Sentimental Garbage is a podcast run by the Irish author Caroline O’Donoghue, in which she chats to people about books. In the special mini-series, Sentimental and the City Caroline discusses all 6 series of Sex And The City with Dolly Alderton.
I feel like such a total arsehole for dismissing this podcast for weeks as sort of light chatter about SATC. I’m all up for light chatter but I thought, “I’ll get to that at some point”. What it is in reality is a PhD level deep, deeeeeeep dive into the whole of SATC and incredibly insightful, very raw, powerful side conversations about very personal stuff about relationships, friendships, status anxiety, the humiliations and insecurities that come with any artistic endeavour (but which I’m sure will ring true to non-artists, too). And a billion other things besides, it’s just about everything, pointing out things I had never realised (and I am ten years older than these women) about all sorts of stuff that bothers me but that I have never articulated to myself, or had articulated for me. It made me realise afresh how isolated we have all been during lockdown. I love Giles, he is my best friend, but he doesn’t give me this kind of input and all my girlfriends are married with children – we don’t get the chance to sit down for three hours and just talk, even out of lockdown.
Caroline and Dolly get pretty drunk during these episodes and occasionally become so overwhelmed about the subject matter that they burst into tears and, I mean, I just can’t even express how incredibly enlightening, moving and meaningful this all is. Don’t laugh! It really is. My most overwhelming feeling is that I really wish this had been around when I was 26 or 27. I was tied up in a couple of reasonably dysfunctional female friendships around that time and I just didn’t have anything approaching this standard of level-headed, straight-talking, fully supportive female energy around me and, god… it would have been useful.
Anyway, I wish I could say that you don’t need to be a big fan of SATC for this series and while you don’t need to be a super-fan (as I am) you do need to have a reasonable level of patience for a lot of detailed discussion about e.g. the significance of Miranda’s lilac eyeshadow in Series 6. But if you can summon up a passing interest in the TV series to cope with such minutiae, please listen to this. I am coming to the end of it and I am just dreading it being over. That’s the only bad thing about it and each episode is hours long, literally hours. It could be hours more, that would be fine.
I saw this recommended in the Times last week and downloaded them all and am absolutely LOVING them and like you, dreading finishing them. The Deep Dives into specific scenes are priceless. I love that they know the characters inside out and talk about them if they are real (which I guess will be annoying to some) and they really make you appreciate how fantastic some of the writing in SATC is. I am trying to persuade everyone I know to listen so that I can talk about Dolly and Caroline talking about Carrie and co! Crazy times. But I think having been away from my main crew of girlfriends through lockdown it is like being part of that specifically girl banter that I have missed so much. It is definitely much more focussed on the friendships and relationships rather than the clothes which suits me. Maybe they will do one of the first film? Maybe it will actually be longer than the film was? How good would that be…
I’m an episode and a half in and have burst into tears already. I LOVE this thank you so much for recommending it.
Lucy B says
I am so glad you have written this as I feel EXACTLY the same way about this podcast – it has been the absolute highlight of my week over the past six weeks. I am also 10 years older and quite fascinated at Dolly and Caroline’s POV about some aspects of the show, particularly what they are and aren’t shocked by. I have loved the podcast and am gutted it’s nearly over. My husband is beyond relieved it’s nearly done as I have watched all 96 sodding episodes – and both films! – again, just to really get every single reference (much of this during home schooling when I really did not have the time). But it has been a great trip down memory lane – and has made me both grateful to be old and past all the horrors of singledom etc, but also very nostalgic for my youth and the female friendships that can only really come at that stage in life. Anyway, thank you for this – nice to know I’m not alone in feeling so strongly about it – I thought I was weirdly obsessed!
Ciara Petty says
Love it! Have forwarded to several friends with instructions to listen asap. As you say husbands are great and all, but I cannot wait for all this to be over so I can once again enjoy the company of my female friends. Until then…we have Caroline and Dolly 🙂
Melanie Johnson says
I am also loving this podcast!
I can not wait to listen to this!!
Thank you for the recommendation. I swear to god the podcast that has got me through the past year is another SITC podcast called – couldn’t help but wonder with Jamie Lee and rose sernow. They are 2 comedy writers, go through each episode and how it relates to them and woman’s life in general. It’s funny, raw, real life, and my sanity for all the reasons you listed. It really is like sitting around and chatting with your girlfriends when we have not had the chance. HERES TO SISTERHOOD!!!
I LOVE THIS PODCAST and never want it to end. The comfort of listening to Dolly and Caroline agreeing fervently with each other, honking with laughter, suddenly crying over a piercing point…I have relistened to each (hours long) episode at least once, and even my partner has now started wondering why I’m ‘listening to that Sex City thing all the time.’ Because it’s BEEEAUTIFUL
Rebecca McDowell says
Thank you for the recommendation. Love all of Dolly Alderton’s output and doubly love SATC. Missing The High Low terribly so glad to have good podcast fodder back in my ears.
I LOVE THIS PODCAST. And desperately want to be friends with Dolly and Caroline 🙈. The honking laughter and sudden piercing emotion and tears…I’ve listened to each episode at least once… I may not know the most about Sex and the City, but I sure as eggs FEEL the most about Sex and the City!!!
Susannah Howard says
Love love LOVE this podcast but many friends of mine keep dismissing it as SATC is so over – your article sums it up perfectly, the show is just a backdrop to so many insightful and relatable conversations, I BAWLED at the fertility chat in Ep4. Gonna send them this blog post now instead:)
I’m so happy to see this post, I’ve felt exactly the same! I was a fan of the High Low and SatC but I’ve been blown away by how valuable and enjoyable every moment of this podcast has been. Just exceptionally good and makes me want to raise my chatting-with-friends game.
Cindy F says
Am also loving this podcast, though have yet to commit to the SATC series (I’m ‘saving’ them for ultra long walks). I have been cherry picking earlier book ones, which are also great. The Christmas 2019 special with Ella Risbridger had them crying over one of my favourite books The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. The fact that it was just pre pandemic, possibly around a kitchen table, and there was a bottle of Prosecco involved, makes it all the more special.
Nathalie G says
I’m absolutely loving this podcast too. Don’t want it to end so am rationing it as much as possible. Currently watching reruns of SATC to refresh my memory of every detail.
Listening to Dolly and Catherine’s excellent analysis makes me saddened that the world of dating for women hasn’t moved on much since the 90s. Anyone else feeling that?
I wrote Catherine instead of Caroline. I’m an idiot.
Call me a bitter old bitch, but I’m not sure I can listen to Dolly A – frankly SATC is for the women of my generation – and I just cannot get to grips with women 18 years my junior talking about a show a that was before her time… That’s not to say she can’t appreciate it – but the context in which it was out there was a different era…. It was groundbreaking for those in their 20s in the 90s…