February 27, 2011

Episode 7: The Monogamists

Sorry it's taken me awhile to get this posted. I thought I was going to be more productive this week and it just didn't happen. (I love that watching and posting about this show makes me "productive.")

Watch Date 2/21/2011

Gag me. The episode begins with Carrie talking about how the island of Manhatten is really just a cozy village inhabited by millions of people who all think they own the street, BUT lately it’s felt like there are only two people in the world, close up of her and Big walking down the street together. Okay, we all like to feel that way, but none of us like to hear other people talk about it. She says that four hour conversations seem like they flew by, days apart feel like weeks, blah blah bah, we get it, you’re infatuated. There’s a gross scene of them kissing on the street in front of everyone – they look like terrible kissers. I wouldn’t want to kiss either of them.

Of course, all of this QT with Big means she’s slighted her friends. Miranda calls her to complain that they never see each other anymore and try to make plans and manages to drop that F bomb, “you’re too busy fucking your brains out, right?” For the first time in the 7 episodes, Miranda actually looks okay in a decent suit. Shocking! Carrie says she is free because Big has this thing for work so they weren’t doing anything anyway. “God would you listen to yourself?” Carrie says, “Yeah, I know, I’ve become one of those women we hate.” “Yes you have!”

She realizes she’s committed the cardinal sin – forsaking girlfriends for the new boyfriend. “That night, I faced the tribunal.” (Oh lord, does it have to be this painful?) She sits awkwardly at a table at dinner waiting to be dug into. Her friends go easy on her, saying they weren’t that concerned but that she’s missed a lot while she’s been off with Big. Miranda worked on a successful merger, Samantha has become obsessed with finding a new apartment, and Charlotte is practically engaged. Wait – what? Maybe I should also start keeping track of how many times they are on the verge of being engaged.

So the scoop is that Charlotte meets the dude the day after Carrie dropped off the face of the earth. His name is Michael Conway (really?). They met in a park when his dog ran up to her. He supposedly comes from a good NY family and absolutely adores Charlotte who already thinks “he might be the one.” Oh God. Where’s the cart, and the horse? I think one is in front of the other and it’s not going to be pretty.

Sam says, “We met him, he’s perfect.” Miranda says, “even his dog is fucking perfect.” That’s two F bombs for Miranda inside of 10 minutes. Wonder how it makes Carrie feel that in the time she’s been keeping Big all to herself, Charlotte’s met someone that is apparently “the one” and the girls have already met him. Oh wait – they don’t address that.

Instead, they take the plot somewhere else entirely. Charlotte says, “but there is one thing…” and proceeds to explain that after their last date (the Philharmonic) they went back to his place and began the timeless dating ritual known as the blow job tug of war. WHAT? Okay…in this scene this makes no sense. They are both completely clothed and have only just started kissing and he starts pushing her head down to his crotch while his dog eerily looks on. Alright, fine, I’m not denying that plenty of men will do the BJ-push move but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done with all of the participants clothes still on and only three PG-style kisses in. This Mike guy needs to work on his form. Charlotte tells him it’s not going to happen. He asks when it will. She responds, “Sometime.”

But to the girls she says, “the truth is – I hate doing it.” Sam says, “honey you can’t be serious.” Miranda says “are you telling us you never perform this act?” (oh god – Miranda added a polka dot TIE to the suit I liked her in earlier in the morning. What, is she a clown now?) And speaking of clowns, Carrie says, “she’ll juggle, she’ll spin plates, but she won’t give head.”

Charlotte says she doesn’t like putting it in her mouth because she has a sensitive gag reflex and feels like she’s going to puke. She’s tried with bananas, pretended it was a popsicle but she just doesn’t like it. And this is when Miranda has to add her creepy two scents, “Personally, I’m loving it, up until the point where the guy wants me to swallow.” Really? They are discussing this over dinner at a restaurant? Isn’t this conversation better placed at that Cheers bar they liked in episode one? They go back and forth about the merits of oral sex, how much they are or aren’t into it, and Sam has the best line. “Plus, the sense of power is such a turn on – maybe you’re on your knees, but you got him by the balls.” Nice. The real question is when Miranda queries, “But if you don’t go down on him, how do you expect him to go down on you?” And Charlotte shares that she doesn’t expect it. They all look at her in surprise and Miranda says, “Well forget it! I only give head to get head.” To which Sam agrees and they all laugh. So let’s back up a sec – you’re pretty sure this guy is “the one” because he’s perfect and THIS is your issue? Yeah…this one is really going to last alright.

As the girls exit the restaurant, Sam spots Big in the corner with a woman. To Carrie’s credit, she thinks nothing of it and heads over, saying “surprise!” as she approaches. Big looks up and is indeed surprised. She tells him she was there with her posse and saw him and only then does she sort of quizzically look at the lady. So Big stands up for introductions. Julie Woods, “meet Carrie Bradshaw.” Carrie is graceful (who knew) and says it’s nice to meet her, managing to look like she means it. She then asks Big if she can talk to him for a sec. She pulls him aside and asks, “are you on a date?” He replies “sort of.” She says “I thought you said you had a business thing tonight.” He says, “I said a dinner thing.” Meanwhile the posse is watching from the bar. Char looks perplexed, Miranda looks stunned, Sam is closing her eyes like dear god, just walk away. Carrie “She’s stunning. And I should know because frankly she stunned me. Well, um enjoy your dinner.” He has her arm and says “well are you okay?” sure I just didn’t realize you were dating other women. Big: “Well, not a lot of other women. (ouch) Why don’t we talk about this Saturday.” “Sure, sure, sure. So well then, enjoy your dinner. Oh already said that. enjoy it twice” and kind of slugs him in the arm a little too hard.

Back in her apartment that night, she can’t believe he’s seeing other women despite the fact that they hadn’t discussed exclusivity. She paces her room smoking. Is it that men have an innate aversion to monogamy? (Oh god – Why can’t it just be that it’s the beginning of the relationship and you haven’t discussed exclusivity yet? And no, to answer your question, they don’t.) Or is it more than that? I love how every time she gets one of these (seemingly) philosophical brainwaves she goes Doogie on us. “In a city like NY, with its infinite possibilities, has monogamy become too much to expect?”

We take the question to the street where a water delivery guy says he’s been in an monogamous relationship for over a year and it’s really fulfilling, but he defines monogamy as including sex with prostitutes. AWESOME!

A housewife says the problem with monogamy is that it’s so incredibly dull.

A gay man says “my lover and I have a sort of agreement about monogamy – we have sex with other people but we don’t exchange fluids or phone numbers.” Interesting philosophy.

Another woman says, “Monogamy is fabulous. It gives you a deep profound connection to someone else and you don’t have to shave your legs.”

Meanwhile, Sam’s link to monogamy for this episode will be portrayed through her experience in apartment hunting. She gets shown a bunch of apartments by a female realtor named Pam, but she ditches Pam for Rick b/c he combines her two interests – sex and real estate.

That afternoon Carrie goes for lunch with Stanford (yay Stanford) and cosmos are involved – again it’s the middle of the afternoon – hello! I think I need to be a newspaper columnist if it’s all afternoon cocktails with your gay friends.
Stanford’s take is that monogamy is on the way out. It made a brief comeback in the 90’s but people are leaving options open as the millennium approaches. Aaah the millennium. Remember Y2K guys? She asks him if he’d commit to a nice guy if he found one “I can’t even commit to a long distance carrier.” She says “You know what you are? You’re a whore.” “I wish that were true.”

Some guy named Jared who is wearing way too many leather necklaces recognizes Stanford and comes over to talk. He stands right over Carrie’s shoulder so she looks down at her own cleavage and actually adjusts her shirt. Ugh. He’s read her column and says she should write about him b/c his life is “so fucked up.” Yeah –that’s impressive. Stanford says he was named one of the 30 coolest people under 30 in the city and he wrote a book. I’d like to know if the book was about his mono brow or about his chest hair poking out of his shirt? He says there’s a party at some place on Saturday and he’ll be sure to put their names on the list. He gives her a thumbs-up and says “groovy”. I say “Douche.”

As she goes home she questions what’s happening to her. “I used to get a secret rush from men who hit on me during their 15 min of fame but now it feels exhausting.” Wait, what? Why? What’s that kind of validation about? And how many men have hit on you during their fifteen minutes of fame? I don’t get it.
Big calls to confirm for Saturday. She says “of course why wouldn’t we be?” but then immediately regrets it b/c she was hoping to go for noncommittal. “I’ll pick you up at 8. I miss you baby.” WHO TALKS LIKE THAT? God he just oozes oily variety bohunk. She at least does the smart thing and talks to Miranda about her insecurities over dinner instead of talking to him about it at this point.

“He said I miss you baby. Do you think that was meant to be some kind of coded mea culpa?” Ummm no, don’t read into it. Please don’t read into it. But Miranda says, “you mean like what he really meant was ‘I’m an idiot please forgive me for having dinner with the other woman’? Could be.” What?????? What kind of advice is that?

Just then Skipper walks down the street with some girl named Alison and introduces her to them. Miranda has a plastic smile on her face during this introduction, but apparently Carrie knew that he was seeing someone else because she says she’s heard a lot about her. “Me too, we’re such big fans of the column over at vogue.” She nervously prattles on about the intimate dinner she and Skipper had and she seems charming but of course as soon as she walks away, Miranda asks, “who was that self important bitch? I didn’t think that was his type.” Carrie says, “Well, that’s true Miranda, YOU’re his type, but you broke up with him, remember?” Miranda looks after them down the street and wonders if he’s been working out because something looks different.

Back at Skippers apartment, he’s getting it on with Alison. Totally pants off, sweating in the bed style going at it. Miranda calls and it goes to voicemail and they have to awkwardly listen to her leave a message about how great it was to run into him. “and you looked great – did you do something to your hair?” And get this - he PICKS UP THE PHONE!!!! “I can’t talk right now.” “that’s okay – just wanted to see if we could maybe have dinner some night.” “Seriously?” So he hangs up the phone and tells Allison, “you’re really great but the woman I think I love just called me and asked me back…” and she says “you’re breaking up with me while you’re still inside of me?” OUCH! Damn. I thought I liked Skipper! Any dude who picks up the phone while having sex with you (unless someone is bleeding or dead on the other end of the phone) is an idiot.

