It puzzled even Sex and the City's most ardent fans.
How could Carrie Bradshaw afford the latest haute couture on a freelance journalist's earnings?
A new sitcom by the hit show's writer, which returns to the milieu of upwardly-mobile New York women, promises to face financial realities.
Channel 4 has won the UK rights to 2 Broke Women, a new comedy by the Emmy-winning Sex and the City writer Michael Patrick King. The show has yet to air in the US but is already causing an industry buzz.
Two twenty-something girls from different ends of the social spectrum try to make it in New York. Max (Kat Dennings) is a blue-collar girl. Caroline (Beth Behrs) is from a wealthy background but has lost her trust fund.
The pair strike up a combative friendship whilst working as waitresses in a Brooklyn diner and then hustle to raise the $250,000 (£153,000) they need to set up their own cupcake business.
Where Sex and the City was a whirl of designer clothes and penthouse apartments, the 2 Broke girls struggle to pay their rent but are determined to show "life can be fun in one expensive city even if you're flat broke." Mr King said the series, which launches in a high-profile slot on CBS next month, was a reaction to the fantasy lifestyle of Sex and the City, which ran during the 1998-2004 "boom" years.
Channel 4, seeking a hit US comedy to replicate the success of Friends, Frasier and Sex and the City, snapped up the show at the LA Screenings, where international buyers are shown pilots by American producers.
Gill Hay, Channel 4 head of acquisitions, said: "It is a rare thrill to find a new comedy that is effortlessly funny, warm-hearted and which has such a broad audience appeal."
The show will air on CBS after Ashton Kutcher's debut as Charlie Sheen's replacement on the new series of the comedy, Two And A Half Men.