Rarely have I gotten so involved in a television series that I feel absolutely connected, in an emotional way, to the chracters and their lives.
St. Elsewhere did that to me. So did Chicago Hope (what is it about hospital dramas?), and China Beach. Other series have come and gone — good series like The Sopranos, which was fascinating like driving past a train wreck, and currently Boston Legal, but as much as I enjoy it, it’s a little too silly to become too involved with.
Today I went to see the movie Sex and the City.
We didn’t get HBO when the series first started, so I rented all the seasons from Netfix, and became more and more emotionally involved with these four friends and their trials. This show had the smartest writing on the tube. The mark of good writing is when the reader (or in this case, the viewer) can step into the skin of the characters and say “Is this what I would do if I were in her place?” If the answer is yes, we see what would happen to us from the comfort of our own living room. If we say no, we can watch what might have happened if we had taken the risk. Either way, the characters and their dilemmas have to be so realistic and so well drawn that the reader/viewer can believably be in those shoes.
This was the case with that series, and this was the case with that movie. It was brilliant.
I laughed out loud, I shed a couple of tears, and at the end, I felt as though I had just had one of the most satisfying film experiences of my life. Not that this was the best movie I’d ever seen, just one of the most satisfying, given my history with those four spectacular women.
Bravo, I say.
If you haven’t seen Sex and the City, watch the series first. I can’t imagine watching the movie without the history.
And then see the movie. Wow.