Charlotte and Blow Job Mike are walking down the street arm in arm and she gets a declaration of monogamy from him. And he seems to think this declaration is the best idea he’s ever had in his life. I must mention here that he’s got the worst hair, thus far, of any of the men on the show. It’s parted down the middle and flopping all over the place and he’s NOT a toddler. I’m pretty sure that’s the last age you can pull that off.

Carrie goes to a party with Big at his good friend Max’s apartment. An attractive brunette approaches and grabs him “hey there stranger” and kisses him. Oops. “Melissa – this is Carrie bradshaw.” (Carrie is wearing a silver dress that is very appropriate for the event, but again – spaghetti straps and no bra. I think it’s her go to look.) Melissa says, “I love your column, never miss it.” To Big she says, “I’ve been trying to call you – you still have my passport.” As she walks away, Big explains, “she’s a friend I once traveled with.”

They make their way through the party to find Max and he introduces Carrie by saying, “I want you to meet someone very special.” Max guesses, “Julia?” OUCH. Then Big says “she writes this fantastic column called Sex and the City” Max says “Well if you’re looking for material you’re dating the right man.” DOUBLE OUCH. Then Carrie pipes up and makes it nice and awkward, “Are we dating? I thought we were just sleeping together.” Part of me wants to give her props for putting this out there considering how terrible her evening is going, but the other part of me has to recognize how pathetic it is considering the drunken ass she made of herself in his apartment in the last episode precisely because she didn’t want to only be sleeping together.

Big’s response, “well I’m sure after tonight we won’t be doing much of either.”
Carrie excuses herself and turns to leave. He follows and says, “Carrie – you’ve got to be kidding.” She straight up asks him how many women he’s dating. He says “I’m not doing this here.” Why is he suddenly treating her like she’s a child? She responds with “Fine.” WHAT? She should’ve said, “Fine I’m leaving!” Grrrr. He asks her if they can just enjoy the party. She says she doesn’t know and he asks her, “what do you want from me?” and he says it with a smile on his face that my friend Esther describes as the cat that ate the canary look. She finally grows some lady balls and says, “nothing – I don’t want anything from you. I have to go, I’m sorry.” GIRL – DON’T BE SORRY! GET THE EFF OUT OF THERE.

She says she felt like a fool b/c she’d gone so far out on a limb with her feelings that she didn’t realize she was standing out there alone. Aah –there’s the rub. Only fools rush in Carrie.

So she goes to meet Stanford at the fabulous party who asks her where’s what’s his face is. When he asks what happened Carrie says, “He became predictable.” Ha. Classic. Way to save face in front of the friends. That Jared douche shows up wearing black jeans, a black long sleeved button down shirt tucked in, black belt and black sunglasses – who is he, Johnny cash? Carrie muses that in a room full of attractive people under 30, monogamy suddenly seems like a quaint notion.

Cut to Miranda and Skipper post coital (I guess they skipped dinner?) Miranda is giddy but then Skipper says he missed her and that other woman doesn’t mean a thing to him. She says she doesn’t mind if he keeps seeing her. Wait, what? What about all that jealousy? Skipper confesses that he broke up with her the second Miranda called. “I was so happy to hear from you that we were still doing it and I didn’t even realize it.” Miranda looks disgusted, “you’re kidding, right?” She tells him she’s not ready for a full blown relationship (wait – why? I thought that was always the point with all the ladies except Sam? So it’s just Skipper that’s not good enough?) She says she wants to see him and other people and he says no and gets upset. “Why’d you call me anyway? I’m not your private stud horse, Ms. Dial-a-fuck.” He says he’s tired of being jerked around and he hopes she finds what she’s looking for. Exit poor Skipper.

Blow Job Michael is creepily telling Charlotte how amazing she is just so he can get a blow job. He awkwardly goes from saying she’s everything he is looking for to again pushing her head in his crotch, again fully clothed. She finally admits she hates doing it. He does the pitiful, “will you do it for me?”and she asks, “would you really want me to do something I don’t want to do?” His response? “You’ll get used to it.” Ha. This guy is awesome. He THEN says “I plan on getting a lot of blow jobs in the future, and I am hoping that you’re around when I get them.” WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAT? “WHAT’S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?” “It means I’ll have to find them somewhere else.” She stands up and says “you’re telling me you’d give up a woman who cares for you and would share all of your hopes and dreams and possibly be the future mother of your children for a blow job?” “He looks somewhat ashamed and says, “You’re right – would you at least, lick my balls?” WHAT?

Miranda gets shown another apartment by Rick, and they start going at it right in the empty living room. Sure enough, they get busted by Pam who is there to show the place to another couple. Pam says, “I can’t believe you’re working with another broker!” Rick covers Miranda’s breasts with his hands, “I can’t believe you weren’t going to show me this apartment!” ha. Comedy.

Douchey-Jared is at the party blowing Carrie up about his book and how it’s a great way to pump his ideas into the world. Carrie says, “I thought it was b/c you could behave like an utter asshole and people would find you amusing.” Ha. True. His response, “I’m like in love with you – you know that? I’m like fucking in love with you.” His choker leather necklace is so tight around his neck that it looks like he’s been intibated.

He asks her to go home with him. She says “give me a minute – I just have to make a call.” Oh God. Don’t call Big. Don’t call Big. She calls Big. She tells him she met a guy named Jared and he’s cool and under 30 and so is everyone here and he wants to take her home and etc. etc. and like a true parent he says “Carrie, just get over here.” What? Why? And like a child she responds, “no you come here.” She tells him where she is and says he should meet her outside. 45 min later she realizes she’s alone in a park at 3 am. But lo and behold, it’s because they were waiting in different spots. Big’s been waiting for 30 minutes on the other side of the building. They fight over the definition of the front of the building while she nips out of her dress. She finally comes clean with him and says she’s done the merry go round and she’s found someone she thought she could stand still with. “Do you want to stand still with me?” Instead of answering her – he puts his arm around her and proceeds to stand still. Ugh. “In a city of infinite options, sometimes there’s no better feeling than knowing you only have one.

The end.

God this was painful. I still don’t like Big. She might be having 4 hour long conversations with him, but we’re not. There’s no reason for me to like this character, or believe they should be together. And this is not because of his disinterest in monogamy or in “defining the relationship” either – that’s all part of the natural process at the beginning of dating. I get that. They weren’t talking about exclusivity so he’s free to date whoever he wants. If she cared so much about being the only one, she should’ve brought it up and not made the assumption. But here’s what kills me in this…and maybe this is me being the prude who doesn’t want to get a venereal disease, but wouldn’t you want to figure this out BEFORE you’re sleeping with the dude? Seriously – is it too much to ask for monogamy if you’re going to be doing it with him? If he’s putting his P in your V, don’t you want to know that it’s the only V it’s going into? And if that’s the case, then maybe you should’ve listened closer to Charlotte when she talked about waiting for more than a few dates for the sex. And not that there’s anything wrong with doing it right away either – but you can’t have it both ways. But I guess now that they are together in an officially monogamous capacity, we’ll be getting to see a lot more of that canary smile, as well as more of their father/daughter style interactions. Awesome.

And the storyline about BJ Mike – I get it. It’s supposed to be a funny commentary on how men love to push us to give them the BJ’s…but it was better expressed by Chelsea Handler in her book, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.” Maybe it’s supposed to be comical because it’s Charlotte and so therefore it’s an extreme situation, but meh. It didn’t really come off. And Miranda with Skipper? Oh good god. Wow. That woman needs to figure her shit OUT. One minute she wants him. Then she doesn’t. Then she’s jealous. Then she gets what she wants, and she doesn’t want it anymore. And he creepily broke up with that girl DURING sex? I don’t buy that one. You’re telling me that the average red blooded American male wouldn’t have finished the sex first and THEN dumped her? No offense to Miranda, but she’s not that fantastic.

February 16, 2011

Episode 6: Secret Sex

Watchdate 2/10/11

Okay, before I start in on Episode 6, let me return to episode 5 for a sec and say that I am not exactly speechless. It really bothers me that the episode broached the fact that Carrie clearly has money issues and then didn’t do anything with it, other than explain it away by blaming it on her shoe fetish. (Well, that’s what she told Gile the issue was anyway.) Again here I think, this woman is in her mid 30’s and she’s avoiding her financial problems despite the fact that the rest of her life is supposed to be so put together – her fashion, her shoes, her job. Unless SATC breaks her down and makes her realize it’s all a way of her coping to not face the reality that she has no ability to manage her own life, including her financial affairs – which I doubt. I guess that between the part when she threw her bills and late notices in the trash without taking action, and the part where she walked around with her coat hanging off of her shoulders, I just keep thinking that HBO is trying to push her off on us as a manic pixie dream girl. These girls never grow up, have eccentric quirks, and are “unabashedly girlish” (according to wiki). I think we’ve hit on something here. If this is the case for Carrie’s character, then really her purpose is to bolster the men in the episodes. It’s kind of like she’s the catalyst in chemistry, urging the reaction along but not getting used up herself.

And that’s all I’ll say about that for now.

Okay, so episode 6.

The episode begins with Carrie rolling around on a bed in a photo shoot for the creation of a promotional photo for her column. It’s scheduled to run on side of a bus. As Sarah Jessica Parker (oops, I mean, Carrie) rolls around on this bed in a nude colored dress, I can’t help but think of all of my favorite photo shoots of newspaper columnists. Oh, wait. Nevermind. She says any misgivings she has about doing the shoot are mollified when they tell her she can keep the dress.

Friday night the girls come over to live vicariously through her date with Big. It seems they finally have one. A real one. And she’s decided to wear the dress from the shoot. So yeah, it’s this creamy/pinky/taupey colored, barely there number that stops 2 inches below her cooch and she’s not wearing a bra. Where are they going on this date? Where can you go in public in this outfit? You can basically see everything. And this is not just me saying that. Miranda calls it “tits on toast.” Char calls it the naked dress and says that Carrie is obviously going to have sex with him.

Charlotte is concerned because it’s their first date – they shouldn’t have sex on the first date because she’s serious about him. (Well, this should be no problem since supposedly Carrie has that rule about no sex on the first date…oh hold up. It was no sex with a man she’s only known a day. Aw shit. She’s having sex.) Here I have to once again draw attention to the horrificness that is Miranda’s outfit. She is wearing gray jogging pants, a white tank top without a bra, (is there a BRA SHORTAGE in NY?) and a yellow sweatshirt draped over her shoulders. Is she going to play bra-less tennis? Miranda’s response to Charlotte is, “oh god here she goes again with the rules.” Sam adds that she thinks these are rules put him place by women who can’t get laid. She, meanwhile, is wearing a black halter pantsuit that reminds me of an outfit my sister had for her Cher doll.

