MEDIA: SEX AND THE CITY - AN EXPERT'S VIEW

Sarah Gold found it impossible to relate to the glamorous New York lives of Carrie and friends.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I got the call to write an expert's view of Sex and the City. Laugh because having somehow managed to avoid the entire phenomenon to date, I was certainly no expert. And cry because I was clearly considered representative of the programme's die-hard core audience of thirtysomething single working women.

So at 10pm last Friday, I poured myself a large Bailey's (only to get myself in the right frame of mind, you understand) and settled down, somewhat apprehensively, to the first episode of the apparently much-awaited new series to find out what all the fuss was about.

And 30 minutes later things weren't much clearer.

As far as I could tell, on first watch, Sarah Jessica Parker and her mates spend their whole life flitting between cool New York coffee shops and dodgy-looking men's beds. That said, despite the fact that I found it virtually impossible to relate to this group of seriously glamorous, neurotic women about town, I couldn't help but find myself drooling over their sexy clothes, amazing shoes and cool apartments.

It was TV for the eye, if not for the brain.

How disappointing then that the ads in the break were neither eye candy nor brain food.

With 1.9 million women glued to their screens on Friday night, what an opportunity for the advertisers to help us girls escape our drizzly night in, much as the programme was attempting to do. Instead we were brought crashing down to earth with an uninspiring cocktail of Mastercard, DFS and Brita Filter ads. Ads that were as limp creatively as the rocket salad being devoured by the girls either side of the break.

So who would I have liked to have seen in there? Nike? VW? Even Jamie Oliver would have been something.

This then made me think how few great ads there are on TV at the moment targeting thirtysomething women. Aren't we fed up with the same cliched skin that's seen better days under the microscope and slow-motion hair-billowing-in-the-wind shots?

Thirtysomething boys get clever entertaining stuff such as John Smith's and Audi. Don't us girls deserve the same? Why? Because we're worth it.

Unfortunately, the Bailey's didn't help make the last 15 minutes any more amusing. Maybe I haven't been single or thirtysomething long enough to appreciate the girls' desperate search for the perfect man, but from now on I think I'll stick to my staple of other thirtysomething TV from across the water - Friends, The Sopranos and ER. Much more my cup of skinny latte.

Despite being the new-business director at Clemmow Hornby Inge, Sarah Gold still manages to be as glamorous as Carrie Bradshaw.

Broadcaster: Channel 4

Frequency: Fridays at 10pm for 12 weeks

Audience: 2.8 million

Advertisers include: Bailey's (sponsor), Lotto, Rimmel, Columbia

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