Style Voices

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Caitlin McBride: I'd be p****d off too if Sarah Jessica Parker tried to hop on my grief as a PR move

Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City
The cast of "Sex and the City" arrive at the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 11 March 2001 in Los Angeles
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall starred in ‘Sex and The City’. Photo: AP
(From Left To Right) Willie Garson Stars As Stanford, Sarah Jessica Parker Stars As Carrie, Kristian Davis Stars As Charlotte, Kim Cattrall Stars As Samantha And Cynthia Nixon Stars As Miranda In The Hbo Comedy Series "Sex And The City" The Third Season. (Photo By Getty Images)
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City
Jason Lewis as Smith Jerrod, with Kim Cattrall's Samantha, in Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and The City movie in 2008
Jason Lewis as Smith Jerrod, with Kim Cattrall's Samantha, in Sex and the City
Schooled by the sassy no-nonsense of Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones as a teenager, she believes it’s women’s god-given right to have it all
Sex And The City
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw and Chris Noth as Mr. Big in Sex and the City 2
Carrie Bradshaw in Paris
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall shooting Sex And The City
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Everyone loves a good celebrity spat.

You get some fascinating insight into what really goes on behind the scenes when the veil slips, even if it's just for a moment. And when two of the stars are from one of the iconic televisions shows makes it all the more alluring.

The idea that actors would get along as well in real life as they would in a fictional universe has always been preposterous one – characters are literally scripted to be as charming as possible and no real person could ever live up to one created by a professional.

So, the idea that Sex and the City's two biggest leads Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall's long-rumoured feud turned out to be true isn't a surprise. And I am firmly on Team Kim.

At the very least, Kim should get a pass given the circumstances. If my brother had just died and an ex colleague who I had an acrimonious relationship with decided to hop on the grief train and publicly express their condolences instead of privately contacting me, I’d be pissed off too. 

I am morally opposed to publicising someone else’s grief, regardless of your motive. It's in bad taste and I don't think anyone would be hurt by being reminded that not everything needs to be part of a PR strategy.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall shooting Sex And The City
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall shooting Sex And The City

Sometimes you can send good wishes to a former colleague over a family member's death without it becoming a news story. Even if you do have a new show to promote.

But some people just can't resist themselves.

Let's be clear, anyone pushing for a third SATC movie is full of s**t. There are no more stories that need to be told. We've heard them all a million times over and they were not good - there's more to a tale than Patricia Field's groundbreaking costume design.

The idea that a third movie to close a chapter to a story that should have been ended when it went off air 14 years ago is a reflection of poor writing and greedy acting.

Unlike its stars, Sex And The City hasn’t aged well.

Ignoring the more obvious giveaways of the passages of time - Carrie not knowing how to work email, her bedazzled flip phone and Miranda’s hideous round toe ‘work shoes’ - as the years go on, its convoluted plot devices and bothersome characters become more apparent.

The cast of Sex and the City (from left), Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kristin Davis
The cast of Sex and the City (from left), Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kristin Davis

I never related to any of the four characters I was supposed to in SATC: the annoyingly neurotic Carrie, ambitious to the point of sociopathy Miranda and a comically oversexed Samantha. At a stretch, I liked Charlotte best, but largely because I was fascinated by her fabulous apartment. She had few other redeeming qualities other than perfectly kempt hair and what I imagined to be a great view of Central Park.

This idea that SATC ‘spoke for a generation’ might very well be true, it just isn’t mine.

When it was released in 1998, it was as cutting edge as it got: pair the scandalous plotlines alongside pre-Game of Thrones levels of nudity and public interest was piquing by the team season one wrapped. The production values improved with every episode, as did the stars' wardrobes, but there was one glaringly obvious plothole - its main character.

Carrie Bradshaw is more akin to a dream Big Brother contestant than a successful writer, a woman so self-absorbed, she has to literally question every personal relationship she has and inject her own drama into her friends' problems too. She is comprised of equal parts narcissism and selfishness.

So, the idea that we're supposed to buy into this romanticised idea of female friendships all centred around this one queen bee was never plausible.

I’m not saying it isn’t a fun show, I’m saying that’s all it is. 20 years ago, there were limited shows aimed at television for women that weren’t a sitcom or one that didn’t feature a male character as its lead.

Before the internet had fully gripped every aspect of our lives, small screen nudity was kept to a minimum, which meant SATC’s graphic-to-the-point-of-silly sex scenes were seen as scandalous at the time.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City

If you take it on the surface as an outrageous programme, then it more than fulfils its duty, but the idea that a whiny thirty-something woman who can't make a decision to save her life being painted as the beacon of hope for any generation is unfair for women who care more about more than a cute pair of Manolo Blahniks.

When it debuted in 1998, it was written by Darren Starr, then by Michael Patrick King, meaning that, from the very beginning, Sex and the City was a show written for women, by men. From the get-go, it was always on the backfoot.

Over the course of two decades, it became one of the most iconic shows on television, won a number of awards and resulted in two questionable movies and even more questions about what really happened between actors behind the scenes. 

Quite frankly, no one comes out of this story looking like a winner, so let’s take it as a blessing that the drama, both onscreen and off, is finally over.

Online Editors

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