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Rant: Things I Can’t Stand About Sex and the City

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Disclaimer to male readers/those not familar with Sex and the City: I apologize. Please ignore this post, and expect more relatable comedy in the near future.

Disclaimer to all rabid SATC fans: If I hadn’t watched a billion episodes, I wouldn’t be able to be so irritated by these things. In other words, consider me one of you. Sort of.

These are in no particular order.

1. “Say, Aren’t You Carrie Bradshaw?”

Throughout the series, and in one of the movies, people have looked at Carrie and recognized her, and they all have been psyched to meet her. Really?

Carrie is a columnist for the New York Star, not the New York Times- and, even so, have you ever stopped to look at who’s writing the article you read? You might have glanced, but would you recognize them on the street? Furthermore, if you did, would you actually approach them? Even if, somehow, you answered “yes” to all of the following, would you actually be excited?

I recall Carrie once saying that her column is on “the page next to the Viagra ads” (or something similar.)

So- you have a trashy column in a trashy paper about one girl’s social life. She branched out into books, but what publicity does the average book get? Do you really buy this woman has fangirls? Which leads us to…

2. Carrie is a Mary Sue

Do I need to elaborate on this?

Carrie Bradshaw is elegant. She is in head-to-toe designer clothing, despite being, y’know, a columnist who can’t afford an apartment. Everyone finds Carrie charming. Everyone thinks Carrie is funny. Every man Carrie wants is attracted to her. When Carrie has a crisis, all the other characters completely put their lives on pause for her.

No one is ever mad at Carrie. No one ever faults Carrie for her actions- and when they do, she still gets her way (see: Aidan after she cheats on him with Big.) Carrie has overreacted about a million things, but has anyone ever stopped her and said “hey, Carrie, you’re overreacting?” No. It’s always “ugh, girl, I hear you. You are so right to be upset about getting a new computer.” Carrie has also interrupted other people so much I have literally adopted the term “Carrie Bradshaw” as a verb.

Carrie Bradshaw: v. To interrupt people talking about their problems, only to tell them your less important problems.

But does anyone care? Is Carrie ever forced to confront these issues, or forced to have a character arc? Has Carrie Bradshaw ever changed?

No.

But the audience isn’t supposed to care, because the characters don’t care… because Carrie is a Mary Sue.

(To further prove my point… Carrie Bradshaw and Candace Bushnell share the same initials. Take any one of the Mary Sue litmus tests, and the very first item will ask if the character is in any way named after the author.)

3. “This is Totally Going in my Column!”

This is a simple question: why don’t any of Carrie’s friends or acquaintances care that she spills their innermost secrets, personal lives and sexual philosophies in her column? She doesn’t even bother changing the names!

4. Why, Miranda, Why?

Why does Miranda even hang out with these girls?

Let’s look at the facts:

1. They are three complete and total charictures. We have: the total nympho, Polly Prissypants, and the neurotic one. Sure, Miranda has been guilty of cynicism on a Janeane Garafolo level, but she is also someone who is, by most accounts, normal. She doesn’t live in la-la land or get preoccupied with a new man every episode. She is… a realistic portrayal of a New York woman.

2. Is she even compatible with the others? She is an extremely left-brained lawyer with an average sex drive, relatively drama-free existence and a moderate hunger for glamour. Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte all work in the arts and entertainment industry, have a constant need to be complaining or sharing details of their oh-so-dramatic and glamourous lives and feel empty without a man (in more ways than one.)

3. Do the girls even care about Miranda? Other than the episode with Miranda’s mother’s funeral, have you ever seen the girls team for Miranda’s benefit? Have her problems dujour ever been the priority of an episode?

Maybe Miranda is just people-watching… maybe she is secretly extremely amused by the girls’ total lack of a third dimension, and that is why she spends her time with them. Maybe every brunch is Miranda’s own version of Dinner With Shmucks.

This makes me wonder: what would SATC be like from Miranda’s point of view. I imagine it would be much like Will & Grace: slightly neurotic and cynical redhead as the lead, impossibly campy supporting characters for comedic effect. Hmmm… I sense a post coming up (“If Miranda Were the Star of Sex and the City…”)

And… last, but not least…

5. Mr. Big < Aidan

Enough said.

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About malkatz

I'm an aspiring comedy writer living in New Jersey. Please hire me.

9 responses »

  1. I must say, I absolutely adored this blog- Carrie’s Mary Sue status is one of my least favorite things about the show, and now that i think about it- why does Miranda hang out with these people!!!

    Reply
    • I know! It bothers me to no end.

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it- how did you find me? 🙂

      Hope I hear from you again!

