Sex and the City TV Poster Image

Sex and the City

Smart, sassy, sexy -- and for mature viewers only.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the show celebrates consumerism, obssessive analysis of relationships, and a flashy lifestyle, the women ultimately have faith in love, and stereotypes of all stripes are addressed and smashed head-on.

Positive role models

Some say the women on the show are too loose, too easy; others say they're strong, independent, very real. The truth lies somewhere in between. And whatever their flaws, their devotion to each other and their friendship is strong.


A fistfight or two, and some lovers' spats, but nothing too extreme. This is glitzy, glam New York, not criminal drama New York.


Traditional, kinky, and everything in between. HBO version is pretty graphic (better for 17+); syndicated episodes have been edited and are much tamer (so OK for 15+).


Syndicated episodes edit out or bleep the worst of the HBO version's strong language (which includes the complete range of dirty words); nonetheless, the characters, especially Samantha, are as salty as sailors.


Hello, Manolo Blahniks! Carrie is a shoe fiend; her friends are all fashionable women who spend a lot on their wardrobes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Almost all of the characters drink, smoke, and/or use drugs at some point -- though none of the women are heavily into the latter. Lots of martinis/cosmos in particular.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show actually has lots of heart; so much so, in fact, that if not for the frank talk -- and "walk" -- about sex (of all kinds), it would actually make a good primer on the enduring benefits of friendship, the power of love, and the importance of self-esteem. That said, nudity is a given in nearly every episode of the original HBO broadcast (available on DVD and on demand), as are very frank discussions on romance, lust, and love. The edited versions running in syndication have toned down the ladies' language, as well as the nudity (which, of course, just leaves more to the imagination ...), which is why this review is rated OK for 15+. The uncut versions would warrant a 17+ age recommendation.

What's the story?

Make no mistake about it, the title of this series says a lot: SEX AND THE CITY is about sex -- the need for it, the want of it, the pursuit of it -- as well as what Sarah Jessica Parker (who plays the main character, sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw) once referred to as the "fifth lady" of the show: New York. The show has plenty of both, with dazzling scenes of the Big Apple and lusty scenes of the women, mainly Samantha (Kim Cattrall), enjoying good, not-so-old-fashioned romps. Aside from Samantha, Carrie's "family" also includes Charlotte (Kristin Davis), an art gallery-curator-turned-socialite with a heart of gold, and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), a lawyer with a steely exterior who wants not only to be loved but to love someone back.

Is it any good?


But blissfully, the title doesn't say it all; what makes this HBO classic (now broadcast nightly in syndication) so delightful is that it's also about a distinctly post-modern version of family: friends. As Carrie herself would probably type on her omnipresent laptop: Where would life be without friends? Though various men (and some women) may flit in and out of their lives, the four women always have each other, and that's a joy to watch onscreen. Never have friendships been rendered so completely as in Sex and the City -- the women may be fabulous, but their relationships unfold in completely human glory, warts and all.

Not that the show's perfect. In fact, sometimes, the characters play too much to type: Sex-starved Samantha wears thin, as when she beds a fireman (do viewers really need to see her in yet another strange position?); it's hard not to wonder just how Carrie can afford such expensive shoes on a writer's budget; Charlotte's preppy shtick borders on Pollyanna; and Miranda's simply too harsh. And the men? Most of them, including Carrie's main squeeze, Big (Chris Noth), are ne'er-do-wells, ready to break hearts. But just when the show verges on irritating, it's rescued by witty writing and intelligent acting. (In one episode, when Carrie confronts her judgmental tendencies toward Samantha, the dialogue is stingingly, startlingly believable.) Often, if not always, the writers snap the show back to cold, harsh truths. And thank goodness for that.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the quest for love is the main theme of the entire series. And not just romantic love, either. What are the different types of love?

  • What role do friends have in one's life? Do they sometimes take the place of family? Why? In the end, does a woman need a relationship to be whole?

TV details

Premiere date:June 6, 1998
Cast:Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker
Networks:HBO, Syndicated, TBS
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Sex and the City was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old October 31, 2009


The greatest! Started watching it with my mom at age 7. didn't see any problem with it. Heck, I skipped first grade, so I'm in 6th grade, and you see a lot worse at school!aw
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byyuri13 October 11, 2014


This series is more graphic than others "Not For Kids" like "Nurse Jackie".Several sex scenes,breasts and butts,frequent uses of Fuck,Cunt,Shit, bastard, prick, wanker, whore, fag, slut, asshole,Alcohol and drug abuse(in some episodes). Rated R:Strong Sexuality including nudity,pervasive language
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byhiyaaaa August 16, 2011

awesome show

it's really crazy like when Samantha tried to orgasm..... but I don't recommend this for kids
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking