Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sex and the City marathon
I finished my Sex and the City marathon about a month ago, in plenty of time for this summer's movie, which I'm now eagerly anticipating.
The first time I tried to watch the series, I couldn't get past the first couple of episodes. I just didn't care very much about Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie, Kristin Davis' Charotte, Kim Cattrall's Samantha and Cynthia Nixon's Miranda. They were attractive, successful women who sat around in trendy restaurants talking about their inability to find Mr. Right and except for that, didn't seem to have any problems - financial, career or otherwise.
But this time, I stuck with it until the end - all six seasons, 94 episodes. And I really enjoyed it. I think part of it was, I'd spent more time in New York City, so that alone made the show more fun to watch. It was great spotting cameos from actors I'd seen on stage, like the legendary Marian Seldes. Plus, the more I watched, the more I saw that the dialogue was actually smarter and more witty than I realized and the women, far from being annoying, began to grow on me.
Sure, some things still bewilder me.
Why didn't we ever meet any of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha or Charlotte's family members? Didn't they ever come visit? We knew that Miranda was from Pennsylvania and Charlotte grew up in Connecticut. But where was Carrie from? Did she have any siblings? Were her parents still living? Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember anything about her background ever being mentioned.
Also, now that Miranda and David Eigenberg's Steve are married, will their son take Steve's last name? Will he be Brady Brady? Am I the only one who's concerned about that?
And why didn't Carrie marry John Corbett's sweet, cute Aidan? (I'm a big fan of Corbett's from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.) Whatever did she see in Mikhail Baryshnikov's Petrovsky? He was a completely self-absorbed, selfish jerk who treated her shabbily and let her know that his life was more important than hers. I mean he basically had no redeeming qualities. Why did she ever agree to go to Paris with him? I knew it was going to end badly. I just knew it.
On a serious note, I was also uncomfortable that the gay characters, Willie Garson's Stanford and Mario Cantone's Anthony, were such stereotypes. Sure, the women were stereotypes, too, shallow and catty. But at least we get to know them as individuals. Stanford and Anthony, unfortunately, pretty much remained stereotypes instead of fully realized characters.
I actually found Sex and the City more appealing in the later seasons, when the women faced more real-life problems: infertility, cancer, aging parents, whether to commit to a relationship, being a single mother. I'll never forget the sight of Charlotte curled up on the couch an looking bedraggled after her miscarriage. It was so unlike the perfectly dressed, perfectly made up woman we'd seen in every other episode and it was just an unbelievably sad, haunting image.
There were many funny moments, too. Charlotte prepares her first Sabbath meal after she converts to Judaism with a zeal that only a convert could possibly have. I mean, the woman baked her own challah. I know some pretty religious people and I don't know anyone who bakes their own challah. And this is New York City. We're not exactly talking about an item that's difficult to find.
Also, I wish Kristen Johnston's Lexi had made her appearance long before her entrance and untimely exit in "Splat," near the end of Season 6. It was the best cameo in the whole series. And Carrie's misadventure on the runway as fashion roadkill in "The Real Me" was hilarious.
But my favorite episode is probably "A Woman's Right to Shoes." It contained so many of the themes that we've seen throughout the show: Carrie's obsession with Manolo Blahniks, singles versus marrieds, kids versus no kids. The way Carrie gets a friend to pay for a replacement pair of shoes is pretty inspired.
The other thing that episode has going for it is a subplot where Charlotte tells Evan Handler's Harry she wants him to feel more at home in the Park Avenue apartment she got in her divorce settlement. He does just that - by walking around in his birthday suit. The way they hide his private parts, using some fancy camera work, plus a carefully-placed newspaper and plant, is one of the funniest scenes in the entire series.
The Sex and the City movie opens May 30, and I hope to be there during the first weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing the original cast and finding where life has taken them since the series ended in 2004. I'm also looking forward to some great shots of New York City.
I guess the big question is whether Carrie and Chris Noth's Mr. Big will get hitched. Somehow, I think they will. Doesn't everybody love a happy ending? After all she's been through, Carrie deserves one.