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Star, Darren (b. 1961)  
 
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While living in New York and working on the show, Star became fascinated by a series of wry columns for the weekly publication New York Observer by Candace Bushnell titled "Sex and the City." Based on Bushnell's own dating experiences and those of her friends as single young women living in Manhattan, the columns were later collected in a book also called Sex and the City (1996).

Star thought the columns would make an interesting premise for a television show. What intrigued him, Star later recalled, "was the idea of a single woman in her thirties writing about relationships and using that column as a tool of self-discovery about her own life, sometimes even unbeknownst to herself."

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Similar to Bushnell's book, the television show, also called Sex and the City, focused on Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), a lifestyle columnist, and her three friends: Samantha, a publicist (Kim Cattrall), Miranda, a corporate lawyer (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte, an art gallery manager (Kristin Davis). The show, according to Star, "was meant to look at relationships and sexuality from the point of view of urban women in their thirties."

It premiered in June 1998 on HBO and quickly became a hit for the network, running for six seasons before its end in 2004. In addition to creating and executive producing the show, Star also wrote six episodes and directed two.

HBO, a premium cable network, offered Star and his creative team much more liberty to explore his characters' sexuality than he was allowed with his previous, more mainstream shows on broadcast television. Consequently, Sex and the City garnered considerable attention for the libertine attitudes of its female characters and their frank and casual discussions about sex.

Star, however, countered that as the show evolved it became more about the friendships between his female characters and less about their sex lives. "Instead of showing women who thought about men all the time," he argued, "it showed women who weren't dependent on men for fulfillment, who felt instead that their friendship was the most important relationship in their lives."

Star also consciously thought of the show as a reversal of television stereotypes. "Women have always been objectified by men," he explained, "and in this [show] the women [are] objectifying the men."

As a show co-produced and written by Michael Patrick King, another openly gay writer and producer, critics also suggested that Sex and the City was actually about four gay men, disguised by the show's creators for the sake of convention, as four heterosexual women.

Executive producer Michael Patrick King 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 stated.

Star found such allegations "demeaning." He was especially annoyed when critics observed that a highly sexualized character such as Samantha must be a gay man in disguise. "I think that people project what they want on her, but to say that Samantha isn't a woman is demeaning to her. I mean why can't a woman be like that; a woman that has that sort of libido exists, women who are alpha women."

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. Similar to the Matt Fielding character on Melrose Place, however, both men had limited emotional lives on the show and instead typically served as confidant and sounding board 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).

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, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Sarah Jessica Parker and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Cynthia Nixon, both in 2004. It was also nominated for twenty-four Golden Globe Awards and won seven.

The popularity of the show prompted two feature-length film sequels, in 2008 and 2010, both written and directed by Michael Patrick King. Star himself was not involved in the making of either movie.

Star has been less successful on the succeeding shows he has created and produced, which include The $treet (2000), set in the world of corporate stock trading; Grosse Pointe (2000-2001), a satire on the off-screen lives of a group of young actors appearing on a show similar to Beverly Hills, 90210; Miss Match (2003), about a high-powered attorney and part-time matchmaker; Kitchen Confidential (2005-2006), based on the non-fiction book by Anthony Bourdain; Cashmere Mafia (2008), another show about the lives of four affluent women; and GCB (2012), based on the Kim Gatlin novel Good Christian Bitches (2009).

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