Char thinks there should be a holding pattern for five dates, but says there’s some math involved because the holding pattern goes up based on age. Miranda once again says “fuck.” She takes the 3 date approach. Char insists it’s too soon. This is when Sam gives them reality check. “Men can just as easily dump you if you fuck ‘em on the first date as on the tenth.” Boom ladies – that just happened to you. Life has no guarantees. The girls want to know when Sam has ever been on a tenth date, and Char says that at least by then you’re emotionally involved. (Wait – what? By then you’re emotionally involved when he dumps you? or by then you’re emotionally involved when you have sex?) Sam says it’s better to find out if the sex is good at the beginning, while Charlotte thinks the Victorians are onto something – romance. Ha. Yeah…those Victorians and their romance. So the prudish inhibitions and traditions of the Victorian era is actually code for romance? Oh wait – maybe she’s thinking of the rise of prostitution and wide sweeping venereal disease?

Carrie says to rest easy, she’s not going to sleep with him. But then she admits to the camera that she’s dying to sleep with him –“but isn’t delayed satisfaction the definition of maturity?” She puts on the horrendous fur coat she wears as one of her staple pieces and heads out. This coat looks like it was made from the fur of a meow mix cat. With mange.

Big is waiting at the car door. As she approaches him with her mange falling off her shoulders he says, “interesting dress.” They get in the car and as she’s adjusting this nude dress and mange monstrosity in the back seat of the car (because he has a driver) he says “don’t worry – I’m perfectly capable of restraining myself.” What? These are the first words you speak on a first date? That’s kind of making some assumptions there buddy. Although, then again, she is going on a date naked. She responds, “So am I.” They immediately begin making out. And then in the next scene they are on the floor next to his bed and she’s slept with him. Well there goes that.

They are lying there and she’s got her head on his shoulder and she thinks she won’t be the first person to speak and if he never calls her again she will always think of him fondly – as an asshole. And then of course she opens her mouth – “that was really…I mean can you believe we really…on the first date?” Oh man. A) she didn’t have this problem with Gile and B) If you’re going to go there and do it on the first date, channel your inner Samantha and grow some lady balls. Instead she gives him a look of embarrassment. She continues, “I didn’t plan that you know – what do you think?” Well…I’m not to certain that you DIDN’T plan it…but whatever. And then she asks him what he thinks? Gah. That’s like the kiss of death. Why are these conversations and dialogues so forced? He says, “I thought it was pretty fucking great – but what do I know?” I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean. Is he offended? Was he expecting a rave review? He asks her if she wants to go have Szechuan, which of course makes Carrie wonder if dinner is a diversionary tactic so she doesn’t stay over.

At the restaurant they run into her “pal” Mike Singer. So six episodes in, her only recurring friends are the girls, Skippy, and Stanford (we haven’t seen him in a few episodes though.) I wonder if this Mike guy will be on any other episodes. She says she’s known him for 10 years and the reason they haven’t slept together is because they want to know each other for another ten. Hmm. So you get the sex arithmetic when it comes to friendships. That’s a start. Unfortunately, Mike brushes her off without introducing her to the girl he’s with, who seems ecstatic to meet her.

Meanwhile Miranda kicks a man in the face in her kickboxing class. The man on the other end of the kick ends up to be Ted Baker – 32 yrs old, sports medicine Dr. with an apartment looking over the Natural History museum. He’s had 3 prior relationships, none of which resulted in marriage. On the walk home from kickboxing, he says she can buy him dinner to pay him back for the kick. She kisses him on the forehead and he asks if he can call her because he wants to go out this week. She automatically worries that it’s too quick. Wait – what? Now they are asking you out too quickly? Oy vay.

Carrie meets up with her pal Mike at Bed Bath and Beyond to help him pick out sheets and she asks him what the deal was with his date. He admits that he doesn’t date her openly, despite the fact that she’s smart, sweet and the sex is great. He doesn’t see himself with her. Ummm…what’s the problem? he then says the reason he doesn’t see himself with her long term is because three months ago he was dumped by a woman who was a cellist for the philharmonic (what this has to do with anything, I have no idea). He was feeling vulnerable when he meets the new girl selling cheese at a specialty shop. He’s feeling very vulnerable and needy and so he goes out with her. He finds that he’s very uninhibited b/c he doesn’t think she’s that gorgeous so there’s no pressure. He’s very at ease and relaxed and thinks she’s the only person he’s ever met that he could just be himself around. Wait – how is this explaining why he can’t be with her? Carrie must be on the same page b/c she says “what’s the problem?” And bam - you guessed it. He says it’s because she’s not beautiful. But he quickly adds that they don’t have a lot in common (this despite the fact that they are both passionate about cooking.) He keeps going on about how warm and unpretentious she is and how it’s the best sex he’s ever had in his life. His eyes are all lit up. Carrie asks him if he’s afraid of what other people will think. He says he knows she’s not the right woman for him in the larger sense so he keeps her a secret. WHAT LARGER SENSE? It sounds to me like you’ve just checked off every single desirable element for a lasting relationship and yet you know you can’t be with her? God – it’s like Costanza wanting a woman with thick lustrous hair. What is it about male expectations that are so skewed? I’ve met some male friends who fancy themselves ending up with a gorgeous trophy wife and I just want to smack them out of it and say “Hey Costanza – YOU’RE BALD?” Carrie can’t decide if he’s being shallow or honest. She wants to know how many people are having great sex w/ people they are ashamed to introduce to friends?

Carrie asks Sam if she’s ever had great sex with someone I didn’t want to admit to? She says of course, but then proceeds to list off a jazz musician in queens (heard it), a window washer (heard it), a gorgeous kid in Spy Bar who turned out to be in high school (and heard it.)

Carrie and Sam unveil Carrie’s photo shoot poster in Carrie’s living room and Sam thinks they should celebrate the occasion by having a toast when the bus runs. She says Carrie should invite big but Carrie hasn’t heard from him since the sex. (I can’t decide if it’s the next day though or what, so I don’t know if I’m supposed to be offended for her.) Sam then asks if Charlotte ever told Carrie about sleeping with the rabbi.

They then go to Charlotte’s gallery to ask about it and it turns out he was a Hasidic folk artist from Brooklyn that Char met with to see if she wanted to get something for the gallery. Char was intoxicated by his talent, strangeness and the smell of his wool. (Oh brother.) She does him right there in his artists studio. WHAT? WHAT? So she goes from being a firm believer in not having sex on the first date to droppin it like it’s hot on a first meeting? I don’t understand. And wait a minute – now that I’m thinking of it, whatever happened to Brian, the “up the butt” guy? They seemed to be okay once she set him straight on how she only wanted to do it regular style. I guess he’s out now. But back to the Jew. She said she didn’t introduce him to her friends b/c she was embarrassed that they couldn’t really date. Okay, but you’re telling me that you wouldn’t even TELL your friends about it? I call bullshit on this one. And Sam says if the sex is good, what does it matter? I am starting to like the slutbag more and more.

Carrie types at her computer and ponders whether secret sex is an ultimate form of intimacy, existing in a pure state away from world or emotional compartmentalization. Before she can grapple with her latest philosophical quandary, Big calls her. “Do you miss me yet?” She says “who is this?” Ah land line phones without caller id! How quaint! He calls to ask her for dinner and a movie (but maybe skip the movie. She gives a wink to the camera that she thinks she has skipped the sex on the first date curse. I’m not sure I’m with her on this – I mean, he just freely admitted that he wants to put sex into the equation of the second date…I’m really not too sure how seriously he wants to take this. (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but clearly Carrie does want to be serious about it.)

So, date two, they walk arm in arm down a street. She’s wearing black pinstripe high water pants, a gray vneck man sweater, and a blue jacket with a red and white scarf. She looks like she bought her clothes at Goodwill. Big is wearing black jeans – is he European? – and a black polo shirt with a calf length navy trench. Man is this guy mid-40’s in the 90’s or what? And is he always in navy of some kind? She’s about to invite him to her bus unveiling but then they run into some people on the street and he doesn’t introduce her to them so she gets salty and doesn’t go there. What? Who cares. Maybe those people don’t matter. Maybe he doesn’t remember one of their names? Why don’t you just follow it up with a “so, who was that?” and be done with it?

She says she tries not to let it bother her. But she also tries not to let it bother her that he takes her back to Fung Wa. He feeds her off his chopsticks. He says he can’t make it to her party. She says she wants to introduce him to some of her friends. He says, with a twinkle in his eye, “I’ll be home later if you miss me.” Aw man. You really did yourself good with that first date. She looks around the room and thinks it smells like a cheap date that you don’t want anyone to meet. She tells him she’s on a deadline and she has to get home where she proceeds to call Mike. She asks if Fung Wa is an obscure place to go on a date. He confirms that it’s a place men take women they don’t want to be seen with. Ouch.

Next morning for Miranda – she’s waking up in Ted Baker’s apartment. Whoah – so I guess that means your date went well despite you worrying it was too soon to go on one? And what happened to our poor, pining Skippy? Is he still around? Ted is leaving for a conference for the day but tells her to stay. Unlike the thing with Gile/Carrie, he is very earnest about seeing her again and tells her she can stay as long as she likes. He asks if they can do something later that same night.

As soon as the deadbolt locks and he’s gone, Miranda ransacks the apartment. Like going through dresser drawers and shit. REALLY? SERIOUSLY? Are you 18? Be a grown up woman, take a glance around to get your bearings/the measure of the man, and leave. But nope. Instead she digs around and finds a video called “Spanked” in his drawer. She TAKES IT and watches it with Carrie. She says she can’t admit she’s found it because then he’ll know she looked in his stuff, but she isn’t sure if she wants to see him anymore, claiming that “Obviously this is what he’s into.” Carrie takes a more practical approach – maybe it’s just his fantasy life. CRIKEY these people! There was only one video in that drawer Miranda. One. It’s not like he’s obsessed with getting spanked and it’s not like it was cued up in his VCR! Maybe it was a gag gift. Maybe it’s from a former relationship and his partner was into it. Maybe he bought it on a fluke. Maybe, just maybe, he likes being spanked and suddenly you’re not so abrasive and candid about sex, are you Miranda?

