6 lessons modern men can learn from watching 'Sex and the City,' according to podcasters The Bradshaw Boys

bradshaw boys
Cory Cavin, Jon Sieber, and Kevin James Doyle operate a podcast titled "The Bradshaw Boys," offering a modern male perspective on the hit show.
The Bradshaw Boys/HBO/Getty Images
  • When the HBO series "Sex and the City" first hit television screens over 20 years ago, fans couldn't stop talking about the groundbreaking show — and the conversation continues into 2019.
  • From the out-of-the-box fashion to relationship problems, much of the series still speaks to viewers.
  • Among its newer viewers are podcasters "The Bradshaw Boys" — three men who may not necessarily be the target audience of "Sex and the City," but nevertheless have a lot to say about what makes the show so powerful.
  • From being able to embrace a higher level of vulnerability to relationship tips, here are 6 things every modern man can take away from "Sex and the City."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you've ever seen a single episode of "Sex and the City," you would know that while some elements of the show are painfully dated, others continue to resonate today.

As we approach the next decade, the groundbreaking show is seeing a resurgence in pop culture and on social media, with Instagram stars like Dan Clay aka Carrie Dragshaw, a Carrie Bradshaw-impersonating drag queen, racking up thousands of likes on each post.

Sarah Jessica Parker has even leaned into the pervasive fandom around the show, replying to fan comments and answering fan questions still lingering 20 years later.

Three unexpected superfans of the show are Cory Cavin, Jon Sieber, and Kevin James Doyle, who operate a podcast titled "The Bradshaw Boys." In each episode, the comedians sit down and watch a different episode of "Sex and the City" — a new one, in consecutive order, every week — and discuss the themes of the episode, usually with a female guest. At the end of the podcast, they rate the episode from one to five cosmopolitans, a drink commonly mentioned throughout the series.

The trio has been recognized by both SJP and Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte York. On their popular podcast, they have interviewed directors from the show, other superfans, a "Sex and the City" trivia expert, and even the actor who played Miranda's first boyfriend, Skipper. 

Insider sat down with the Bradshaw Boys to discuss what drew them to watching, analyzing, and inevitably loving the show as three straight men in 2019.

Keep reading to see what they think other men can learn from watching "Sex and the City" today.

You'll gain an understanding of how people of all genders and backgrounds can relate to each other through friendship.

sex and the city
Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson on the set of "Sex and the City."
Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

One thing the Bradshaw Boys immediately took away from "Sex and the City" was the strength of the female friendships on the show and the immediate sense of community they found with each other and with other fans.

"You take away an understanding of the depth of the female relationships in the show. You realize that women relate to each other over these deep issues and that, by watching the show and really thinking about topics like love, sex, friendship, and more, you're better prepared to be included in a lot of those conversations," said Doyle.

They've interviewed people of all ages and genders, and have been able to have meaningful conversations about the show with them.

"It's like comfort food for so many people," said Jon Sieber. "When we sit down and watch it all together, usually with a cool guest, it's a really fun vibe. My wife used the show as a way to keep her company while working on acting contracts, and people like Dan Clay (Carrie Dragshaw) watch it in big groups with friends. It really brings people together."

You'll be better at analyzing your own personality traits when it comes to relationships, whether it's realizing you're "unavailable" like Big or sometimes immature like Steve ...

Sex and the City
Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, with John Corbett, as Aidan Shaw.

Each episode's theme calls the viewer to think about Carrie's "I couldn't help but wonder..." question and deciding which character's point of view they agree with the most on each topic.

"Take Ross and Rachel from 'Friends,'" Kevin Doyle said. "The whole plot of the show is 'will they, won't they get together?' But, no one's sitting around wondering if they're a Ross or a Rachel. The characters in 'Sex and the City' are having concrete discussions that relate to situations in everyone's lives — am I really in love with this person? Do I want to have kids or get married?

"That's why the show has created such a mass following, years on. You can see yourself in every character in different parts of your life, and it naturally calls for a discussion with other people."

... but you'll also learn the women you've dated might think of you as a caricature of yourself.

sex and the city
Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, with David Eigenberg, as Steve Brady.

The Bradshaw Boys all said that at different points in the show, they could relate to the plight and victories of the main four characters — Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. However, they also noted that the male characters were often caricatures of men, and not truly fleshed out people. They realized this might be true to life in the dating scene of today, as well.

"I recently had a date at my apartment, and I currently have moths eating my nice Restoration Hardwear rug. I genuinely worried if I was going to be known as 'moth boy,'" said Doyle. 

"In some aspect or another, we may all end up being caricatures to the people we meet while dating in New York City. You may always be known as 'that guy who...' or 'that girl who...' That aspect of the show may still be true," said Cavin. 

You'll finally know what a Manolo Blahnik is.

sex and the city
The cast of "Sex and the City."

While many men might not be previously aware of the big-name shoe designers mentioned throughout the series, fashion is a huge part of the show and building each character. It's no surprise that along the way, men watching the show might pick up a few style pointers.

While discussing the fashion of the show, the Bradshaw Boys commented on how the costume design — masterminded by legendary designer and stylist Patricia Field — helped to distinguish each character, as well as how surprisingly in style the fashion is compared to today. 

Speaking of one commonly referred-to outfit of Miranda's — oversized blue denim overalls, a baseball cap, and a puffer best — Sieber said he wasn't sure if Miranda was a lawyer or simply a street style icon "waiting for the next Supreme drop." 

You'll get all the insight you need into the female mind.

sex and the city
The famous "Sex and the City" cab scene.

The trio agreed that the show gives men an insight into what women talk about when they're alone with each other — something men have possibly been wondering about for as long as time.

"Men for what seems like centuries have sat around saying, 'I don't know what women want.' Little do they know there are hours of television that will tell them," Doyle said.

"Take one week off from Tinder dates and throwing drinks at an unnecessary campaign — just watch 'Sex and the City' and I'm sure your averages will go way up," Sieber joked. 

"'Sex and the City' can also teach men to listen more. A lot of the conversations that the women on the show are having are still extremely relevant today," Cavin said.

You'll feel able to be more vulnerable when it comes to topics like love and relationships.

big and carrie sex and the city
Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, with Chris Noth, as Mr. Big.

While the show can certainly offer some lighthearted dating advice, it can also spark some heavier discussions about love and relationships, the Boys said.

"We just recently had a really meaningful discussion the other day about Carrie and Aidan's relationship. Wanting to move a relationship forward and the other person not being on the same page was something I personally relate to, so that opened up a really great discussion between the three of us," said Doyle. "It wasn't necessarily something I would bring up on my own, but the episode made me talk about it."

"If 'Sex and the City' is the bridge or the vehicle for you to connect with other people, and especially your guy friends, then that's great," Sieber would tell other men who might be hesitant to watch "Sex and the City." "You'll have a great time doing it and maybe even relate to each other on a whole new level."

"Watching 'Sex and the City' all the way through together really gave us the vocabulary to talk about a lot of complex issues with each other, and become closer as friends," Cavin agreed.

Be sure to catch new podcast episodes of the "The Bradshaw Boys" on Spotify and iTunes or catch one of their live shows in New York City on December 5.

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