The 'Today' show co-anchor tells PEOPLE the HBO series, which turns 25 on Tuesday, "reminded us: if we have great relationships, we have enough"
For the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City’s premiere, PEOPLE spoke with female and LGBTQ+ actors, directors and writers about how the show affected them, impacted the industry and continues to influence pop culture.
“It made being single cool,” the Today show co-anchor, 58, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It made you feel empowered and not left out.”
Kotb thinks the HBO series “impacted everyone's life.”
“People were sitting alone in their apartment going, 'Am I the only one?'" says the mother of two. “No, you're not the only one. You’re with your friends. It reminded us: if we have great relationships, we have enough. That is what it taught us back then.”
The show, which ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2004, followed the dating adventures (and misadventures) of four women in New York City, offering an unprecedented look at sex from a female perspective. It also focused on the tight-knit friendships of leading ladies Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). In a season 4 episode, Carrie even mused to her besties, “Maybe we can be each other's soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.”
That point of view really resonated with Kotb, who says, “There was something brilliant about the whole concept.”
For more on Sex and the City’s 25th anniversary, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.
"It's been such a fun 25 years," she said on Today with Hoda & Jenna in April. "And I wondered why, in any relationship you have — whether you're in a relationship with a friend, or boyfriend, or even a job. You wonder, 'How does it not feel like all those years? And I think it's because it kept changing."
Being single doesn’t faze her.
"For everybody who is at a phase in their life where they may or may not be with a partner. My sister said to me once, 'Are you afraid of being by yourself?' And I know this is so weird, but I said to her, 'I am not going to be by myself,'" Kotb said on her show in November. "Like, I actually know it, as sure as I'm sitting next to you at this desk. I have two beautiful daughters who I am wild about, obviously."
Kotb does, however, have can unshakeable sense of faith that she'll meet a special someone soon.
"I know with certainty — and it's the strangest feeling to know that,” she continued. “Like, I can sometimes feel him, but I don't see what he looks like, but I feel like it will happen. So if someone is like, 'Maybe you'll meet someone by Christmas….' Maybe! I'm not on the hunt, but I have a weird, like, tingly Spidey-sense about it."
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Today with Hoda and Jenna airs weekdays at 10 a.m. ET on NBC, and Sex and the City can be streamed in full on Max.
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