Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sell-Out and the City

I’m about a month late on this “news,” but I recently bought the Sex and the City movie to complete my collection, and watching it this week reminded me of how annoyed I am that author Candace Bushnell is writing a teen novel about Carrie Bradshaw’s high school experience. Even before I read about this project, I’ve been saying I would LOVE there to be a prequel about how the girls met in New York when they were in their 20s, but I think a book for teens is kind of f-ed up.

The show even addressed this issue in episode 15 of the third season, “Hot Child in the City,” when Samantha has to organize a Bat Mitzvah for a brat who could pass for Blair Waldorf’s little sister: (Apologies for the amateur photography.)

While the show may be crass, this episode draws the line between sexy/smart and slutty/sad—when kids who are too young to understand sexuality try to use it to their advantage like they see on TV, they’re more likely to end up doing things they regret and allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. By now turning around and actively marketing Sex and the City to young adults, I think the brand is selling out.

It’s true that I watched the HBO show when I was in high school… and it’s true that teens and tweens today are watching and doing all kinds of disturbing, f-ed up things… so I guess what bothers me isn’t that it’s irresponsible of the brand to take advantage of an inappropriate market—although it is—what bothers me is that it’s lame. The Sex and the City movie is like the Carrie necklace: deliciously over-the-top. But this teen book thing is like Aiden’s first engagement ring: all wrong. Distracted by her unplanned pregnancy and (let’s be honest) being the least stylish of the foursome, Miranda defends her part in picking out the disastrous gold ring by comparing it to the gold necklace. But fabulous in one context can become tacky in another.

1 comment:

Abby said...

Tacky and sad? Yes. Will I still read it? Yes again.

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