      Reply
      • Well, oddly enough, I was watching an old Sex and the City episode on Saturday and was inspired to write an anti-Carrie blog. When I was looking thru the Carrie Bradshaw tag the next day I happened upon your blog!

        Reply
  2. That was the most excellent breakdown of that show, ever.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Mary Sue status thing before, so not only did I get a good laugh, but I learned something today.

    Oh… and I found you on Facebook, in a comment… something about Dylan Averys Rick Roll being off by just 1 letter. That led me to your Formspring page where I asked if you wanted to go on a killing spree together, but you hadn’t seen Natural Born Killers, so I asked if you had any good stalkers yet… but you already have too many stalkers… so now I am just figuring out my next move.

    Perhaps you need a personal bodyguard to protect you from the other stalkers? As a former stalker I know all their tricks and I am a 37th degree blackbelt in Shih Tzu, AND I will work for only 1 weekly 30 minute massage. Sound like a deal?

    Or you could just accept my Facebook friend request, I guess I can settle for that.
    Eric

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for your comment! I said this on Formspring, too, but I don’t have any Facebook requests from an Eric?

      Are you a fan of Sex and the City?

      Reply
  3. No… < not a fan of Sex and the City. Girlfriend made me watch a few episodes and I picked up on just about everything you mentioned. The only character I liked was Miranda really, and sometimes Samantha because of some of the shit she would say.

    But ya, I found the show completely obnoxious. She made me stop watching after 3 or 4 episodes because I would have a snarky comment for about every line. The show made me mad. I would be like "Who the f is Mr Big? Why is she hung up on him and what does he see in her? Who many people live in NY? If he is so great then can't he do better?"

    Basically I would just ruin the show for her until she caught on and didn't make me watch it. I didn't even have to go with her to see the movie, she knew better by that point.

    So ya… I am so not a fan.
    You nailed all the reasons I seen about the show and didn't like.
    But how about the totally lame Doogie Howser endings?

    Reply
    • I give a high-five to someone like you on this. That shows sucks and I don’t care if we all get skewered by a bunch of very angry and rabid SATC fans who cannot take an opinion like sensible human beings.

      Reply
  4. Totally awesome to know that I am not the only person who cannot stand Sex and the City a teeny bit. You got that part right about the fact that Carrie Bradshaw is a Mary Sue who is a negative stereotype of independent women but also she is unrealistic and a total put-off that I would never understand why Sex and the City fans find her appealing. She is not even that appealing and I rather contend with ladies from the CSI shows and Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds anytime than put up with a character as vapid as Carrie Bradshaw. Last but not least, your blog article made my day 🙂

    Reply
  5. Dana Vigilante

    I was having dinner with three friends the other night, all of us in our early forties, successful and in happy long-term relationships, when the conversation turned to the phenomenally successful HBO series of the mid-90’s “Sex and the City”.   All four of us had been devotees of the series throughout it’s entire run (including a countdown of days until the movie came out).  However, as we went from our early thirties, to our early forties, we had to wonder (as Carrie would say), what were we thinking?

    Afew years ago, my boyfriend had the unfortunate experience of being holed up with me while I had the flu.  There also happened to be a bad snowstorm and our cable went out so I put in a SATC DVD.  As my boyfriend later said, and now still agrees to, it was the worst eight hours of his life.   He not only found NOTHING appealing, intelligent, humorous or sexy about any of these women, but also said they were a mockery to smart, intelligent women everywhere.   Several other men I know who’ve also had the unfortunate task of watching SATC have said similiar things.  I guess I wasn’t surprised to find there are actually several websites devoted to men who hate SATC.

    Given, apparently at one time we found the trials, tribulations and sexcapades of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte funny.  However, as we grew older and randomly tuned into the reruns that run endlessly on both E! and Style, we all had to agree that the series was for the most part, ridiculous.

    Looking back now, what is it that Carrie, a woman so many viewers looked up to,  was thinking not only in her clothing  and  man choices, but in her etiquette?  If only we could have a count of how many times she did her “round the mouth lip lick” (when she sticks her tongue out and licks the entire circumference of her mouth).  Refer to the following episodes;  she and Burger having a burger, Steve and Aidan’s bar opening when she’s outside eating a piece of cake, Jazzman feeding her meekreb, meeting Burger on the way to the Hamptons when she has a disgusting glop of ketchup on the corner of her mouth, or in the movie when she’s walking down the street with the copy of Vogue she wants no one to see. What is it with the lip lick?  Does she thinks it’s sexy, appealing? It’s disgusting, yet, at the time, viewers thought she was the bomb! Thank goodness we grew up.