Char, Carrie Sam and Miranda gather in the street with party hats to toast the bus. They drink champagne on the street – is this allowed? Char reckons that Big isn’t showing because Carrie slept with him on the first date. I reckon that it’s because they’ve only gone out twice and that’s way too soon to be putting the friend pressure on anyone you’re dating – sex or no!!! Carrie’s friend Mike shows up and admits that he actually invited the girlfriend to join him IN PUBLIC but she turned him down. She said she met someone else who doesn’t have his problems with intimacy. Ha. Tough break Mike. Welcome to the world of adulthood – it’s a really nice place to visit. This is what grown up relationships are like – in public.

So the bus finally shows up and someone’s drawn a huge penis on the side of it so it looks like it’s going into Carrie’s mouth. This is fantastic. Carrie is crestfallen. Sam says, “Nobody in NY notices a bus until it’s about to hit them.” Ouch. So does this mean that someone didn’t like her column? Or just wanted to draw a penis? Or put one on every bus in the city? Maybe it was the dress she was wearing. Obviously Big couldn’t resist when he saw her, maybe the penis wouldn’t have been drawn on the picture if she wasn’t wearing that dress?

Miranda has another great evening with Ted when he gets back, and is starting to rethink her decision to cut him off. Ted says he missed her while he was gone. She’s delighted and can’t believe it. He says, “I must’ve been waiting for a good kick in the head.” She gets this mischievous look on her face and says “I thought you were just waiting for a good spanking.” And she pats his butt!!! He looks at her incredulously and says “Excuse me?” She doesn’t back down. She says, “you heard me,” With this know-it-all look on her face. He suddenly looks very uncomfortable and proceeds to walk ahead of her. Doesn’t take her home, doesn’t return her calls or take her messages and she never sees him again. HA SERVES HER RIGHT!

Carrie drunkenly shows to Big’s place to give him a piece of her mind and say goodbye to him (after massive amounts of champagne.) Her knocking wakes him up and he stumbles to the door with disheveled hair, tshirt, pajama pants, and a robe on. She tells him that if he’s too embarrassed then they can’t see each other. She goes on a rant as she pours herself some vodka from his liquor cabinet, splashing it all over, going on about how he won’t introduce her takes her to places where they won’t be seen, won’t meet her friends…it’s totally ridiculous. She says he’s fitting her into a niche of a particular fragment of a woman he wants to date. He says he’s only gotten to know a particular fragment. Touché. Seriously here. They’ve been on two dates and she’s got the moxie to try to call him out for where the relationship is going? This is unbelievable. If this happened in the real world, this man would not call you back.

Big, however, goes on to tell her that he thinks Fung Wa has the best Chinese in town so that’s why he wanted to go there. He says he didn’t remember the name of the guy they saw in the street (ha! I knew it!), and he had courtside tickets to the Knicks game when she wanted him to meet her friends. Her response to this is even more unbelievable. No apology, no tail between the legs, nothing. Instead she says, “so you and me – then maybe this is for real?” WHO SAYS THAT AFTER TWO DATES? He says “Could be.” Pulls her in for a kiss and they head to bed.

And scene.

I’ll keep this brief because it was a long write up and I feel like I’ve already given a lot of my opinions along the way here. But I’m assuming from this point on she will be dating Big in some capacity or another since I know they continue their relationship throughout the course of the show. And I still don't really like him or know why we are supposed to want these two characters to be together. I don't know who this man is, what his interests or hobbies are, what he's like, what he does for a living, if he's good to his mother - nothing. And, as predicted, this episode did not reassess Carrie’s financial issues, although I’m sure they are far from over. So keep deluding yourself there Carrie. I am sure rent money is no big deal as long as you’ve got Dolce’s on your feet, right? Or maybe it won’t matter to her now that she’s got Big? I mean – he does have money. Will this bring her any closer to the concerns she had about turning into an Amalita? Or will it be okay as long as she’s got her column? Will her face continue to have penis drawn on it?
Halfway through Season One. I need to pick up the pace or I’ll never make it through.

February 15, 2011

Episode 5: The Power of Female Sex

Watch date: February 10, 2011

The episode begins with Carrie saying that the most powerful woman in NY is the hostess at Balzac. (Is this where the local Milwaukee establishment of the same name got it’s start?) Apparently it’s the hottest new restaurant in town and “suddenly the only place that mattered.” Carrie and Sam are both there to celebrate the moment. What moment? The moment of their lives? The moment of the restaurant opening? And mattered to whom? I’ve heard that in places like NY and LA it’s all about the new hot place. So is this like when the Red Robin opened on 76th street? Or is it like “everyone goes to La Fuente’s on the weekends”? Is it that kind of a “the only place that mattered?” Sam and Carrie have already been waiting for 45 minutes and Sam thinks this is preposterous/humiliating – she asks, “don’t they know who we are?” Carrie’s smug response is “Who are we?” (Which, I must confess I was asking outloud at that very moment myself. “I own my own PR firm you write a newspaper column – this should not be happening.” Wait - isn’t that everyone in NY? I feel like everyone there is a somebody, or on their way to being somebody, or a former somebody – why does this give Carrie and Sam the right to a quicker table?

Sam can’t take it anymore and approaches the hostess. The hostess is wearing a very small hat on the side of her head. Picture if a hat from “The Music Man” mated with a hat from the cartoon “Hey Arnold.” She is also wearing a very disgruntled look on her face that clearly suggests that Sam informing her how amazing they are is not getting them a table. Now, because they are drinking martinis and it looks like a club on the inside, I assume they are out for dinner until they bail and it’s BROAD DAYLIGHT. On a work day. Sam goes on a rant about how she was that woman 10 yrs ago but wielded her power in a benevolent way. (no examples given.) She thinks that if the hostess were a man, not only would they be eating, but they’d be getting free drinks. (is that wielding power in a benevolent way or just being opportunistic?) They settle for lunch at a Thai place around the corner.

Carrie explores her “theory” about shopping as a way to unleash the creative subconscious by going (of course) shoe shopping. She’s wearing a spaghetti strap navy t-shirt dress whose straps look like they are held up with floss. No bra, as per her usual. She’d trying on the most god awful heels – a silver stiletto pair with the kind of purple floofy stuff on the toe that you only see in men’s fantasies of naked pillow fights. Her credit card gets DECLINED and cut up in front of her! But before she can even pout/look plussed/wonder what’s going on, a dark haired woman comes to her rescue saying “Scusa!” and buys her the shoes. She’s some friend of hers named Amilita (Carrie says, “classification: eurotrash but fun.”) She’s with a man named Carlo who is perusing the purses in another aisle “Wave to Carlo darling, wave!” She’s been Carlo for 2 months and I the shoes are really on his money. Amilita says she thinks Carrie is like her sister (even though they never hang out) She insists and explains that Carlo’s family owns a small vineyard in Argentina. They are staying at the Four Seasons even though she lives in New York because “I am a citizen of the world darling.” Carrie is sent off on her way with Ciao’s and shoes. As she exits, swinging her D&G bag, she says that she had all the Italian she’d ever need to know – “Dolce, Dolce, Dolce”

When she goes home she goes through her bills and THROWS THEM ALL IN THE TRASH. Um – hello? Your credit card just got CUT UP and you’re throwing out your bills and you’re NOT freaking out? Nice. She writes up some notes for her column about how she envies Amilita for her life of rich men, glamorous resorts and designer clothes (cue foreshadowing to the moment when she realizes her own life is enough?) She says Amilita doesn’t work but instead exploits her sexual power. She ponders where the line is between professional girlfriend and just plain professional. Ugh. As she types at the computer I can’t stop thinking of the theme song from Doogie Howser, M.D.

Cut to the girls playing poker and drinking beer. (Is this supposed to be a visual attempt to give them some sort of masculine power or do they play poker frequently as the show continues? Don’t answer that.) They have a round table discussion that reminds me of the scenes in “That 70’s Show” whenever they’d go around the table while the characters were high. Except no one is high. Sam thinks women have every right to use every means to achieve power. Miranda says “Short of sleeping their way to the top.” I can’t decide if Miranda is saying this sarcastically as if she’s recognizing that women can’t get away with it, or sardonically about Samantha specifically.

Charlotte then asks if it’s okay to gain a professional advantage based on charm? Supposedly Neville Morgan (seriously – are these characters straight out of Sweet Valley High books?) the notoriously reclusive painter came into her gallery. He meets Charlotte and immediately invites her to his farm upstate to view his work. She wants to go because it will be an amazing win for the gallery if they can get some of his work, but is it just a ruse for “holding his brush?” Miranda says they can sue if he tries anything – and says that’s the best way to trade sex for power. Oh that’s fantastic Miranda. Litigation is really just a red herring for the fact that your vagina has teeth.

The doorbell of Carrie’s apartment rings. Miranda says Carrie doesn’t need to get the door – it’s poor ol’ Skipper picking her up. Carrie says it’s adorable - he’s like a sweat little seal cub. As Miranda walks to the door she says “yeah that you sometimes want to club.” WOW. So this is how you feel about this poor kid but yet you continue to string him along. I hope those are just the mean sorts of things girls say when other girs are around and not the way you really feel/treat him. He’s an hour early and says he CAN WAIT IN THE HALL! Um – Skipper? Grow a pair. Thankfully Carrie invites him in, but Miranda says they are just leaving anyway. Miranda turns to leave and bumps into the eager beaver on her way out the door. She throws her arms up and gives her friends a look like “see what I have to put up with”? At this point I want to transport Miranda to 6th grade gym class and have her be picked last for every sport.

