Sex and the City

TV review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Sex and the City TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Smart, sassy, sexy -- and for mature viewers only.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 F--k,C--t,S... Continue reading
Adult Written byDerrick Strider December 30, 2014

What A Disappointment

Honestly, every time I even attempt to view this show, there's always something to be unhappy and often offended about. A terrible influence on anyone, not... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byt_jane November 7, 2018

We're Focusing on the Wrong Aspects

After reading the reviews of parents and other teens and even looking at common sense media's rating, I realized that every review forgot to mention that t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byagainWTF December 7, 2014

Never wach this terrable show!

I was fipping through my TV stations and caught a rerun of this show. I was in need of some intertanement, and it was cheep intertanement.
The one eppasoad I wa... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love upbeat stories

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