Sex and The City 2 even more of a sellout, Carrie switches to a PC

carriemac
Carrie on a Mac in the first film and advertising an HP PC for the second, below

The first Sex and The City movie was full of references to specific brands and companies. Some of the products were long running and integral to the show, like the high end Manolos and Jimmy Choo heels that Carrie sunk all of her money into, and the Mac laptop she used to write her column. The film had all of the trappings but none of the heart of the series, which had its superficial moments but focused more on the characters and their relationships. In the big screen version, the characters were secondary to the overpriced designer brands. The lead character made a major life decision based on retrieving a pair of expensive shoes. It was hard to tell which brands were there as paid product placements and which were necessary for the very thin plot, which was about as rewarding as credit card debt sunk into luxury goods. Ask Lindsay Lohan how that feels.

Vanity Fair has an extensive list of all the brands plugged in the first movie, and it’s mind boggling. At least some of it was just for context, though it all kind of ran together. (NY Magazine even marveled that they were included without payment.) That’s got to be an advertiser’s dream. Carrie’s Macintosh, for instance, was just part of the show and couldn’t be replaced. It’s not like Carrie could switch up her Manolo Blahniks for Stuart Weitzmans. They’re both decent shoes but they have quite a different style profile. Carrie isn’t much more than a collection of brand affiliations and you take one away it’s like you’re changing the character.

Thanks to a partnership with Hewlett Packard, Carrie will be working on a PC in this next film. (Apple claims that they don’t pay for product placement.) PopEater has a great editorial about how wrong this is on several levels. When the film is all about brands it’s particularly jarring when they abandon an integral one for cash. It screws up the Sex and The City brand, too, not that it means anything beyond label whoring at this point. Here are some excerpts from Popeater’s article:

Fans of ‘Sex and the City’ have come to expect certain things from the hit TV series-turned blockbuster movie franchise, and seeing the ladies wear and use brand name, big label products is one of them. We all know the girls love to strut around Manhattan in Manolo Blahnik shoes, eat at the fanciest restaurants in New York City and wear only top designers like Dior, Chanel and Roberto Cavalli. And we’re certainly used to seeing our heroine, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), typing her newspaper columns and books on her Mac laptop — you know, the one she left on her bed for Charlotte (Kristi Davis) to find when she left for Paris, the one she returned to when she came back to her beloved New York.

Carrie’s Mac made an appearance in just about every episode and was prominently featured in the first movie, but you won’t be seeing it in ‘Sex and the City 2.’ Because of a partnership with Hewlett-Packard, only HP computers will be featured in the forthcoming sequel.

According to the New York Post, “Every aspect of Carrie’s life is reduced to a vignette that can be monetized: Going to the Gym (sip on Lipton Sparkling diet green tea, an official sponsor of the new movie!), Having Cocktails with Girlfriends (try a specialized cocktail from Skyy, the movie’s ‘official vodka’!), Getting Married (Swarovski paid to be featured prominently in the film) and, of course, Working On Laptop, Staring Wistfully Out the Window (Hewlett-Packard partnered with the movie so its laptops would be featured, and SJP will appear in the computer company’s ads, of course).”

But fans of the show know that Carrie and Mac were made for each other. The Guardian UK sums it up best, noting, “Carrie is a professional homeworking journalist … Macs were invented for them: people without IT support, with no skills or office training, with very little likelihood of ever accruing any knowledge or expertise, with no backbone or basic housekeeping procedures.”

That’s Carrie Bradshaw in a nutshell; she didn’t even have a cell phone until the shows final season in 2004.

Carrie’s Mac was even a subplot for a season four episode — ‘My Motherboard My Self’ — in which her computer, overloaded from years and years of use (and no backing up!), crashes when she goes to save one of her columns. Aidan (John Corbet), just trying to help, buys her a new iMac, which quickly becomes a symbol for change that Carrie simply isn’t comfortable with. [Celebitchy note: that video is below]

[From Popeater]

Doesn’t Sarah Jessica Parker look like a walking skeleton in that top commercial for HP? It’s hard to look at just her body without a head, and maybe HP should have veered from their regular format for this ad. I know it’s petty to point that out, but I can’t help it.

I’m a PC person, but this really annoys me. I haven’t been looking forward to the Sex and The City sequel and this news kind of pushes me over the edge. I doubt I’ll see it in the theater.

Thanks to Popeater for this story and the videos.

 

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27 Responses to “Sex and The City 2 even more of a sellout, Carrie switches to a PC”

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  1. Adrienne says:

    OK, seriously, everyone needs to calm down. It’s just a TV show/Movie. It was meant as entertainment, and that’s still true to this day. You don’t have to have a crisis of faith because they switch computers, or go to the desert, or photoshop their wrinkles off. It was always meant to make money, period, end of story. It was never meant to be some sort of bible for women. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is, FUN. And if you don’t want to see it, don’t. No need to throw a hissy fit.

