]

No. in Episode Air date Time slot
(EST)
Viewership
series season in
millions
Weekly
rank
1 1 Sex and the City February 3, 1999 Wednesdays
10:00 pm
4.53 #3
76 2 Models and Mortals February 10, 1999 3.28 #14
77 3 Bay of Married Pigs February 17, 1999 3.90 #7
78 4 The Valley of Twenty-Something Guys February 24, 1999 3.45 #14
79 5 The Power of Female Sex March 3, 1999 3.18 #13
80 6 Secret Sex March 10, 1999 2.52 #20
81 7 The Monogamists March 17, 1999 3.13 #9
82 8 Three's a Crowd March 24, 1999 2.54 #24
83 9 The Turtle and the Hare March 31, 1999 2.56 #19
84 10 The Baby Shower April 7, 1999 2.71 #17
85 11 The Drought April 14, 1999 N/A N/A
12 12 Oh Come All Ye Faithful April 21, 1999 N/A N/A

Home release[edit]

The DVD boxset for the first season was released by HBO Home Video in the United States on May 23, 2000, nearly two years since it completed its broadcast on television. The season boxset, in addition to the twelve episodes, includes features such as commentary from the cast and show creator, episode previews, and an inside peak of the show. The boxset was popular in the United States, selling 1.1 million copies by 2003.[21]

Sex and the City: The Complete First Season
Set details Special features[22]
  • 12 episodes
  • 2-disc set (DVD)
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: English, French,
  • English: Dolby Surround 5.1, Dolby Surround Stereo
  • Spanish: Mono
  • Episode Previews (approx 0:30 each)
  • Inside "Sex and the City" (3:49)
  • "Research" (0:31)
  • Cast & Filmmakers (5 cast members and show creator)
  • Awards & Nominations
DVD release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
May 23, 2000 (2000-05-23)[23] July 11, 2005 (2005-07-11)[24] October 2, 2008 (2008-10-02)[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Samantha Jones played by Kim Cattrall". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Charlotte York played by Kristin Davis". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Miranda Hobbes played by Cynthia Nixon". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Mr. Big played by Chris Noth". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Stanford Blatch played by Willie Garson". HBO.com. Home Box Office, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Critic Reviews for Sex and the City Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  8. ^ James, Caryn (June 5, 1998). "TV WEEKEND - In Pursuit of Love, Romantically or Not". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  9. ^ Kelleher, Terry (June 8, 1998). "Picks and Pans Main: Tube". People Weekly. Time Inc. 49 (22). Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  10. ^ Gallo, Phil (June 3, 1998). "Review: 'Sex and the City'". Variety. Los Angeles: Penske Business Media. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  11. ^ Cressey, Earl (June 25, 2000). "Sex and the City: Season One". DVD Talk. Internet Brands. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Basic Cable Programs Ranked by Household for the Week of 6/1-6/7 by Nielsen Media Research". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Archived from the original on December 17, 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  13. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 10, 1998). "NBA Finals Lead NBC Past Slumping Opponents". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  14. ^ Lowry, Brian (August 12, 1998). "'Philadelphia' Helps to Push CBS to the Top". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  15. ^ Mansfield, Stephanie (May 28, 2000). "Sarah's Sexy Success". The Nevada Daily Mail. Nevada. Rust Communications. p. 7. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  16. ^ "The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999)". HFPA.org. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  17. ^ "51st Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners - Outstanding Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  18. ^ "51st Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Honoring Outstanding Directorial Achievement for 1999". DGA.org. Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". United Kingdom: BARB. select channel and relevant week
  21. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (March 13, 2003). "DVD Sales Place Six Sets Over One Million Copies Sold". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Sex and the City - The Complete 1st Season". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  23. ^ "Sex and the City: Season 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  24. ^ "Sex and the City: The Complete First Season [DVD]". Amazon UK. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  25. ^ "Sex and the City (Season 1)". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2015.