07/30/2013 01:34 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2013

Why We Can't Let Go Of Carrie Bradshaw And 'Sex And The City'


HBO's "Sex And The City" came to its dramatic end in 2004 with protagonist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) wearing a beautiful dress in Paris and having the notoriously emotionally unavailable, high-rolling Mr. Big (Chris Noth) tell her she was "the one."

Nearly a decade later, New York is less about Manolo Blahniks and Manhattan and more about Hannah Horvath's jumpers and Brooklyn. And Carrie has become a character people love to scoff at, whether it's for her absurdly unrealistic spending habits or the destructive way she approached her love life.

Or perhaps, as Emily Nussbaum points out in her New Yorker essay "How 'Sex And The City' Lost Its Good Name," the biggest bone we have to pick with Carrie is how frighteningly imperfect she was before imperfect became cool, in the form of "Girls'" Hannah and "Homeland's" Carrie Mathison.

"Carrie and her friends -- Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte -- were ... jagged, aggressive, and sometimes frightening figures, like a makeup mirror lit up in neon," Nussbaum wrote. "They were simultaneously real and abstract, emotionally complex and philosophically stylized. Women identified with them --'I’m a Carrie!' -- but then became furious when they showed flaws."

A much as we like to criticize her, though, we can't seem to let go of her. Blame the semi-recent movies or the fact that the series is constantly airing in syndication on both E! and Style Networks, but Carrie is brought up regularly on the Internet and in day-to-day conversation.

Slackatory's supercut claiming that the entirety of "Sex And The City" was just one giant segue between its "meanwhile's" and "across town's" was picked up by a number of media outlets and shared all over Facebook and Twitter, and in May Buzzfeed reassured readers by composing a list of "27 Ways You Are Not Carrie Bradshaw," one being that you "You are not the most DRAMATIC PERSON IN THE WORLD."

It's become cool to hate Carrie Bradshaw in 2013, but we're not close to letting go of her. The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," centering on a young Connecticut Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) who is only starting to dabble in the sex and the city, may not be TV's biggest hit, but it managed to get picked up for a second season.

Because when Robb utters the words, "Before there was sex, before there was the city, there was just me, Carrie. Carrie Bradshaw," in her innocent teenage voice, you can't help but be a little intrigued by the actress who is actively keeping her alive.

She's irritating, self destructive and incredibly flawed, but we like to keep Carrie and her imperfections around. She brings us back to pre-recession New York, reassures us that it's OK to screw up most days of the week and maybe reminds us a little bit of ourselves.

For more on Carrie and co., click over to the New Yorker for Emily Nussbaum's take.

The Carrie Diaries