August 2, 2011

Episode 10: The Baby Shower

Watch Date: July 25, 2011

So there’s been a longer pause than promised. The truth was, I just didn’t want to watch the show. What’s happened in my life since the last episode? Well, I turned 35, volunteered for two weeks at One Step at a Time, finished Season 4 of Mad Men with my friend Casey and then started in on Dexter, read all of the Harry Potter Books before seeing HP 7.2 in the theatres, read Books 1 & 2 of the MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and just polished off The Partisan’s Daughter by Louis DeBernieres. Oh and finished Seasons 4, 5, and 6 of the Office. Can you tell I’m procrastinating?

Meanwhile, in SATC land, the DVD’s were out of my possession for a brief while, as the owner needed them back to loan to someone else. I’ve got them back now and can’t seem to find any other excuses. I have to start with saying that summer means my windows are open. And my fan is on. And that means the volume is up so I can hear the TV. And I’m embarrassed that this theme music is piping through my windows…

The episode begins with a truism. “Sometimes there’s nothing harder in life than being happy for someone else.” In this case, Carrie is referring to getting an invitation to a baby shower. All four of the girls are laying in Carrie’s bed watching TV and eating popcorn. Who does this with 4 women over the age of 12? Sam asks why people use babies to validate themselves and Carrie replies with something like, “why can’t they be normal and validate themselves with sex and cocktails.” She then asks if ANY baby shower is a bother, or if it’s worse because it’s Laney’s. Yay – mystery character 100 – some chick named Laney that, 10 episodes in, has never been heard from before.

Cue dramatic rock music to tell the background story of Laney Berlin – pictured in a leather jacket with short cropped punked out blonde hair and large hoop earrings that I haven’t seen the likes of since the Rhythm Nation video. Laney kisses a man at a party and then turns and kisses a woman with long blond hair who is walking around wearing bra. Meanwhile, OUR favorite trollops are watching from the sidelines. Miranda’s outfit looks tragic as per usual – she’s wearing a v-neck white t-shirt and a men’s business jacket, but she’s got a sassy bob wig on that could work. Sam is wearing some sort of leopard print spandex outfit with Texas hair and could possibly be wearing cymbals in her ears…and Carrie. Whoah Carrie – she looks like she’s trying to be Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly. Button down half top, long blond straight hair with extensions, and a pink cowboy hat. *shudder*

Their banter serves to show us how crazy Laney was in her day – boobs that make more public appearances than Jesus, a job that is basically corporate sex with an expense account, etc. etc. Even in the flashback the girls are bitter and it’s not clear if they are actually friends with this person. As Laney puts on an impromptu strip show, Sam says, “Look at her – the poster girl for low self esteem”…hmmm is this foreshadowing of her own behavior? Miranda says she also has low self esteem but she expresses it the healthy way, by eating a box of double stuffed Oreos. As Laney pulls off her bra, Sam says, “She’s so sad” to her group and then yells “Take it off!” to the room at large. WHY? Why do women do this to each other? Why do we cajole and compete over things that don’t even matter? Carrie goes on to explain that they (Laney and Sam) have a legitimate rivalry – both are wild, sexy and incredibly insecure. Okay, so Sam has a rationale…but really? What for? Because she can be the only wild, sexy and incredibly insecure woman on the block? No time to ponder because we are now seeing a boob shot of Laney. And our girls jaws drop. As she moves to take off her pants, Carrie says that 2 years ago, :Laney did the most shocking thing of all – met an investment banker, married him and moved to Connecticut. SHOCKING!

In the present time, the girls are still moping but no one has answered the question about whether the shower is worse because it’s Laney. Char plays the optimist by saying it’ll be fun b/c they’ve never been to visit her. “It’s a baby shower!” she exclaims. Miranda replies, “No, it’s a cult!” Miranda says “they” all think the same, dress the same, and sacrifice themselves to the same cause. Hmmm…okay but aren’t we all who are friends are? Don’t we all think slightly like the people we choose to hang out with? It’s like any in-group really. She says she’s lost two sisters to the motherhood and she knows what she’s talking about. (Oh man, I really hope this bites her in the ass when she eventually has a kid on the show.) Carrie then equates wild Laney with a two headed snake as if it’s a spectacle and that they have to pull over. Sam whimsically looks off camera visioning how fat her rival must be.

Carrie writes the date for the shower down at her window (white tube top, no bra) and realizes she’s 4 days late for her period.

