Wednesday, February 18, 2004

This morning I interviewed Cindy Chupack by phone for a Tribune piece on the legacy of Sex and the City. She's one of the show's writers and executive producers; she wrote the "Attack of the 5'10 Woman" and "Plus One Is The Loneliest Number" episodes, among others. I'm quoting her in my story about the adult language in the show, but here are some of her other comments:

It was fun to figure out what would still shock the other characters. There were things Miranda was still nervous to say out loud, like in the dirty talk episode. ... It was fun to see the embarrassment of what they're talking about. Charlotte in the up-the-butt episode--at the table reading, she couldn't believe she had to say this. I think it was one of the funniest episodes because of this. ...

The best part of writing this show was realizing [that you had] a small consensus of women ... who had a good sense that what we were going through was more typical of what women go through. Then you would get the feedback from women saying, my husband, my boyfriend--that's me. ...

For me, I have a group of girlfriends, most of them married with kids, and we have more explicit conversations about sex than we used to. I think that's nice. Sometimes there's a batten-down-the-hatches feeling, a sense that you can't really talk about your problems because it's too late, you're married, and you face things alone. It's always helpful to talk with friends, to go ahead with the feeling that nothing is taboo.

I also asked Chupack about the final episode. Yes, the ending has been selected from the various ones they filmed, and no, she's not saying what it is. So I asked her about trying to tie up all the show's loose ends in a mere 45 minutes.

Michael Patrick King wrote the last two episodes. He's notorious for having trouble contain episodes to within 30 minutes. There's a lot we're trying to do--we have four girls and four full stories. We're amazed how much we pack into 30 minutes. But there's a little bit from the prior episode that we moved to the last episode.

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