They once called women the "fairer sex," the civilizers of men, the paragons of reticence and manners. Then along came feminism, which promised women that they, too, could be loutish, horny, greedy and profane. Today, that perspective is not just stylish, it's the toast of television.
"Sex and the City" is the media-darling series on that sleazy media-darling channel HBO, which could stand for Horny, Bawdy and Obnoxious. Now that the pay-cable channel's original episodes are finished, HBO has cashed in some more by selling a slightly edited version of the show to TBS. A whole new audience that doesn't pay premium prices for soft porn now can get the same slutty product, diluted -- with a little less nudity and the word "freaking" where the obscenity used to be.
For that portion of the TV audience that hasn't had the pleasure of reading all about this series, it's about four New York City women friends -- Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and extra-sexaholic Samantha -- taking turns being, well, loutish, horny, greedy and profane. Young girls watching the show are being instructed by the HBO producers that what they should want in life is sexual liberation and materialistic self-absorption. Life on the series revolves around a clumsy succession of sexual partners, scheduled in between bouts of flouncing through fancy restaurants in $500 Manolo Blahnik shoes.
For years, parents have had to contemplate a double whammy of sleazy TV series. First, they have to worry about the show in prime time, and then they had to worry about the show being syndicated and perhaps airing earlier -- oftentimes, much, much earlier in the day. You can now see bare butts on "NYPD Blue" on TNT at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, with your kids asking about the episode titles, "Mom, what's a 'tushful of dollars'?" Over on TBS, your children can spend the summer watching the high-school sex-capades of "Dawson's Creek" at 10 and 11 in the morning.
But TBS knows that "Sex and the City" is an even raunchier ride, and those episodes are slotted at 10 PM Eastern, a time usually left for the really "edgy" shows like "South Park." Yet even with the editing, the girls of "Sex" outdo just about anything else considered risque during that time slot.