August 12, 2014 11:21 AM EDT

The Naked City, indeed. This HBO comedy, based on the columns of Candace Bushnell, divided women into four archetypes: preppy Charlotte, sardonic Miranda, assertive (in and out of bed) Samantha and neurotic narrator Carrie. In truth, there was always more talking than headboard bumping on SATC, and that was always the point. You came for the—well, coming—and you stayed for the banter, the analysis of what society expects from single (and married) women, the Big-vs.-Aidan arguments and the friendship. Contrasting the glamour of upscale Manhattan life with the mundane hard work of committing and coupling, SATC, struck the right balance of fantasy and realism—just like a good relationship.

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