That Saturday she’s dressed in this pink shell dress but she’s covered up by my grandmothers black funeral jacket sized XXL, holding a black clutch purse, has a black babushka on and a pair of low black sandals that you only see men wearing WITH black socks. Sam, meanwhile is wearing leather pants, a shirt that only has 2 buttons so you can see EVERYTHING, and a head scarf with animal print. Miranda is wearing, you guessed it, a man’s leather jacket. At least Carrie makes fun of Sam’s outfit and asks if there’s going to be belly dancing. Why doesn’t anyone ever call Miranda out for raiding her father’s closet?

Suddenly Carrie realizes she didn’t get a gift. Sam says she can go in on hers and pulls out a bottle of scotch. “The invitation said BYOB!” ummm…yeah, bring your own baby. Miranda is bringing a gift of condoms. No joke. Charlotte meanwhile comes running down the street holding a very large basket holding just about every sort of baby do-dad known to humankind and screaming for them to wait for her. They all pile into the convertible – Sam, Carrie and Miranda in the back seat and Char in the front passenger. Cue Sam saying cutely, “does anyone know how to drive?” Oh you crazy city girls!

Jazzy interlude music.

They drive to the party in the burbs. Upon entering, there’s some screams of excitement and Laney claiming, “I can eat whatever I want – jealous?” The girls once again look like the Witches of Eastwick because they are all in black. It’s a spring party…everyone else in attendance is in tans and light colors. All the mom-ladies are giving off a bitchy air until Char walks in with the “Bellini Baby Basket” and gets immediate kudos. Sam gives the bottle of scotch to Laney and says, “speaking of Bellinis, I’m going to have a big drink – jealous?” Laney pulls Carrie and Miranda aside and asks if Sam is still “barhopping and bedhopping” and comments that it’s really sad.

All the moms look alike and are creepy stepford types who claim they do everything with their kids and think of them as Gods, just so Miranda can have the line that 30 years from now no woman will make these kids happy. Char is enthralled and saying things like “Oh I wish they made this in my size” as Laney opens her gifts. And Carrie is sitting and wondering if she’s next to have a baby. She escapes to the bathroom to get away from the preview of the life she isn’t sure she was ready for. The bathroom has a naked picture of Laney preggers in it that convinces Carrie that the old Laney was buried deep inside and that it must be true of the other mommies.

She wonders what the other mommies are hiding. And…CUE “STREET” INTERVIEWS AT THE PARTY!

“Before I married my husband I slept around with everybody. Now I have an internet lover. No one knows.” Burps baby.

“When I was Senior VP, 212 people reported to me on a daily basis. Now I just yell at the gardener, who doesn’t understand a single word.” Eats cake.

Mom changing a diaper. “I’m exactly the same. I love my life. But every now and then I can’t help but think about…Lisa.”

“Sometimes I climb up into my kids tree-house with my walkman, light up a joint, and listen to Peter Frampton.”

Miranda is outside drinking coffee. Carrie says there’s a woman inside breastfeeding a child who could chew steak. “If you can ask for it, you’re probably too old to have it.” Oh I agree with this. Moms who breastfeed too long creep the shit out of me. Miranda suddenly thinks the old woman who eats the kids in Hansel and Gretel is misunderstood.

Char and Laney are talking and Char tells her that her home is beautiful. Laney says some stuff about settling down and that life isn’t just a Jacklyn Smith novel – four friends looking for life and love in the big city…Char looks terrified. She offers to clean up after the party but just then another mom lets it slip that the baby name is either going to be Todd or Shayla. Shayla, apparently, is Char’s “secret baby name” and she freaks out! Supposedly she told Laney this made up name years ago and Laney is now playing dumb about it, claiming her husband heard it somewhere. Charlotte yells at her. Sam walks in and asks what’s going on and when Char tells her, she turns and calls Laney a bitch and then grabs Char by the hand and walks out. Points to Sam for being a loyal friend even though she could probably care less about a friggin’ baby name.

They stop for beers and bar nuts off of Route 5 on the way home. Note that despite Carrie thinking she could potentially be pregnant…the drinking doesn’t stop. Charlotte says she wishes she’d had a baby sooner because then she could have that baby name. She’s all upset because she doesn’t want to be 40 before she has a kid. Miranda says showers just make you feel depressed. Sam says she loves her life and she’s not going to feel inadequate because of baby talk. Again…thank you Sam!
As Char heads for the bathroom, Carrie tries to walk the middle ground by claiming to know plenty of cool, hip mothers who live in the city and have great careers. They all challenge her to name one and in response she says, “I’m late…I missed my period.” Sam yells for another round of beers. She says she’s not going to tell Big until she knows for sure. Char returns from the bathroom and asked what she missed. They all lie and say nothing. Carrie downs her drink.