Carrie is going to go to bed, but Amalita calls and tells her to come out – there’s someone she MUST meet. From the sillouetted head – I guess it’s Big. She says she can’t b/c she’s pinching pennies but then rationalizes it by wearing the shoes. Amalita bought for her.
They are back at Balzac and the hostess is wearing a different and terrible mini-hat. Amalita meanwhile is wearing a bracelet that costs $12,000 dollars. (As in – she tells us the price of the bracelet – not that I’m guessing here.) She’s not with Big – she’s with some guy named Gile. But in my defense, they have the same hair from the back. He’s an architect from Paris in town for a couple of days. Amalita is smoking a cigarette on one of those extenders. Who is she? Morticia? I can’t stop staring at Gile’s large eyebrows. He orders another bottle of wine and Carrie makes a painful attempt at comedy “and what will the rest of you be drinking?” After dinner Gile and Carrie are out walking. I can never be sure if people are en route to a new location, on their way home, or just milling around outside or what. We come to find out that Gile is recently divorced with a five year old daughter. That’s his portion of being vulnerable for the night I guess. Carrie, meanwhile, admits she’s broke. I’m not sure I’d be sharing that with someone I just met, but whatever. As she walks around, she drives me bonkers with her coat falling off her shoulders like she’s his 5 year old daughter. She thinks she sees his red flags and feels she can’t go there. Her red flags, by the way are that he’s divorced, French, and uncomfortably handsome. Wait – what? How is being French a red flag? And uncomfortably handsome – I have to disagree – so far she has not been involved with one handsome man on that show. And this includes Big. And really – having a CHILD is not a red flag of some sort? I don’t understand. Maybe she thinks she’ll pull a Ms. Hannigan and send the kid to an orphanage if she has to? Then she says something about feeling like she could float and bam – we’re hit with a floating scene. Ugh.

As she’s getting dressed the next morning Skipper comes over claiming he is Miranda obsessed. She’s got a power over him and he can’t help it. I guess the sex is so awesome that it’s all he can think about. (Maybe it’s the teeth?) But they only have sex in the afternoon because she never lets him spend the night. Carrie suggests they spend the night together and not have sex. He admits that he doesn’t even shower because he likes to spend the whole day smelling like Miranda. Carrie stops holding his hand and looks at hers with disgust.

Carrie spends an afternoon with Gile walking through the park and I swear to God she’s wearing a blue muppet around her neck. They kiss and make out. It’s clear he wants to go further but she says she has a rule that she doesn’t sleep with men she’s only known a day. But then proceeds to do it with him because heck, it’s already tomorrow in Paris. The next morning he needs to leave for the plane and says she should stay in bed, order room service. “Relax – I’ll call you.” But he leaves and he doesn’t have her number. And she doesn’t have his. (But then how did they arrange the afternoon date? Smoke signals?) And then she sees an envelope on the dresser with a note – and $1,000 cash. NICE – now you’re a professional!

The note says “Thanks for the beautiful day.” She invites Sam and Miranda over to share breakfast and discuss. While Carrie is worked up about whether she’s turned into a prostitute, Sam is fixated on the part of the story where they were able to have dinner at Balzac. Carrie wants to know if the money is a compliment or an insult. She clearly wants to take it as a compliment (or just take the money period) or she would’ve ran down the hall after him to give it back. Miranda however says, “he paid in full – what’s to return anyway.” Ah Miranda – you always have those smarmy lines. So now Carrie’s a hooker with a passport in her friend Amalita. Sam says she doesn’t see what the big deal is - men give – women receive. It’s biological. (Oh lord.) Miranda then goes off b/c it’s the same logic men have been using since the dawn of time. (I can’t decide if I should thank Miranda for this rant or not…since it’s coming from Miranda.)

Meanwhile, Charlotte arrives at the painter’s house. He shows her canvasses that he thinks are the apotheosis of everything he’s ever done and the closest thing he’s come to god-force. Oh man – here it comes. It’s all pictures of “the cunt” in a very Georgia O’Keefe kind of way. He says the cunt is the most powerful source in the universe – the source of all power, beauty and life. Truth is found in the cunt. Char hates the C word and cringes everytime he says it. She then meets his wife who looks like a country academic. She’s got studious half moon spectacles and gray hair with clothes that she might have purchased at the Cedarburg Wine & Harvest festival. The wife gives her lemonade and cookies while Neville explains that each portrait is of a woman who has touched his life. He then asks her if she’d pose for him. His wife says, “I bet you have a beautiful cunt.” Oh lordie.

It’s another sat night. Back at Balzac. The hostess is wearing a hat with a bad tiger print this time. Sam says she wants to snap her like a twig. They run into Amalita with several other international folks. She gets offered to join them at a festival in Italy or Geneva or some BS. One of the men, Mario, pulls her in close. Then in slow motion, there is a shot of him grabbing her but. She pulls his hand away and says she must leave to join her friends, despite Amalita’s insistence and Mario’s offended look. She tells herself “Just b/c venice sinking, her morals don’t have to go with it.” So does this mean that she’s okay with whatever happened with Gile as long as she’s decided she won’t let it happen again? or does this mean she’s decided that she wasn’t a prostitute with Gile? Hmmm.

Up in the bathroom, the mean hostess with the bad hats asks her for a tampon. She then gives Carrie and Sam a seat, and after that they never have a problem getting a table at Balzac. (aah –the bonds of sisterhood that slay the evil witch.)

A couple of weeks later the girls all find themselves at Neville’s gallery opening, guessing which picture is of Charlotte’s va-jay-jay. Carrie, wearing some sort of weird kimono dress says she is speechless. I might be too.

February 10, 2011

Episode 4: Valley of the Twenty Something Guys

Watch date 2/5/2011

The episode begins – yet again – with Carrie typing “Once upon a time.” This is now the second time in four episodes to use this narrative ploy. Tired. The intro story is then about Carrie and Mr. Big – told as if it’s a fairy tale of destiny how they keep bumping into each other. They finally decide to bump into each other on purpose.

While waiting in line with Miranda and Charlotte for the opening of a hot new restaurant that Sam’s PR firm is managing, we see Charlotte’s date – Brian - from afar. This man has Charlotte’s big three in terms of her interests – “Looks, manners and money.” (Remember the manners part for later.) Char is ecstatic because Brian is interested in buying a painting from her. “Love and a commission!” Carrie is supposed to be meeting Mr. Big at this event and says he’s late. When the girls ask about how the date got set up Carrie warns that it’s not a date, Mr. Big said it was “a drink thing.” Aah – we’ve certainly all been there before, wondering over what exactly an event is supposed to be, worrying that you’re giving it too much importance if the other person isn’t on the same page. It’s totes annoying to have to play that game. I’m pleasantly surprised at how aloof Carrie is playing it. So far. She seems not to care, which I think is pretty great considering she doesn’t yet know if it’s supposed to be a date.

Miranda is also supposed to be meeting someone at the club. Poor old Skippy. He’s also late and she’s wondering where he is. Char says she can’t believe Miranda is dating someone so young. Miranda responds, “it’s not a date thing. It’s a fuck thing.” Man that’s harsh. I mean, glad she’s calling a spade a spade on her end…but every time Miranda uses the F bomb it feels like HBO was just making her say that because they could.

Carrie gets a call that Mr. Big can’t make it. This is when she loses the aloof. She asks Miranda to listen to the message and decide if he’s not meeting her as a date or not meeting her as a friend. Thankfully the very next sentence is Carrie chastising herself for caring otherwise I may have shut the TV off right then.

The girls find Samantha cozied up in a booth with the head chef named Jon. She’s got one hand in his coat like he’s Napoleon and the other one draped over the arm of his chair like she’s owning him. When he gets up from the table she says “have I mentioned that I’m sleeping with him?” Like we couldn’t have guessed. They are with a guy named Sam (played by Timothy Olymphant from such films as Scream 2 and The Crazies as well as the TV show Damages and the new one on FX called Justified).

It’s once again painful to watch Carrie flirt with this man. “Sam? Whose named Sam?” she says as if she’s talking to a dog and even though he’s the only other person sitting in the booth and they were JUST introduced. It felt like the kind of line my sister could get away with – she’s got that amazing ability to say something I groan over but there’s a glint in her eye and an expression on her lips when she says it and men would always eat it up. Sam offers to buy drinks and as he walks away Carrie says that 20 somethings always know the right B list people – bartenders, busboys, and their butts are always so cute. [camera shot following butt.] Shudder. I think the only person who can talk about butts being cute is Mike Rowe when he talks about his own.

Skipper does show up. I feel terrible for the guy. It seems as if the reason he’s late is because he was at the bar trying to get drinks. “They stopped making martini’s so I got two rum and cokes.” Miranda says “I hate rum and I hate coke. But thanks” and snarkily takes the drink. Skipper looks like she ran over his puppy. Not entirely sure what happened to the “hello – so glad you made it. How nice of you to wait in line for me.” But maybe that’s my wholesome Midwestern upbringing? New guy/Sam of course returns with – tad ah!- martinis. And of course Miranda takes one. Poor poor Skipper.

Sam pulls Carrie away from the group because he wants to show her something. She leans in and he pops his tongue out. He’s apparently showing off his tongue ring. This I don’t understand. Unless he JUST got it that day/week and is in that place of “check it out I just got this” I don’t see why you would show your tongue ring to a woman you just met. My sister has one and I can guarantee you she does not do this. Nor did she when she was in her twenties. What’s even more disturbing is the close up camera shot of this. The way he keeps sticking his tongue out reminds me of Yukon Cornelius in the Rudolph claymation movie when he keeps licking his pick axe.

Carrie TOUCHES Sam’s tongue. I’ve never witnessed this happen before either. But it does serve as a great moment in the show because of course this is right when Mr. Big shows up in his suit which makes Carrie reaching for this kids tongue seem even sillier. She says she thought he wasn’t coming. He said his message said he’d try to make it for an hour. “well great – you’re here, you’ve got an hour, let’s have a drink.” Turns out he spent 30 minutes in line outside, 20 minutes waiting for her so all he has time for is to tell her he’s out of time. But he does grab her by both arms as he says it and seems disappointed. He tells her to have a good time and departs. Carrie says “Men in their 40’s are like the NY Times crossword puzzle – tricky, complicated and you’re never really sure you got the right answer.” I assume this means she’s referring to the confusion she has about whether it was supposed to be a date (he did spend 50 minutes looking for her) mixed with how easily he was able to blow it off…but they don’t explain.

Samantha and Carrie decide to follow Sam and Jon out when Sam declares that the party is tired despite the fact that it’s packed, which reminds me of Swingers. But I get it. Carrie narrates that they decide to go to a twenty something bar but then her character proclaims “these people – they are all in their twenties!” in disbelief. It sounds weird considering her narrator character seemed to get this about it. Perhaps they should’ve had someone else say that line. She ends up making out with Sam on a couch at the bar while Miranda makes out with Jon. Her lead in to this is asking him “what’s it like to kiss someone with one of those.” It’s bold. I’ll give her that.

