Is Sex And The City Better Without The Creator?
Many times I have complained about a show kicking off the creator and handing the show over to a new writer. The results have always been disastrous. Moonlighting lost Glenn Gordon Caron. Community is losing Dan Harmon. Picket Fences lost David E. Kelley. Shows without their original creator just don’t work as well when that person leaves. But in deciding to re-watch Sex and the City (SATC), I have found a show where the opposite was true. I think most people would believe that the first season of SATC is the worst. (Although the shortened season 5 might rival it if it weren’t for the Samantha story which saves that season.) I was shocked and amazed that they had Carrie speak to the camera straight on AND do voice over narration. Sometimes they do both in the same scene. It might be the worst mixing of ideas ever. Is she writing her story as a column, talking to an imaginary friend or is she just plain schizophrenic? Then I started to notice it was the writer. Only creator Darren Star was using both tactics. Episodes 3 and 4 of season 1 are written by future helmer Michael Patrick King. Those episodes are super. Season 1 basically takes the sexual topic of the moment but doesn't really move the characters much. Michale Patrick King eventually gives us something to believe in with these characters. Episode 5, The Power of Female Sex, which is written again by Darren Star might very well be the worst episode of SATC ever. I will be shocked if there is ever a worse episode. It actually ends with Carrie flying up into the sky. No, I am not kidding. But I really find this idea interesting that someone else can come in and take a show to a better place. I do not diminish Darren Star’s contribution. Honestly those 4 characters are solidly created in the Pilot and there really is very little change in them. He did a great job in starting the show off (barring the awful talk to the camera and voice over.) The other writers didn’t use the technique. I was trying to think of any show that ever used someone talking to the camera and it worked. Moonlighting is the only one I can think of because they were actually talking to viewers. It made me want to create a pilot where the idea could be viable. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a character that talked to us because they believed they were on television but everyone else thought the person was crazy? You find it unbelievable? Jokes on you . . . that is how I live every day of my life. You prove to me I am not on television right now? Ha, you can’t.