Sex & The City . . . With Kids.
*Spoilers from the “Sex and the City” movie trailer ahead.*
I recently saw the trailer for the “Sex and the City” movie that’s due out in the spring. And my great anticipation to see the film made me realize why the other “Sex and the City”- wannabe-TV-programs are lacking and why, perhaps, they’re not catching fire like the original.
Take “Cashmere Mafia” on ABC, about four career-oriented gal pals in New York City. While I think it has some redeeming qualities, there are aspects that irk me, such as the open-handed, verbal face-slap it gave at-home moms in one of its early episodes. However I frequently find myself wishing that the writers would decide whether “Mafia’s” supposed to be a soap opera, a comedy, a drama, or a combo plate, otherwise known as a dramedy.
A recent storyline involved a married hedge fund manager, Zoë Burden (Frances O’Connor) who has two small children and frequent child care problems. Her story veered into pseudo-serious territory when Zoë was passed up for a promotion after she helped land a big-bucks account. While speaking with the colleague who took credit for snagging the client and subsequently got the promotion, the co-worker made a snide comment saying that the client wouldn’t want his millions handled by “Mommy.” Furious, Zoë quit, went home and became one of those psycho-mommies, the kind who does her child’s homework for her and is obsessed with every aspect of her kids’ lives. I couldn’t tell if this plot turn was supposed to be interpreted as serious social commentary, satire, or some hodgepodge of both. And that, I think, is the problem.
Then there’s NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle” – which I find more entertaining than “Mafia” – about three career-oriented gal pals in New York City. The counterpart to “Mafia’s” working mom-Zoë character is Brooke Shields’ Wendy Healy, the head of a film company and mom of two young kids. Wendy vacillates between micromanaging events at work (like a disastrous movie premiere), to warring with a former nanny who wrote a tell-all book labeling her as a bad mommy. As with “Mafia,” I couldn’t tell how I was supposed to take these storylines.
That’s where “Sex and the City,” the TV show, shined. It was intended to be a comedy with occasional moments of sappiness and seriousness. You knew what you were getting. And as I watched the trailer for the movie that’s slated to be released on May 30, I saw what’s missing from the other two shows.