    Forget the clothing choices, most noteably the Heidi ensemble she wore to a picnic in the park with the girls or the “newspaper” dress she wore to stalk Natasha in the restaurant (she wanted Natasha to think she was classy, and what better way to do so than by sleeping with her husband, and having the audacity to stalk her under the guise of apologizing for it).  Just the thing to impress a Park Avenue Princess.   Her choice of men didn’t improve with age or the fact that she wrote about them for a living.   By the time Burger rolled into the picture, the idiot Big was actually starting to look good!  Is it our imagination, or was Burger the most mismatched of all Carrie’s paramours?  Always complaining, he couldn’t accept her fame as an author or the fact that no one wears a scrunchi in publc.  Nor could the poorsport let any comments slide off his back.  He practically killed her on his motorcycle, but instead of strangling him with the Prada shirt, Carrie just forgives him and  walks the red carpet, the carpet on which he embarrassingly left her when he decided he would only ruin the night for her.    However, in as much as we couldn’t stand him, it gave us just a little pleasure to watch him bail on Carrie in the Hamptons when she started prattling on and on about her last relationship.   Just loved the way she tried to look graceful and composed when he took his leather jacket out from under her, tumbling her onto the grass and hopped on his motorcycle and bailed.

    Only one thing gave us more pleasure than to watch Burger dump Carrie and that was to watch Cowgirl Carrie run into Big in the Hamptons, where he introduced her to the lovely Natasha.  Yes, Big, who was still supposed to be in Paris.    There was Carrie, dressed for the “HO” down in a ridiculous outfit, wondering why Big was with Natasha.   Natasha, who was impeccably dressed, giving off a pedigreed aura, style and intelligence (not to mention the “shiny hair” Carrie later whined to Charlotte about), that Carrie would never have the ability to produce. Not one to give up easily, as soon as she wiped the vomit off of her mouth, she decided “being friends” with him would be a sly way of getting him back. But not one to take rejection well, she stormed out of their oh-so-friendly luncheon when he told her that he and Natasha were engaged.  How’d that friendship workout?  With Carrie having an emotional breakdown, because, heaven forbid, Big decided to marry someone with class, intelligence and style.  But Carrie, being desperate for any Big crumbs, then went on to have an affair with Big well into his marriage.  With an apparent need to suddenly gain Natasha’s approval, Carrie played the “let me be your best pal because I’m so in awe of you” by causing Natasha to fall down a flight of stairs, then taking her to the hospital.   What a pal.

    By this time, her “aww shucks” attitude was grating on all of our nerves, especially when we found out just how much of a financial trainwreck she really was (note the episode when Aidan moved out and gave her the option to buy her apartment).  She didn’t have a pot to pee in, but hey, she had a great shoe collection, so lets cheer for her! Not one to master multiplication (because it’s oh-so hard), Miranda actually had to tell her that she’d spent not $4,000.00, but rather $40,000.00 on her shoe collection.  Carrie then had to admit to a loan officer that she didn’t have a checking account, any savings, CD’s or collateral, this after coyly trying to gain the female officers sympathy by stating she was single and out of a horrible relationship.  Hand me a tissue.   Not humiliated enough, she then had the audacity to grovel at Bigs’ feet for financial advice (as if), then went on to hock Charlotte’s engagement ring, but she had on great shoes while she was doing it!

    Trying to act oh-so-chic and sophisticated, Carrie then went on to leave New York for Paris, with a Russian ass who was emotionally, than later, physically abusive to her.  He embarrassed her in front of her friends (note the episodes when the girls stop into his house unannounced and he gives Carrie a verbal lashing for interrupting him,  or the dinner party when he saw nothing even remotely interesting about any of them), but there was Carrie dosey-do’ing all the way to Europe for him, only to get slapped in the face by him for complaining too much.  And there was our heroine, standing there holding her cheek, giving him an explaination as to why she was leaving.  Don’t kick him in the nuts, take the diamond necklace and bail, just stand there and give him an explaination, because he deserves it.  Okayyyy.    And this is someone we found entertaining and inspiring???  Thank God Big came to the rescue in the lobby, where she was crying and picking up her diamonds, only to give her a kick in the pants in the movie by leaving her at the altar.  Oh, I’m sorry, the library.  He left her waiting at the library, because the library is where people get married these days.