  2. endoplasmic ridiculum says:

    @adrienne, it’s celebitchy. It’s the chance to get our your inner bitch without actually directing it to the people around you. It’s very cathartic…

  3. finnigan says:

    any chance to rip on SJP and the SATC franchise I suppose. whatever.

  4. chunkstyle says:

    Yeah, product placement is so gross in EVERY movie though, I wish people wouldn’t pick on SATC so much, I’d rather watch a bunch of sparkly older ladies than a bunch of wrinkled “too cool” guys in another Ocean’s 13 POS.
    Also, they don’t DEMAND all of that airbrushing, magazines do that to them because they know people freak out when they see a damn wrinkle on a woman on the cover of anything besides the latest AARP magazine.
    Leave my frivolous gals alone! They just wanna get their drink on and their sexay times going :)
    /rant

  5. fizXgirl314 says:

    yay pc’s! I think they’ve undeservedly get a bad reputation. Pc’s have been around since the dinosaur age so they’ve sort of been through all the phases of evolution of technology… so OF COURSE they’re going to seem more problematic in peoples’ minds. MAC’s just recent’y came into the picture (at least in a significant way) so they sort of bypassed all the years of slow and steady improvement. It’s like the trophy bride who comes into the picture really late and enjoys all the glory while the first wife had to go through all the crap times…

  6. Shay says:

    SATC has overdosed on product placement so much that we’re still waiting for the burp.

  7. canadianchick says:

    I’m still going to see the movie despite the hate. I too dislike product placement and how it affects scripts. I will watch the movie with the goal of relaxing and watching fashion p*rn. Bring on the Chanel!

  8. Persistent Cat says:

    I’m sorry, was Mac an integral product? I really don’t think I would’ve noticed. Or cared. She barely knew how to use her computer, it’s not like she preached about the awesomeness of Mac over PC.

  9. suz says:

    Well it’s interesting because when Carrie worked on a Mac in early SATC it was sort of unconventional because Macs were nowhere near as mainstream popular as they have been in the last few years, so I would think it’s a pretty noticeable change.

  10. Ursaline says:

    So if this character worked on a Mac through the entire series and the first movie, because she was comfortable with that, and had an issue with even changing to a new version of the same type of operating system, then why would the people making the movie sell out like this? There is no logic in forcing someone who is not a technophile to learn a new platform with different key commands, file name conventions, and even window button placements for a technology that is know to be higher maintenance.

    I don’t even watch or like the show and I caught that one. Fiction or not, that was a bad call.

  11. Tia C says:

    Yeah, I’m with kelbear. Who cares? It wasn’t like Carrie’s computer played a big part in the show anyway. As Persistent Cat pointed out, Carrie could barely work her computer. It requires a slightly different skill set than trying on shoes and ugly clothes.

  12. Mairead says:

    Most “design conscious” types prefer Macs, so going to a PC, especially with all the different flavours of Windows 7 and Windows 8 for technophobe Carrie, is actually a fairly big deal.

    @FizX – well not exactly. It’s really Windows that gets all the bad press, as Macs are technically PCs as well.

    From my memory, and I’m open to correction, Apple was the most commonplace home and university computer back when I was at college; but the IBM-standard was, er, standard in the business place. Windows was a pain in the behind for Joe Soap to use, until Windows 95 in particular came out, with it’s shiny new GUI interface (which Apple said they stole from them – and which Apple had allegedly stolen from Xerox if memory serves).

    Insane marketing and the development of PC games really drove the market towards Windows and it’s recently that Apple are getting their market share back.

    If you haven’t already I’d also recommend watching “Pirates of Silicon Valley” for a good (fictionalised) account of the Windows/Apple rivalry. *Warning – contains Noah Wyle*

  13. Kayla says:

    @Mairead Great comment. And I know Noah Wyle is One Of Our Least Favorite People right now, but I still love that movie!

    And @FizX, I was going to say a lot of the same things. Apple computers still have a very small market share, and the success they do have can be traced to Steve Jobs return to Apple in ’96/’97, and the creation of the iMac in ’98. So to say that Apple is a “relatively new” thing, even if you’re counting from the minute the iMac was introduced (and not, say, when Apple was founded in the late ’70s) is still fairly inaccurate, when you consider the industry you’re talking about- personal computers for use at home- wasn’t really a thing until the late ’70s, early ’80s.

