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Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Seinfeld vs Sex in the City
Yesterday, Jill over at She Said What?!? had an interesting post about dating, which I will link and allow you to read rather than trying to (incorrectly) summarize what what she's said.

I'm not going to get into a post about dating/relationship differences between men and women. Heaven only knows that's a subject that I, quite honestly, think is never going to be fully resolved, though it is further proof that God has a sense of humor. After all, why would He create women to be so completely unfathomable to us men (and vice versa) and yet make them be the one thing we wish we could understand the most in life (forget quantum mechanics, I say!) is the one thing we will NEVER BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND.

Let the wackiness ensue!

Anyway, back to my original point (if I have one).

Reading Jill's post, she makes reference to a show it seems comes up a lot when in blogs by females these days--Sex and the City. As I read her post and then commented on it, I found myself thinking about Sex and the City. It's a show that, quite frankly, I've never quite understood the appeal of. I've seen one episode and even then it was only becuase Sarah Michelle Gellar guest starred and I got a friend to tape it for me off of HBO...and pretty much once SMG was done playing herself, my interest dropped off dramatically. But, yet, as I look around the world and interact with women who are about my age, I find that for a lot of them Sex and the City really resonated with them on a lot of levels. And there are times that I've been tempted to tune into the repeats of the show on the TBS on the off-chance that it might help me gain some more insight into the female sex.

It reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a girl I was interested in at the time, who told me the way to understand women and relationship was to go and watch Friends, as it was a very accurate depiction of the differences between men and women. Now, I like Friends, but I have to admit I'm more of a Ross to suffer the unrequited crush in silence for years on end and never say a word about it than a Joey who can walk up to literally any woman and go, "How you doin'?" Plus, right after giving me this nugget of wisdom, said woman found another guy and started going out with him....so, that kind of soured me.

Interestingly enough, as I sit back and think about the way Sex and the City resonates with the ladies out there, I find myself thinking, maybe it's the same way Seinfeld seems to resonate with men. For me, Seinfeld is the definitive comedy show of all time, simply because I can watch any episode from any season and always find at least one thing that makes me laugh out loud. But it's more than that, I think. Seinfeld is not about the deep, philosophical soul of a relationship. If anything, it's about finding reasons to get out of them and keeping your options open. Look at the whole George and Susan thing. Jerry and George make a pact to grow up and so George runs out, finds the only woman who has put up with him for any reasonable length of time and proposes to her. They spend an entire season then with George trying to figure out how to get out of this commitment--first he postpones the wedding, then he tries to hook up with Marissa Tomei and then finally, Susan dies when George gets the sub-standard glue on the wedding invitations.

Indeed, relationships on Seinfeld are a bit more disposable. They are things to be broken at the first sign of a deal-braker--whether it be "man hands" "closing talking" or any of the myriad of other reasons Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer came up with to dump someone. (Of course, one of my favorite scenes in the show is George turning the "it's not you, it's me" arguement back on the woman dumping him.) Now, again, I've not seen a lot of Sex and the City, so I can't say if any of the characters there are any better or worse than the Seinfeld crew. But I do find interesting the way that each show seems to resonate with each gender.

What is it about each of these shows that resonates so well with the separate genders? And why is that?

I don't have any good answers...part of that is my having only seen one episode of Sex and the City. But I think there's an interesting idea in there somewhere.

The book says, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. But as I think about it futher, I have to wonder--what are each of the genders watching on their separate planets?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/03/2005 08:13:00 AM | |
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