    Miranda.  Ugh.  From the first episode,  I think most women wanted to give Miranda a kick in the pants or a slap in her yellow teeth (why did she not whiten her teeth until the second movie, can someone please tell me).  Always bitter, continuously jaded, alternatively whining, Miranda could never be happy for Carrie where Big was concerned.  Then again, Miranda had a hard time being happy for anyone. And she’d let you know it by making a little sour lemon pucker face.   Lets count the lip puckers Miranda did, where she could actually make her entire mouth disappear (refer to the episode where she was on the date with a new guy after she’d gotten braces, or when a thirteen year-old told her that her braces were old-fashioned).  Also, note her ability to say complete sentences without having her top and bottom lips touch (refer to the first movie when Samantha tells her she’s booked them all on the trip that was supposed to be Carries’ honeymoon.  Mirandas’ response is ” I can’t go away, I have a job)”.  Now, say that sentence without your top and bottom lips touching.  Exactly, that’s just how ridiculous Miranda looked.  And even Carrie got in on the act at times, doing the same exact thing.  Her whole two rows of teeth showing while she is trying to play coy and shy for the men (her “aww shucks” act, if you will. Note the episode of Charlotte and Harry’s wedding when she is talking to her one-night stand on the steps of the church).  The only thing more off-putting then Mirandas’ lip puckering, were her table manners (refer to the episode where her and Carrie were having dinner outside at a restaurant and Steve and his new girlfriend came by. There was Miranda “shlurping” down her spaghetti with her trademark “tongue out of the mouth as the forks goes in” pose.  How very sexy to watch a woman who has bad table manners.  And of course, what better sloppy food to have her eat then a big plate of spaghetti, sort of the way commercials put it in front of a two-year old, knowing full well they will make a mess. How sexy to watch a so-called intelligent, Ivy League grad slurping strands of spaghetti up).   Her spaghetti shlurping was almost as sexy as watching her eat the salad with the “extra Ranch” in another episode. What part of any of this was sexy?  Better yet, what part of Miranda did any of us find either sexy or remotely appealing?  She failed miserably at trying to look chic, sexy or confident or able to maintain a stable relationship, the most obvious examples of the latter being the date she went on with the detective.   She had to get sloppy drunk because she was so good looking.  Not only did she not get “any” that night, or any other from him, but when she awoke (alone) from her alcohol induced sleep, she was staring at a card for the local A.A. group.  How about the guy from the gym, who dumped her immediately for being so full of herself after she spent an hour sitting on her sofa, drinking wine, bragging about herself?   In our opinions, though,  nothing holds a candle to the night she had a one-night stand with Steve, then threw him out.  Instead of jumping up and down with happiness that she finally met someone willing to tolerate her miserable self, she treated (and continued to do so), Steve like garbage.  He should’ve taken the clue at their first meeting when she wouldn’t even say “please” when ordering a glass of wine.  But hey, she was upset, because she had just had a huge fight with Carrie.  Over, what else?  Miranda sticking her nose into Carrie’s “Big” business.   After their one-night stand, were we not supposed to figure out Miranda actually liked Steve, but thought playing hard to get would be appealing? And this is a woman others are supposed to look up to?  Again, as Carrie would say  –  what were we thinking? Was I the only one who cheered when Steve fessed up to cheating on her? He should’ve left her alone on the Brooklyn Bridge and taken Debbie and Brady to the zoo for the day.   My boyfriend loves to say that Miranda bears an uncanny resemblence to Cartman from “South Park”.

    Samantha.  Puhleeze (as one of my girlfriends said).   Looking back now, we all see Samantha as an older women, not accepting aging, trying hard to fit in with the young crowd (note ANY of the episodes, but epecially the Hamptons episode where Richards girlfriends put her in her place, as well as Nina telling her that the difference between her and Samantha is that Samantha went to Studio 54, and Nina went to Studio 54, the movie). The only thing more embarrassing about Samantha in the series, was Samantha in the second movie, still trying to pull of looking young, with an overly powdered/made-up face, still “purring” and trying to pull off sexy.  My boyfriend said it was sad to watch, and I have to agree. I was embarrassed for her.   We won’t even touch upon her sexcapades, while at one time they seemed funny, now they just seem sad, pathetic and a dire need for attention.  Of all the men I’ve asked who were familiar with SATC, the consensus was the same – they all felt Samantha was an old dried up bag and wouldn’t touch her if paid.

    It’s kind of hard to cut Charlotte up.  All four of us agreed on this.

    Speaking of the movie, while the first one was watchable, what were they thinking with the second?   There was so much wrong with it, we would have to save that for another article.  The second movie was a disaster on so many levels, the most being the blatant disrespect to the religions and cultures of the Middle East.  Was Carries’ joke about women eating French fries while wearing a Burka supposed to be funny? Flashing her thigh to get the attention of the cab driver? Samantha throwing condoms around in the town square?  Plain disrespectful.  Is it a safe bet to say we have seen the last of these ladies?  Please say yes!

    Reply

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