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King, Michael Patrick (b. 1954)  
 
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King emphatically stated that he had never intentionally inserted a gay voice into the show. "I really don't feel that I'm a gay man who's channeling a gay voice into women," he said.

"I was in a room all day with six women [writers]," he added. "This is personal and it's their lives."

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Nonetheless, as the television historian Ron Simon has noted, "the creative dialogue between the gay sensibilities of the male executive producers and the multitudinous real-life experiences of the female writing team gave the series its unique voice."

Sex and the City featured two recurring gay characters, talent agent Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson), who makes an appearance in the very first episode of the show, and Anthony Marantino (Mario Cantone), an event planner, who was introduced in the third season. However, both characters had limited emotional lives on the show and instead served as archetypal sexually nonthreatening confidants to the straight female characters.

There were no recurring lesbian characters on Sex and the City; nevertheless, in season two, Charlotte was befriended by a group of "power lesbians" and explained that "while sexually, I feel that I am straight, there's a very powerful part of me that connects to the female spirit," and for three episodes in season four, Samantha became involved in a lesbian relationship with a Brazilian painter (played by Sonia Braga).

"The legacy of the show," King observed, "is an enormous exposé on all the different ways you can be a woman and live your life."

Over the course of its six seasons, Sex and the City was nominated for more than fifty Emmy Awards, and won seven, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2001. King won an Emmy for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series in 2002. The show was also nominated for twenty-four Golden Globe Awards and won seven.

The popularity of the show prompted two feature-length film sequels, both written and directed by King.

The first film premiered in May 2008, and went on to become a worldwide box-office hit. Mick LaSalle, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, called it "the best American movie about women so far this year. Indeed, at the rate Hollywood has been going, it may stand as the best women's movie until "Sex and the City II," if that ever comes along."

Given the overwhelming success of the film, a second sequel was inevitable. Sex and the City 2 was released in May 2010.

The film opens with the wedding of the television series' two main gay characters--Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marantino--and features a cameo by gay icon Liza Minnelli.

This second film, however, was less successful than the first, especially among critics. Mick LaSalle, who had praised the first film, said of the second in his review, again for the San Francisco Chronicle: "Twenty minutes in, the movie is already operating at a deficit, and it never recovers. It can't recover, because it never finds something that it wants to say, or a story that it needs to tell."

King later said that he was "completely surprised," by the critical reception of his second film, but was nonetheless proud of his work.

He returned to television, and to HBO, in 2005 with The Comeback, which he created with the actress Lisa Kudrow.

Kudrow had just ended her 10-year stint on the extremely popular comedy Friends (1994-2004), and had also starred in such movies as The Opposite of Sex (1998) and Happy Endings (2005), both written and directed by the gay filmmaker Don Roos.

Shot in the style of a reality television show, The Comeback starred Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, an actress desperately trying to resuscitate a once-thriving television career.

The series also featured Robert Michael Morris as Valerie's gay friend and confidant Mickey, an old-style Hollywood hairdresser.

King called The Comeback "a brilliantly original tale about what someone is willing to do to stay in the spotlight."

Although the structure of the show was innovative and the writing sharp, The Comeback met with low ratings and a mixed critical response, and was canceled by HBO after only one season.

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