    Anyway, I totally agree with @Ursaline- it’s not necessarily interesting because of what brand it is, but WHO is switching. It was such a huge plot point that Carrie is terrified of change, hates change- I would even think, doesn’t that have something to do with the her relationship with Big? She keeps coming back to him! So to have her change her entire system of operation without saying anything, that’s a pretty big leap in my eyes. But I also acknowledge at the end of the day, it probably doesn’t really matter, this movie is going to be a hot mess anyway.

  14. Bobby the K says:

    It’s like the coke and pepsi debate.
    Except one costs almost twice as much.

  15. Melinda says:

    I really don’t care about this. The movie looks like fun and I am still totally excited!

  16. Mairead says:

    Heh, thanks Kayla – although I do take something back. After saying for the umpteenth time how much I dislike Dell (and remembering back to what a waste of plastic Gateway was) – I remembered that people DO complain about PC brands as well as Windows. Sorry FizX :oops:

    Oh – and as far as I’m concerned Carrie wasn’t so much scared of change as she was terrified that she’d actually have to make a decision. I liked the tv series, but she did my head in after she let Aidan go – again!

  17. Persistent Cat says:

    Yeah, I was never a fan of Big, I could never get past her bailing on Aiden.

    And Sex and the City couldn’t be called a sell-out because it was always materialistic. And please, no one use the term “jumped the shark.” Good Lord, I hate that expression.

    As for the computer, whatever, who cares? Maybe she got a free one or work gave it to her or whatever. It’s a laptop. It’s not like her character has switched to flats. That would be worth discussing.

  18. fizXgirl314 says:

    I remember Apple being around for quite some time as well but I also remember them not being a major contendor in the computing industry… Most people haven’t been using them long enough to develop a hatred for them. I’m guessing if you had to use MACs back in the era of DOS and command terminals, you might hate them too… (yes I’ve been using pc’s since the time of DOS and command terminals… no I don’t mean apple’s had DOS on the, but I’m guessing they had the equivalent of DOS).

    All I’m saying is that my pc’s have gotten A LOT better over time… they used to drive me nuts, but now they only drive me a little nuts…

  19. fizXgirl314 says:

    For instance, I haven’t gotten the blue screen of death in like five years. I’ve also not had to re-install windows in that long as well. I might have forgotten how to do it in fact. I used to be a computer expert back in the day, ferreting out conflicts, error messages, various ways to install drivers, etc etc… now I don’t know the first thing about it cuz I haven’t really had the need. It’s kind of strange, maybe I’m just lucky though I don’t know…

  20. erika says:

    OH MY GOD I MISS THE SERIES SJP WAS ACTUALLY CUTE AND CHARMING ONCE WHAT HAPPENED.

  21. mollination says:

    I thought this was sarcasm for a second. Are people serious? This news actually affects you in some way? Somebody actually cares or bases the way they feel towards the characters/movies because of the computer-type she uses? I can’t even wrap my head around spending more than three seconds noting this difference.

  22. Linda says:

    What about the “Carrie” necklace that HBO are selling? can you believe you can only get the name “Carrie”?. the point of the necklace in the series is that it was supposed to be about finding your self not “Carrie”! any way I got one with my name at Mynamenecklace.com

  23. Loz says:

    Firstly just for the record I want to say I love SATC the series and film and can’t wait for SATC2.

    But for me the fact she’s switched from a MAC to a PC is a pretty big deal. I’m a writer like Carrie, a journalist in fact and as such I cannot live without a MAC and neither could any of my journalist friends. It is the very essence of our craft and no high specced HP could change that.

    So for me it’s hard to accept that Carrie, a fellow writer would ditch her beloved MAC (and trust me if you are a MAC owner, it is beloved) for a PC. It’s the equivalent of her ditching designer couture for Topshop.

    I hate the whole American Product Placement thing anyway.

    It’s against the law here in the UK for films and TV shows to have products in them. We see it if it’s in American films but product names on TV shows have to be blurred out before they are aired.

    On American Idol for instance we have the coca cola logos blurred out.

    To me this whole MAC-to-PC thing shows how commercial SATC has become. The makers of the film are willing to change key parts of the characters we know and love for the sake of a few extra bucks. Very sad indeed.

    I just hope the SATC2 writers thought about the characters when they closed up each of their stories rather than keeping their stories open deliberately for the sake of a third film.

  24. searching4grace says:

    Benefit of the doubt: Maybe it’s less about product placement, and more about how a PC grounds you to one place. It’s more of a “you have to go here to use this.” maybe it’s about her choosing a place to end the nomadic existence of “singles” and about choosing somebody and somewhere to be home. Or it could just be crap. Who knows? :)

  25. roxiekarmikel says:

    Obviously those who don’t care about the HP issue have never used a mac…. The statement is certianly a sell-out on SATC team! I loved the series and both movies but the first thing i noticed is the mac replacement and the commercials how sad!!!! The sell-out is almost as bad as comparing NYC and LA!