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July 15, 2004
'Sex' Comes To Singapore

Agence France-Presse notes the upcoming release of HBO's six-season paean to liberated single women, Sex And The City, in the ultraconservative city-state of Singapore. The Asian state, which made headlines in the US when authorities caned a young American teenager for defacing a car and which still prohibits selling chewing gum, seems an unlikely venue for the sexual adventures of four sophisticated New York ladies:

US cable channel HBO took out full-page newspaper advertisements to announce the premiere of Season 5 in the late evening slot on the city-state's sole cable operator StarHub. Season 6 will premiere in August. ...

The showing of 'Sex and the City' came after the government regulator introduced a new television rating system which allows programmes with mature content and themes to be aired from 10:00 pm for viewers aged 18 and over.

Singaporean fans of 'Sex and the City', which has a worldwide following, have previously had to resort to buying DVD and VCD copies of the show during overseas trips in order to catch the series.

One of the blessings/curses of subscribing to HBO (and other pay services) is the never-ending cycle of repeats, which means I have seen most of this series by default. I highly doubt that it will be aired in its original form; more likely, Singapore will get the TBS version. Nonetheless, its broadcast seems a bit incongruous with Singapore's straitlaced reputation. It could bring a more relaxed attitude towards social conventions -- or it could just solidify America's reputation there as a land of hedonistic whiners.

AFP does win the Best Subtle Double-Entendre Of The Day award for this passage, though:

Singapore has been dubbed a "nanny state" because of strict social controls, but the government has sought to loosen up the apron strings to add vibrance to city life as it seeks to promote a more cosmopolitan image.

Well, if they want to add "vibrance", they've picked the right show. About every third episode has specific references to "vibrance." If I recall correctly, one particular model of boudoir appliance saw its sales explode after a mention during SITC.

You suppose they'll be getting The Sopranos any time soon?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 15, 2004 6:27 AM

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