The next morning Samantha calls Carrie to say she’s fucked. Carrie immediately assumes something is wrong. But no, it’s just the slutbag calling to say that she’s been fucked every way she can be fucked. She proceeds to list off all of the positions she and Jon did it in. (which of course means we get to see it in flashback.) I’m not entirely sure why she’s calling to brag in such a detailed manner. It’s not like she’s going to get street cred for all the positions (or maybe she will?). Nor is it like Carrie is begging for the deets. I mean – she doesn’t own a home in the Hamptons. Carrie, I feel I must mention, is wearing a pink sheer nightie and night blinders while Samantha is dressed all in a white negligee and robe like it was the first night of her honeymoon.

Carrie confesses that she and Sam spent five hours making out. No sex. She then likens twenty somethings to a designer drug because she’s got a craving and wants to call him even though her lips are still swollen. So men in their 40’s are a puzzle, and men in their 20’s are a drug. Got it. She says she knows why women like men in their twenties, but why on earth do these men like women in their thirties? We then cut to my favorite portion of the show when they interview men on the street.

“They are grateful – everything you throw at them is like throwing food to the starving.” -Jake 25. Dog walker and bass player.

“They give great head and know a lot about wine.”

“They remind me of my mom.”

Skipper says “They know who they are and what they want. And I like that.”

“Two words – smart pussy.” - a high school senior.

Cut to a scene of Miranda and Carrie walking down the street. Miranda is wearing another men’s tailored business suit and I’m half expecting her female date from episode three to show up. Carrie asks Miranda what’s going on here with their interest in twenty something men – Miranda says it’s just sex. “Good old fashioned, eager to please, do what I tell you to, eagle scout sex.” Sounds like Miranda really needs to be in charge of something and if it ain’t her career, she’s going to boss around her boy. Somebody tell me if she becomes a dominatrix by Season 6. Carrie then lies about a meeting with her editor so she can go to Banana Republic and help Sam pick out a shirt/make out with him in the dressing room. LIES. So you’re lying to your friends now. I’m going to go on a limb and say that I am hopeful that it’s because they are going with this recreational designer drug theme and we’re seeing what happens if she gets addicted. Also, I love that as they make out in the dressing room she immediately starts to wonder if he could be a potential boyfriend. Ah so quickly we fall.

Next thing you know, Mr. big asks her to meet him for another drink thing. Unfortunately for Carrie she is thrown off her schedule to meet him by Charlotte calling her freaked out by a request that her perfect mannered new boyfriend Brian made of her. So Carrie hops in a cab and says Charlotte should jump in with her to tell her what’s going on as she heads to her date. Apparently after a couple of weeks of dating and Brian thinking Charlotte is perfect he’s decided to ask her if they can have anal sex.

Yeah – that just happened. Anal sex. Ah Charlotte. What’s a girl to do. They pick up Miranda and Samantha on the way to Carrie’s date because Charlotte needs reinforcements. I love the line “even in her state of abject blackness, Charlotte was a dating optimist.” Yes – the quandaries of anal sex are always something that darken my mood. Right after wondering if we’ll ever see an end to the economic crisis or AIDS. Miranda gets in the car and immediately turns it into a conversation about power. If he goes up your butt will he respect you more or respect you less. Samantha meanwhile says a hole is a hole and tells Miranda she could use some backdoor action. Charlotte is overwhelmed. “What are you talking about? I went to Smith!” Ha. I like that line because as she says it you can really appreciate how out of character this whole thing is for her. She thought Brian had manners!

Carrie finally arrives for her date but Mr. Big is not alone. (Although I have to mention here that for some reason Chris Noth’s upper lip is distractingly sweaty in this scene. ) Seems he’s been joined at the eleventh hour by a bitter friend named jack who is “going through my second divorce. The bitch is getting everything the first bitch didn’t.” Ouch. Mr. Big claims he called him crying and asks her to forgive him. She throws some money on the table, tells him to have a guys night and treat him to a drink on her. Unfortunately this money was her cab money and she walks 48 blocks in $400 shoes. I hope this is an exaggeration. I would never walk 48 blocks in heels.

She goes to the twenty something bar to find Sam and “get a little kiss. Something to take the edge off.” But she’s not getting the same rush with the kiss, so she goes home with him and sleeps with him. And is ecstatic when he spoons her as well.

Char tries to tell Brian that she doesn’t want to be the up the butt girl. She wants “children and nice bedding.” He asks if they can do it normally and she agrees. Aw. Compromise.

Samantha goes home with Jon who tells her she gets the cutest wrinkles in her neck when she lays down. She has the epiphany that as long as she’s sleeping with boy toys she’ll always be older than them and vows from there on out to stop dating younger men.

Carrie wakes up from her twenty something encounter to realize she’s in a twenty something apartment. As he tells her about this dream he had he suddenly goes from being extremely interesting to really dumb. Everything out of his mouth about this dream seems like he’s a dope. I don’t understand this but again I think it’s because they are doing this drug theme and she’s no longer feeling his effects. His apartment is completely dirty. Like beyond the dirtiest boy apartment you’ve ever seen. He makes up a song called “unicorn woman” as he makes her coffee using the last of the toilet paper as a filter as she’s drip drying on the toilet. It’s a totally extremist depiction used to shake Carrie out of wanting to continue to hook up with these young uns. I would assume it’s because our shows plot so far circles around her and Mr. Big getting together at some point. But maybe they are trying to say something about cougars and how they should knock it off?

As she heads home from shoe shopping, replacing one addiction for another, she realizes her run in with Sam has made her realize she’s over the men from her past but not necessarily ready for the men of her future. (Maybe you should try to date some thirty somethings instead of heading straight to the 40 year olds?) She runs into Mr. Big at a sidewalk cafe. He asks her to join him and then asks her to dinner. She says no and yes. In typical guy fashion it seems her bailing on dinner the night before and then saying no to join him is enough to get the invite. Gotta love how they always want what they can’t have. She tells him he can call her for dinner and she ends the episode with “Maybe all men are a drug. Sometimes they bring you down, but sometimes, like now, they get you so high.”

And scene.

So what’s the deal with Mr. Big and Carrie running into each other all over like they live in some small town USA? It reminds me of the line in When Harry Met Sally “In a city of over 8 million people you’re bound to run into your ex wife. So boom. It happened.” Perhaps this is supposed to aid in making us feel they are destined for each other? I can’t say I’m feeling it yet. Other than the part where we want what we can’t have. I still know nothing about this character to make him appealing to me.

And here’s what I have to say about the “up the butt” conversation. Man life must move fast in New York. I love that after a couple of weeks of dating, deciding about having anal sex constitutes a power play. Call me a prude but I’m thinking that just getting to the regular sex after a couple of weeks would be enough to throw some people into a discussion about whether there should be a concern for a loss of respect. Poor Charlotte.

I keep calling both Skippy and Charlotte “poor.” Perhaps we should hook those two kiddos up. If Miranda wants to continue having her eagle scout sex with the kid she is going to need to stop biting his head off. I hope we get to be there when Skippy tells her off. Or when he gets a haircut. And better glasses.

February 5, 2011

Episode 3: Bay of Married Pigs

Watch Date: 2/2/2011

Carrie goes to the Hamptons to visit her friends, Patience and Peter. (Really? Patience? I think I’m going to have to start a list of ridiculous character names as well.) She says that in return for her hosts’ kindness in letting her stay, she must sing for her supper by placating the couple with sharing tidbits of her sex life so they can live vicariously through her. While I agree that I have often been in situations where my married friends ask if they can live vicariously through my stories, it has never been a form of payment for services rendered in some creepy reciprocal exchange. And, in fact, Carrie makes it seem like she really could care less about this couple and the only reason she is going to visit them is because of their prime real estate in the Hamptons. Thank you for making us single people out to be completely self-centered and opportunistic. Additionally, the shot of Patience and Peter eagerly leaning in to sop up every morsel of Carrie’s story was ludicrous. Who shares those kind of details with both wife AND husband at the same time? It felt like it was breaking some sort of couples code of conduct.

Needless to say, after hearing an earful of Carrie’s debauchery, Peter does something really ridiculous the next morning. Carrie wakes up to find Peter in the hallway outside her bedroom with only a shirt on. No pants. No underwear. He says Patience is off getting stuff for breakfast, as he sips his coffee and enjoys Carrie’s awkward attempts to not look at his apparently very large member. At breakfast, Carrie immediately tells Patience that she bumped into Peter in the hallway without his pants on. Patience is clearly affronted by this news, even though Peter claims he was just on his way to the bathroom.

The next scene is Carrie explaining all this over lunch w/ Sam, Miranda and Charlotte because Patience put her on a bus and sent her home. Aah those super sensitive married women! Sam says “maybe he just wanted to show it off. Like a monkey.” This would be my guess. After hearing about all of Carrie’s sexcapades, he decided to put it out there (literally) and see what would happen as if it’s some sort of fantasy fulfillment moment. He wouldn’t really be doing anything wrong as long as she didn’t act on it so this puts it all on Carrie to choose whether to be in the wrong. Nice. Miranda says that as soon as friends are married, single women become the enemy. Sam says single women are not to be trusted. Well…this is true for Patience now. She does not trust her husband or Carrie, despite her initial interest in Carrie’s sex tales. The reality of having that kind of behavior in her home is completely different. Carrie says of Charlotte, meanwhile, “Charlotte treats marriage as a sorority she’s desperately trying to pledge.” Wait a tick – isn’t that the point for all of them? What makes Charlotte even more desperate than the others? Sam asks how big his penis was just as a waiter with a pepper mill comes around. Carrie eyes the pepper mill and says it’s about right. HELLO.

Stanford says the feud between marrieds and singles is not a cold war – it’s an out and out battle and it’s in the gay community too. They then run into another gay friend of Carrie’s on the street who is recently married to his partner. The man asks her right there and then if she will consider being an egg donor so they can have children. Carrie calls this “single bashing for the new millennium.” I am not even touching this comment.

Miranda goes to firm softball game and gets set up on blind date. With a woman. Her coworker’s explanation is, “I’ve been with the firm 8 months I’ve never once seen you with a guy.” This rationalization kills me. Having been with a company for eleven years I can honestly say that my coworkers would be among the last to know if I was seeing anyone – particularly if the relationship was SHORT of eight months to begin with. So this automatically makes me a lesbian too I guess. Miranda tells the woman in question that she’s straight, but enjoys crushing the opposition in the game with this lesbian nonetheless. This ends up getting the both of them invited to a dinner b/c her boss thinks they are a couple. Miranda’s logic - “she’s determined to make partner even if she has to be a lesbian partner.” Geezaloo.

