"A tale of two cities - Emotional depth makes HBO's `Sex' more satisfying than Showtime's `Queer as Folk'
Boston Herald; Boston, Mass.; Jan 3, 2002; Monica Collins;

HBO's "Sex and the City" unveils six new episodes, with the first one premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. And Showtime's "Queer as Folk" begins a new season Sunday at 10 p.m.  The series are similar. Each centers on a group of sexually active friends - straight, in the case of "Sex and the City," and gay on "Queer as Folk." However, the shows do not share the same quality of storytelling. Although "Queer as Folk" has developed a following, "Sex and the City" is vastly superior.

Sex in the city, indeed.

Two brazen, risque cable series return with new episodes - not a moment too soon to fire up our wintry imaginations. Shake off those TV blands and blahs ... Having won this year's Emmy for "outstanding comedy series," "Sex and the City" is at the top of its love game. These new episodes do not disappoint. This really is the best comedy on television.

As the new episodes begin, we find our high-heel heroines enmeshed in their personal cares and woes. Writer Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is living with her fiancee, Aidan (John Corbett). She's happy, although skittish about full commitment. She wears her engagement ring around her neck instead of on her finger.

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is out-to-here pregnant, carrying the baby conceived when she had a sentimental one-night stand with her ex, Steve (David Eigenberg). She may be preggers and gaseous, but the hormones are racing. Miranda is horny ...

Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the oversexed vamp who has seduced men and women and, almost, a priest, has finally met her match. Hotel baron Richard Wright (James Remar) is an enthusiastic sex partner (so enthusiastic that HBO even shocks with a blurry glimpse of male genitalia). But Richard becomes so much more than a stud to Samantha.

This woman for whom sexy relationships have been vaporous and fly- by-night is ... actually falling in love. She hates being in such an emotionally compromising position ... With every past lover, Samantha has always had the upper hand because she could walk away untouched. With Richard, things are very different. She wants him on a deeper level.

The talented writers of "Sex and the City" take the rare meat of relationships - the fear, the doubt, the thrill, the joy, the comfort - and continue to make a wonderfully juicy, provocative repast. The human material is so rich and so humorously turned ...

'Queer as Folk', Showtime's highest rated series, takes place in Pittsburgh - and far from 'Sex' 's city, despite featuring lots and lots of sex. The first episode opens at a pulsing gay nightclub where, in the back rooms, we see graphic carnal acts ...

Try as I might, I cannot warm up to 'Queer as Folk'. The characters do not move me, nor does the story. The sex, which would appear seamless if the tales were better told, makes me feel embarrassed for watching..."