Sex and the City to air on Friday… finally

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Reproduced from Channel News Asia… before it disappears.

SINGAPORE : The first legally-screened episode of Sex and the City to penetrate our pristine television hours has plenty of topless-women scenes … which we won’t get to see.

Tomorrow night on HBO (StarHub CableTV Channel 60), Singaporeans will finally get to watch the highly-anticipated cult series about four modern thirty-something women living in New York.

Previously banned in Singapore for being too risque in its frank exploration of sex, the Emmy-award winning comedy-drama (based on Candace Bushnell’s book) has been passed with cuts for nudity and language by the Media Development Authority. Meaning, of course, that we won’t be seeing any of the nudity viewers did in the United States where it first aired in 1998.

HBO Asia’s marketing director Caroline Wong assured that "99 per cent of the show is intact".

"Singapore does not have a special version of the show. We’re showing the regional feed, which is the same version that other Asian countries such as Hong Kong are getting," she told Today.

"Our mandate has always been that if at any time the quality of a show would be compromised by something like censorship, then we won’t show it."

SATC, as the series is popularly known to its fans, aired the final fling of its six-season run in the US in February.

And Singaporeans, sadly, will have to jump right into the middle of the series, starting with season five. This is because we have to keep up with the other 18 Asian countries which have already shown the series from the first season.

Well, some Sex may be better than nothing, but die-hard fans of the show feel that this may be a matter of too little, too late.

All episodes up to half of the final sixth season are already available on DVD at online retailers such as Amazon. An illegal but no less popular practice is downloading the episodes off the Internet using file-sharing software.

Season five is the shortest season, with only eight episodes, as lead actress Sarah Jessica Parker — who plays the show’s journalist protagonist Carrie Bradshaw — got pregnant.

Those who love the show point out that its best moments took place in the lead-up seasons to the fifth, because most of the major plot arcs took place then.

"Watching the whole series in a chronological manner is crucial to understanding individual character developments. Does it mean that the local audience will be ill-informed about the Carrie/Big, Carrie/Aidan and Charlotte/Trey relationships?" asked Patsy Wang, who has watched up to season three.

Nonetheless, it is good news for those who have never watched it before.

Dana Goh is one such viewer, whose interest has been piqued by all the hype surrounding the show. "I think it’s a step forward for the industry here," she said. "A year or so ago, we were thinking it would never come to Singapore. So, it’s encouraging the way they have assessed the trends." – TODAY