Carrie decides that married people don’t hate single people – they just want single people figured out. She meets a couple for lunch and they ask if she likes being single. She says she likes it except when she’s at family parties and gets sat at the kids table. Or when she watches them eat off the same fork. (Gag me. That’s exactly what I don’t want in a relationship.) Their conversation is interrupted by a friend of the couple who just happened to “stop” in to the restaurant. Riiiight. Surprise fix up. His name is Sean and by the time the meal is over (the couple has left them to dessert and coffee alone) it’s also clear that his sights ARE set on marriage. When he asks if they can have dinner sometime, Carrie has a look on her face like, “I’d rather eat lima beans” but says yes. In the course of a week they go to two movies and it’s obvious she’s bored with him. I get it – they have different interests. But then again…what does she expect will happen once she’s actually IN a relationship? Does she think every night is going to be drinks at Cheers? He takes her with him to look at new apartments. She calls Sean a DKNY suit – it’s not your style but it’s right there on the rack. Oh man that’s terrible. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with? But she doesn’t even love this relationship, or him. So you’re out there in the dating world to figure out what you like and what you don’t like – I get that. But if you’ve just called him a DKNY suit then it’s time for the break up.

Meanwhile Miranda steps off the elevator with her fake lesbian girlfriend. Why this woman would put up with being someone’s fake date for the night is beyond me. They don’t introduce her character at all – she’s got no lines. It’s like she’s a lesbian mannequin and she’s just supposed to look good on Miranda’s arm. Miranda has decided to play her part in a painfully straight way. While her date is wearing a pretty dress, Miranda has opted for a full suit and TIE. So now not only is she a fake lesbian, but she’s a fake butch lesbian? I don’t get it.

The rest of the girls go to house warming party for Sean and as they walk in they realize it’s all couples. In the first scene where Samantha is trying to talk to a guy that she does not want to sleep with, the man’s wife thinks she’s trying to get in his pants anyway. Perhaps it’s the dress with the neckline that plunges down to her waistband that gave the wrong impression? Sam then realizes that two of the married men there are men she’s slept with in the past. She begins mainlining tequila.

Sean’s giving a house tour and shows them the office where he wants to one day have a baby room. He’s already picked up a mobile that he bought in Aspen. Charlotte and Carrie cringe like he’s just showed them a placenta. Charlotte thinks he’ll ask Carrie to marry him b/c he bought real estate. All his friends start selling Sean to Carrie HARD. Two even claim they’ve slept with him before and talk up his abilities in bed. This is getting pretty serious for a couple of weeks in a DKNY suit

Horror of all horrors, Carrie then runs into Patience and Peter at the party. Patience is muy relieved that Carrie is dating Sean b/c she obviously can’t be a threat to her relationship if she’s dating someone. Drunk Samantha comes upon the couple and lets it slip that she’s heard about Phillip and calls him “Pepper mill dick.” Ouch. I guess Carrie will not be seeing these people again.

Miranda finishes dinner and tells her boss she’s not a lesbian and that she took advantage of the situation to further her career. The boss says his wife will be disappointed because she wanted to add a lesbian couple to their group. While I find this completely ridiculous, I am pretty sure there are people out there who act like this. In the elevator on the way out Miranda awkwardly forces a kiss on the girl. She then says “Definitely straight.” Her date agrees. So does this mean she is that desperate for a relationship, or does it mean she’s that desperate for her career? Either way – desperation is a stinky cologne.
Drunk Samantha goes home with Charlotte but makes her way back downstairs after Charlotte’s asleep and throws herself on the doorman, only wearing her lingerie under her coat. She asks him to kiss her right there on the street and then takes him up to Charlottes place and sleeps with him.

Back at the party, Carrie is going to leave but Sean tells her he was hoping she’d stay. She tells Sean she was trying him on to see if he fit. This is one of the worst break up comments I’ve ever heard. It might be true but do you TELL HIM THAT? He says she could probably smell his desperation and he doesn’t understand what’s wrong – he thought all women wanted to get married. Carrie has a light bulb moment and tells him she knows someone who is perfect for him – Charlotte. They do seem to hit it off UNTIL he takes her to look at china and she calls it off. “Charlotte realized it would never work. He’s American classic –she’s French Contemporary.” WHAT? THAT’S the blow off? I don’t believe this. Perhaps Charlotte has a keener sense of “art” as a dealer and so this sentence is supposed to mean more than it does here but we’re talking about china patterns, not art, so what the hell. A relationship isn’t going to work because you have different taste in china patterns? You’re boiling it all down to THAT? Are we as viewers supposed to know the lifestyles that accompany both of those categories and understand where she’s coming from, or are we supposed to be flummoxed by her? Is this the china pattern equivalent of me saying, “I knew it would never work because he was into NASCAR?”

Here’s my favorite part of the episode. Carrie compares the war between the marrieds and the singles to the war in NORTHERN IRELAND – maybe we’re all on the same side but we just got split up somehow? Words can’t express how ridiculous this statement is. Yes – you’re absolutely right Carrie. Married and single people not understanding each other is exactly the same as decades of etho-political and religious feuding, riots and violence. Perhaps the writers thought this comparison was made acceptable when they made Charlotte’s doorman Irish?

The episode ends with the girls taking in a movie together. Miranda shows to the movie in a matrix style leather trench coat and LEATHER PANTS. She looks like an idiot.

Roll credits.

As a single person with tons of married friends, this episode was particularly painful to watch. The pressure these characters are putting on themselves by claiming all the marrieds are constantly judging them because of their status tells me that these people are not their friends to begin with. It reminds me of the scene in Bridget Jones when Bridget shows to a dinner party as the only single person and the couples eat her alive. This isn’t what real life is like with people who are truly your friends. Or at least, not with my friends. My friends support and appreciate my status despite their own desires to see me coupled up. Hanging out with them is not some sort of test of their relationship and they don’t treat me as if I am constantly trying to break them up. And I agree that every relationship is about figuring out yourself – determining what you like in the relationship, what your needs are, what you can’t possibly tolerate, etc. But the execution for these characters is just painful. One minute they complain they can’t find guys who want to commit but then the next they are complaining because the men in their lives want too much commitment. They aren’t even true to their sense of their own needs and they change their mind about what those needs are frequently. And I guess I’d buy that more if these characters were supposed to be in their early twenties, but these are supposed to be established women in their mid-thirties. And they are still flailing about the world without a clue of who they are and what they want. It’s dispiriting and disheartening to think that women were watching this show and using it as some sort of goal post for their own lives instead of charging ahead and living their own.

February 3, 2011

Episode 2: Models and Mortals

Watch Date: 2/2/2011

Miranda goes to a dinner date with some guy named Nick who she has frequently rode the elevator with at work. (Who gets a date in the elevator?) She thinks the date is going well until she discovers how delighted his friends are at her presence. It seems this man supposedly only dates models even though he looks like a total toad himself. His friends are tired of him bringing home beautiful girls with no ability to have lively discussion and give him an ultimatum to find a woman who can carry on a conversation. Miranda is completely appalled, asking if she was to be his “intellectual beard for the night. He cops to it but still leans in for the kiss as he drops her off afterward. Yuck. Toad.

The girls do a pow-wow dinner with some take out and discuss the world of modeling and unattainable beauty. (And here I must cattily say that some things ARE attainable…like decent clothing. Here Miranda is wearing these atrocious shiny athletic pants that look like a draw string garbage bag along with your basic white mom sneakers. I assume her vagina remains full of dust.) Beauty (and possibly fashion sense?), according to the girls, seems to inversely correspond to intelligence. Samantha says she’s a model who has taken a high road by being gainfully employed. In further discussing impossible standards of beauty they all share something they hate about themselves. Charlotte hates her thighs. Miranda hates her chin. Carrie hates her nose. Samantha…well Samantha loves herself. Carrie pulls out Glamour and asks if it’s intimidating. How powerful is beauty?

For the answer, they go to the street. Cut to a shot of the toady Nick guy saying, “Why fuck the girl in the skirt, when you can fuck the girl in the AD for the skirt.” WHAT? That doesn’t even make sense to me! They interview runway models who say there are two types of guys who fall for models – they either want you b/c they purely want to have sex with you, or b/c they are in love with you instantly and say that it’s creepy. The one model says that the men she dates all assume she is not intelligent. She then calls herself very “literary” and claims to read entire magazines cover to cover. Okay – I won’t deny there aren’t women like this in the world (men too) but what’s SATC’s beef with lampooning the models?

Carrie visits her friend Barkley at his art studio. She calls him a notorious modelizer and so she asks him about the allure of having sex with models. He says that for him it’s all about beauty. He then shows her his “real art” and plops her in front of about 15 screens where he cues up clips of him having sex with various models that he’s taped without their knowledge. Eeeeeeew.

Meanwhile, poor poor Skippy is hot for Miranda. He admits to Carrie that they made out. This is information Miranda hasn’t even shared yet. He wants to know how come she hasn’t called him back after he’s called her 100 times. Ouch. Sensitive Guy Rookie Mistake #1. He asks Carrie if he’s cute enough. SGRM#2 – GROW SOME BALLS. Carrie says he’s adorable. (Um – hello Carrie! You still have not advised him to cut his hair. NOT adorable.) He then asks if she’ll call Miranda herself to see if he’s got a shot. Says he can take it. When Miranda doesn’t pick up the Zach Morris style cell phone Carrie pulls out, Skippy grabs it from her and leaves yet another PAINFUL message on her machine admitting he’s out with Carrie and claiming this means Miranda now HAS to call him back. SGRM #3. You’re out.

Carrie decides the best place to observe models is on their own turf so she goes to a fashion show with Stanford. Here we are introduced to Stanford’s lone client (he’s a talent agent I guess.) Derek is an underwear model who Stanford is obsessed with. Samantha is also there and ends up meeting Barkley. She gets the ol’ slutbag glint in her eye that tells you we know they will end up doin’ it.
At the after party for the fashion show, Carrie runs into Mr. Big while she’s stuffing her face with appetizers. He admits to having read her column and calls it “cute.” Ouch. She tells him she’s currently working on a piece on modelizers. This doesn’t seem as cute to him and it turns out he’s there with a model from the show. Well played Mr. Big!

