When Girls premiered in 2012, it drew comparisons to Sex and the City, despite being lauded as a younger, hipper, more realistic version of the show. The main characters — Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna — are in their early 20s, live in Brooklyn, and are navigating their way through life while dating, working, having sex, and cultivating friendships. Some of the personality traits of the Girls girls can even be seen as similar to those of the SATC ladies — for example, Jessa's got the sexually confident attitude of Samantha, while Hannah is a writer with a tendency to be self-absorbed (sound familiar?).
After the first episode aired in 1998, it was clear that Sex and the City was going to be different from anything else on TV. Not only do the main characters have sex (and lots of it), but they talk about it. They rehash the details of their dates, trade bedroom tips, and provide constant unfiltered conversations that are slightly scary to some people but amusingly refreshing to others. When you watch a show like Girls, you have to wonder if the progressive subject matter would fly today if Sex and the City hadn't previously broken those taboos; women freely and openly having a dialogue about things like STDs, abortion, and masturbation seems standard now, but 10 years ago it was Sex and the City that first tackled those topics and paved the way.