This could not have been scripted better. Sarah Jessica Parker, an HFPA darling with nine nominations, seven of them — and four wins — for HBO’s Sex and the City — was the first presenter announcing the 2021 Golden Globe nominations this morning.
The first category she introduced was Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical; the first nominee she read was Emily In Paris, the new series by Sex and the City creator Darren Star. The show’s lead Lily Collins was later announced as a nominee for Best Performance by an Actress In a TV Series — Musical or Comedy.
These were the categories dominated by Sex and the City and its star Parker in the early 2000s. For an awards show known for being notoriously fickle, recognizing a hot new show and quickly moving onto the next newcomer the next year, Sex and the City had an incredible staying power. The half-hour, which ran for six seasons, earned six nominations for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical. Parker got seven (Sex and the City’s final season was split into two parts, giving it an extra shot at eligibility.) Parker’s four wins are tied as second most for an actor on a single show; the series’ three wins also are tied for the second largest Globes tally.
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Sex and the City was such a big HFPA favorite that the amount for recognition the show and its star received throughout its run has remained unmatched since.
Enter Star’s new creation, Emily In Paris.
The show literally picks up where Sex and the City left off. The HBO series’ two-part finale was titled “An American Girl in Paris,” which is the basic premise of Emily In Paris, and it was set in the City of Lights.
There are a lot of parallels — both half-hour single-camera comedies follow a young, single, professional young woman who is a fashionista and dons one eye-catching high-end ensemble after another while on a mid-level employee salary. Both live by themselves in a cosmopolitan, fashion-driven city, have single girlfriends and are on a quest for Mister Big.
The only thing from Sex and the City that is really missing from Emily In Paris is the sex, which could change now that the series is on Netflix.
The streamer swooping in to acquire the finished first season, originally developed by and produced for the ad-supported Paramount Network, giving the show that premium cachet Sex and the City had on HBO and may have given it visibility with HFPA members.
Unlike Sex and the City, which was universally admired for its honest portrayal of single women and sexuality, Emily In Paris was met with mixed reaction from critics and faced criticism over its depiction of France and its people.
That is probably why the warm reception the series received by the HFPA is a little surprising. But the show shares enough DNA with a Golden Globe royalty in Sex and the City, so nostalgia for an iconic series may have elevated a distant descendant to break into the Globes field. But while Sex and the City might have helped Emily In Paris get in the door, its staying power is in its own hands.
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