Friday, August 23, 2002

An e-mail response at Slate to Virginia Hefferman's review of Sex and the City, which I clipped for my Notebook Reader. Hefferman wrote, "The show's themes now seem less consumerist."

I find this quote remarkable, given that season five has been beating us over the head with product tie-ins. To my count, at least three per episode, and that's only counting prominent logo placements accompanied by a few lines of endorsement by the primary characters. I'm giving the producers the benefit of the doubt in assuming references to Vogue magazine, Conde Nast, and popular clubs are not compensated.

A major plotline revolved around Charlotte buying a book on that she was too embarrassed to purchase in a store. During one scene, a screenshot of Amazon's website was shown three separate times. It became a two minute commercial on a cable channel we pay $10 per month for. The actual site then had a "Sex in the City" page with book recommendations for viewers.

Then there was the scene with Carrie drinking a McDonald's milkshake, carefully held with the logo facing the camera. She happily droned on for 20 seconds about how much she loves McDonald's strawberry shakes. Longtime viewers were amazed that Carrie would be seen in a McDonald's, much less publicly sing its praises.

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