Sam asks Carrie for more deets about Barkley and learns about how he video tapes models. She creepily grooms herself in the mirror before heading out in hot pursuit.

Carrie exits the party with a woe is me attitude and says she’s never felt more alone. Just then Derek the underwear model departs and asks if he can go home with her. My reaction as they get in the cab: “What is happening right now?” Oh wait – I ALWAYS go home with the underwear models I meet at parties. I forgot. Back at Carrie’s place, they are drinking wine and talking on her bed. Derek says he never dates models because he thinks they are stupid. He seems very impressed with Carrie’s ability to write because he can never keep all of his own thoughts in his head long enough to write them down and he often gets distracted. When she asks what is distracting him at the moment, he says he’s distracted by her nose and calls it cute. He admits some of his own insecurities to her. He seems very child-like and even asks her what she wants to do when she grows up. He then asks if they can just lie there because he always feels so alone in the city. SURPRISE CARRIE! Beautiful people are lonely too!

Speaking of lonely people, Miranda buys cat food and runs into Skipper at the store. She tries to tell him she doesn’t want to see him anymore because he should date someone his own age. Nice cop out. He tells her he thinks she’s “luminous.” Smitten with the concept of being able to see herself through his eyes, she says they can go home together. Well, ahoy there Skipper. I guess you’re not out of the game.

Samantha does, in fact, sleep with Barkley. She asks where the video cameras are, which is yet another grimace moment for the viewer (how embarrassing). When he says he only tapes models (sorry slutbag!) she says she wouldn’t mind and so he says he’ll make an exception and turns on the cameras. She watches herself on screen in a way that’s slightly reminiscent of Christian Bale in American Psycho.
Nothing happens between Carrie and Derek.

She goes to the coffee shop to work on her article. She said she feels like being beautiful is like having a loft apartment overlooking the city – happens to people who don’t deserve it. What? Why? Why are some people undeserving of beauty? Sounds just like jealousy talking to me. Mr. Big comes in. He tells her he’s been thinking about her article and how there are all these beautiful girls in the city but in the end it’s the one that makes you laugh that you want to be with. Areyl insists it’s a cute comment but I am pressed at this point to remember him laughing in Carrie’s presence in the few times they’ve interacted so it doesn’t really hit home to me here.

Roll credits.

On the one hand, I am happy to report that Miranda did not keep things going with that toady modelizer because he was such a tool. But, had he NOT been a tool, my initial instinct would have been to tell Miranda to quit being so friggin’ sensitive. His friends were trying to pay her a compliment but she couldn’t take it. Much like Skipper in Ep 1. Sounds to me like she needs to stop overcompensating at work for her lack of self esteem and start owning that she’s a pretty amazing person, despite not being a model. Of course, that goes for all of them. I realize this show is all about love and sex and these characters finding their Mr. Right – but I sincerely hope they are okay with themselves to start with. You can’t be happy in love if you’re not happy with yourself.

Oh, and since I haven’t mentioned it before, I am keeping a tally of how many men they all sleep with (or reference sleeping with). That should be entertaining.

February 2, 2011

Episode One: Sex and the City

Watch date: 2/2/2011

Intro Credits: What is this music? Is this a samba? A Mambo? A Sambo? Why is Carrie wearing a tutu? Does she have a bra on under that shirt? Oh look – she got sprayed by a puddle as a car pulls up and she looks apprehensive. Is this some sort of life metaphor? Where are the other girls?

The episode begins with Carrie typing/narrating, “Once upon a time.” We are introduced to some characters that I don’t believe end up in the show long term. Some chic who came from London to NY and some douchebag high profile guy who likes to wear a blue tooth at work. They meet at an art exhibit and they have a hot and heavy fling for two weeks. He then takes her to look at apartments and asks her if she wants to have dinner w/ his parents. She sees this as a sign of long term interest. (Really? After two weeks?) He then proceeds to blow her off. All of this is set to a jazzy sax tune that is completely corny. The woman laments to her friend Carrie who we see from behind as she stubs out her cigarette.

Carrie wonders (to the camera) why there are so many single women and no single men. Cut to confessional moments with single people in the city. Men talking about why they think certain kinds of women are still single. (They won’t lower their standards, all they want is marriage, it’s all about biology, etc.) One even states that women should just marry a fat man and get it over with if they are looking for marriage. The women meanwhile say they shouldn’t have to lower their standards - (Miranda – attorney), you have to downplay your intentions ladies - (Charlotte – art dealer) and you have to not care - (Samantha – slutbag. Ooops – I mean PR Executive.) As these confessional moments occur, the name of the character is flashed onscreen with their work position and marital status. Because really – that’s all that matters, right ladies? Our profession and our sexual status.

Enter Stanford Blatch – Carrie’s gay friend. I don’t know why she knows this man. Come to think of it she doesn’t explain how she knows her girl friends either. She has lunch with him where she sees someone named Curt Harrington – an old “mistake” of hers that she admits to falling for several times. And while she admits to not feeling anything for him she approaches him anyway despite Stanford’s attempts to wave her off the man’s scent. She claims she wants to conduct an experiment and sleep with him “like a man.” For descriptive purposes, I have to add that Curt Harrington has a very small nose and big teeth. For some reason he reminds me of Andrew Jackson but with a backstreet boys haircut. And he wears a thumb ring. I don’t know what this means. But I do know that the interlude Carrie has with him makes me uncomfortable. He makes no eye contact with her while she simpers and tells him how great he looks. Line two is her asking of him, “are you seeing anyone right now?” Who asks that? I realize she’s cutting to the chase for the sake of her pet project here but man…it’s painful to hear. And I can’t stop thinking that Carrie’s hair looks like she could be a double for Marge Simpson’s sister Selma.

Carrie makes an arrangement to sleep with Curt later that afternoon. She cuts him off ummmm coitus interruptus? ( after he takes care of her.) She dashes out and says maybe they can do it again sometime and leaves the experience feeling completely empowered. As she comes out of this sexcapade, she drops her purse and bumps into Chris Noth (character name unknown). He helps her pick up the items from her purse, which of course contains about 10 condoms. Yeah – that sounds about right. Who doesn’t keep ten in there on any given day? She also happens to be wearing the shortest skirt on planet, and makes sure to give him the over the shoulder double take as she walks away from him.

Carrie then has dinner with Skipper – why is she friends with a man named Skipper? Why does he seem to have a perm? As they discuss life over milkshakes (aw, how cute for Skipper) he tells her that it’s been a year since he’s had sex and he thinks it’s because he’s too sensitive. What straight man talks like this guy? What straight man has a female friend who doesn’t tell him to cut this hair off? And Of COURSE Carrie pushes him on Miranda. Because poor bitter lonely Miranda should be so lucky with her mannish haircut and bad power suits.

The girls then go to some club called Chaos. It’s supposed to be the “crème de la crème” (Carrie’s description, not mine) and she likens it to Cheers where everyone knows your name – except that they will forget it in 5 minutes. This place looks exactly like Cheers if you would make it about five times as large, add a dance floor, play techno music, and only allow in models. So yeah – that’s the same.

Meanwhile Miranda and Skippy are on a date. She’s completely overly critical and needs to dust off her vagina – she is eating Skipper alive just because he keeps agreeing with her and it’s clear to me that it’s because she is a lonely accomplished woman who hasn’t been laid in a very long time because she’s too smart for any man to be comfortable with.

Charlotte is not at Cheers. She’s on a date with Copote Duncan. Carrie calls this man an unattainable bachelor. I call him an unbelieveable prick.) Charlotte wants to play hard to get but still goes home with him despite his cheesy lines and bad taste in art. I fail to see what his redeemable qualities are, other than perhaps he has a pulse. And a penis. But the show doesn’t really seem to give us the opportunity to get to know these men really. It’s kind of like a ferris wheel that way. Charlotte lets the dude kiss her but tells him she wants to go home because she needs to get up early. He hails her a cab so she can go home, but then he jumps in the cab with her so he can get dropped off at Cheers, stating that he respects her decision to go home but insists he needs to have sex tonight. Gross.

Carrie ends up running into Curt at Chaos who tells her how glad he is that she now seems to understand the kind of relationship he wants to have now that she’s “slept with him like a man.” He says he’s looking forward to her calling him whenever she needs to. Carrie looks disgusted as she watches him head to another woman and kiss her. I guess this means she can’t have sex like a man afterall?

The man who helped her in the street with her condoms is at Cheers. Samantha points him out and calls him “Mr. Big” because he’s some sort of well-to-do hotshot. When Carrie doesn’t immediately express an interest, Samantha decides to pour herself all over him. Mr. Big does not take the bait and turns her down.

Miranda ends her date telling Skipper that it’s not going to work but Skippy forces a kiss and Miranda doesn’t resist.

Samantha, meanwhile, ends up going home with Capote (I am going to assume she did not know that Charlotte had a date with him that very evening?) Capote tells her he has to get up really early so she can’t stay over. She says she also has to get up early so that’s fine with her, although as he slides down her body we see her face change from the tough as nails look she usually gives to something more disturbed – dost the slutbag have feelings too? They do it and we are given a silhouetted shot of Samantha topless as she rides Capote.

Carrie looks for a taxi outside Cheers and up drives Mr. Big who tells her to “get in the car already.” When he asks her what she does for a living, she tells him she’s a sexual anthropologist. WHAT? (As someone who IS an anthropologist, I don’t even know what this means. I can’t decide if I am offended or intrigued.) She claims she is doing a study on women who can have sex like a man. She asks him if he can do that – have sex without emotional attachment. He says no. She doesn’t believe him. He says it’s because she’s never been in love before. This makes her say she feels like she has the wind knocked out of her. In order to portray this they do a slow motion pause on screen. She exits the car but knocks on the window to ask him if he’s ever been in love. His response? “Absofuckinglutely.” He rolls up the window and drives off. The line was so cheesy that I groaned.

And roll credits.

Okay so the concept is good. Some independent women making it on their own, trying to figure out what it is they want, what it is the opposite sex want, and whether or not they want to give it to them. AND what it means if they do, in fact, give it to them. Whether I agree with the particular interests of the characters does not matter much I guess. We can all relate to being in a place in our lives where we were trying to find out more about ourselves and the world around us. So while I may not like the execution or the cheesy dialogue thus far, I will continue watching. I am intrigued.