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The Sex and the City Author Is Here to Tell You Carrie and Big Should Never Have Ended Up Together

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For many fans, writer Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City” column for the New York Observer — which turned into the landmark HBO show Sex and the City starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and then two marquee movies — is the embodiment of the single woman experience during the era; even years later, it remains a cultural touchpoint. Central to the story, of course, is a love interest for main character Carrie Bradshaw. Along the course of six seasons and two movies, that love interest, Mr. Big, morphs from a handsome bachelor into the groom at Carrie’s wedding. But maybe that Hollywood ending is just that: a Hollywood ending.

In a new interview with Bushnell, the writer opened up about the difference between love in real life and love onscreen.

“Well, I think, in real life, Carrie and Big wouldn’t have ended up together,” Bushnell told The Guardian. “But at that point the TV show had become so big. Viewers got so invested in the storyline of Carrie and Big that it became a bit like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. They had become an iconic couple and women really related to it; they would say ‘I found my Mr. Big’ or ‘I just broke up with my Mr. Big,'” she noted of the show’s cultural impact.

“It became part of the lexicon. And when people are making a TV show, it’s show business, not show art, so at that point it was for the audience and we weren’t thinking about what the impact would be 10 years later.”

Sorry, romantics. Don’t believe everything you see onscreen.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com