That night Char gets out her hope chest. In it she has an embroidered pillow for Shayla, a picture of a townhouse in the city, a beach house in east Hampton, her dream man – (JFK Jr.) and a picture of a back up dream man…she tears it all up and hugs the box. I don’t get it. Are these people women or children?

Carrie is on Day 8 of missing her period so she goes shopping for tests. Miranda finds a box of tests that are on sale. Carrie admits to spending $395 on a pair of open toed Gucci’s and says that now is not the time to be frugal. Soooo…we’re still having some spending issues, are we Carrie? 4 Hundo on a pair of shoes???? Carrie then wonders if she’d be any good at being a mother. “Can you picture us with babies?” My answer? NO.

5 hours later…she decides she can’t take the test until she knows how she feels about the results. The phone rings and it’s Laney calling to say thanks for coming. She says she knows she was a bitch but blames it on her hormones. Laney says she misses the old time s and wants to get together – and not just say it but really do it. Carrie rushes her off the phone to go to one of Samantha’s parties and Laney is upset that she didn’t know about it. Carrie reassures her with a “next time.”

Turns out Sam was throwing herself an “I don’t have a baby shower” party to let everyone know she was fabulous. Miranda is making out with some guy named Ed who is supposedly Samantha’s accountant. In front of everyone. Ugh. Suddenly Laney bursts in the door and says that the entertainment has arrived. There’s the obligatory awkward party foul/stop moment before everyone resumes what they were doing. She says she wants drinks and that because she’s due any day, one drink won’t matter.

Char goes off, questioning why Laney is there when Laney thinks they are all so quaint and how could she possibly miss them. Laney asks, “what’s your problem?” Charlotte’s response, “I had a dream and you killed it.” (Seriously? You had to reexamine a hope chest full of BS and a name that was ridiculous. Move on.) Laney retorts, “Well, at least you know what happened to your dream. I’m still trying to figure out what happened to mine.”

Oh hey guys, Miranda reports that Ed the accountant is a good kisser and he’s going to do her taxes for free. I guess that’s something.

Some friend of Carrie’s named “Jonathan Bicks” approaches and asks about charlotte. He’s a trader at Bear Stearns and just bought a house in the Hamptons. Oh god – if Carrie says he’s perfect…I’ll vomit. “Char suddenly realized all was not lost.” Oh effin’ christ with these women whose self worth depends on someone else. OH and he looks like a skinny troll doll in a polo shirt. “As she sipped her beer she mentally scotch taped her dream house back together.” Jeezy Creezy.

Laney thinks the party sucks and asks if anyone wants to see her tits…Sam says “This is at once so sad and the most fabulous validation I’ve ever gotten in my life.” Gotta love Sam’s honesty. Except that as Laney tries to pull her shirt up over her head something comes over her and she can’t do it. Carrie calls it the invisible electric fence that won’t let her run free. I think it’s the goal of the show to use every type of metaphoric device possible. Laney says, “Nobody told me this was going to happen. One day you’re going to wake up and you’re not going to recognize yourself.” Carrie puts her in a cab back to Connecticut.

Carrie spends the next day watching kids play at a park to determine if she could be a mom if she had to. Ha – yeah…cuz that will tell ya. On the way home from the park, she sashays along wearing a school girl skirt and a white cotton blouse, you know, like most mothers wear. And she’s totes nippin’ out. And she gets her period. No facial expression so you can’t tell if she is happy or sad about it. And that’s the end.

At least I didn’t have to look at Mr. Big during this episode. I half expected her to freak out and tell him she was pregnant, ask him if he’d stay with her if she was, etc. I’m glad they didn’t go there.

Look, I get it. We’ve all been in times and places in our lives when it’s been hard to be happy for someone else. But it seems like these ladies are unilaterally opposed to it. Not only are they jealous of each other, but they are jealous of their fringe “friends” as well. They are completely self interested, spend their time belittling others as a way of validating themselves, and do very little to advance themselves emotionally because they are too busy pointing fingers in the other direction. Maybe this is where the show could benefit from giving these ladies some screen time with their families? Some moments of honesty with a mom or a sister? Something that gives us an indication that they get how pathetically catty and childish they are being…I’m really looking forward to moving past this season.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! You're back. Are you going to do all the seasons, or call it quits after season 1?

    Also, I don't get it. Laney's due any day, so she's drinking and trying to take off her shirt in front of a bunch of people? Who are these writers?! Do they not know ANYTHING about being a pregnant woman? The very, very last thing I would do is take my shirt off. For one, maternity pants are ridiculous, and I wouldn't be caught dead showing the world how that works. For another, although the ladies might be big and awesome when you're preggers, what comes beneath is just awkward. She should have been pulling her shirt DOWN to ONLY expose her breasts. But I digress...