There are days I still miss this show, phantom limb style. I know, I know; it bowed out gracefully after six artfully witty, high-glam years (ruined a smidge by the overly sappy films that followed in its wake), but even though there’s a plethora of phenomenal shows out there, I feel like nothing will ever look at sexual dynamics quite as skilfully as this show did; through the lens of its four diverse characters—Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte and Carrie
Everybody has a favourite. God knows how many times someone has uttered the phrase ‘she’s such a Samantha’ loosely for a promiscuous friend (I like to believe I’m one of the rare few that understands the complexity of her character beyond ‘that big slut’). The World Wide Web is aflush with ‘Which Sex And The City Character Are You?’ quizzes because it created such strong, full characters with cardinal traits we all see in ourselves to some degree.
You have Miranda; with her staunch, independent take on all things New York—and life in general(with a slight tendency to emasculate; unintentional, of course), Charlotte with her unwavering faith in true love, and her neat little Prada pocketbook of judgements that often ‘come from a good place’, and Samantha, with a boldness and self-confidence to which we can only aspire, and raw sexual magnetism that every dong in the city has had a chance to tap into. But at the centre of this group of power women is one Carrie Bradshaw, shoe-a-holic, sex columnist extraordinaire, and the undeserving protagonist.
Ooh, ouch, harsh, think the ardent followers, of which I am one, believe me. It rankles me deeply when the show is cast aside as being shallow and over-involved with the non-problems of the upper crust, white ‘ladies-who-lunch’ set. I love the show. I even think Carrie’s little quips on gender disparity and sexual politics are incredibly funny.
I just…you know…don’t like her.
I mean sure, she’s cute, like a small Muppet with big boobs and a penchant for crazy hats. But that’s the trouble. She’s cute in that specifically engineered way that men like. It’s all giggles, eyelashes aflutter, an over-dose of cotton candy pink and a femininity that sometimes borders on offensive because it’s ‘taken care of’ from the political correctness standpoint—you know, since it dons the garb of the self-made woman that runs on her own fuel in NYC. We can’t be upset when she’s all ‘rescue me’ because heck, she rescues herself…um…sometimes.
If you gave me an outlet (you know, like a blog) I could ramble on for years about the distaste I feel for this central character that courses through the veins of this otherwise brilliant show—but I feel like I’m more likely to get through to those in blatant disagreement (‘But she’s so fun! Men’s underwear! Smoking! Manolos!’) if I makes case more succinctly
Carrie Bradshaw’s Character Crimes—A Short List
· No, I don’t think it’s cute that a grown woman has spent over fifty thousand dollars on shoes, but has 34 dollars in savings when her rent agreement collapses.
· Oh look, she broke HUNKYDARLING Aidan’s heart! Again! How complex and mysterious—and not at all unsympathetic and cruel. Because, you know, whimsy.
· She’s gone back to Big for the 35th time running? Oh okay. No, it isn’t battered wife when Carrie does it, because hey, she can take a cab all by herself at 3 in the morning.
· Nice Guy Proposes—Panic, adultery. Routine Asshole doesn’t propose—Sangria, Self-Loathing, Scathing series of columns.
· Could you edit the coy from your conversing-with-men personality please? Or does everything from road crossing to curtain shopping need to be turned into foreplay?
· Why is it that there’s no moral compass for this woman? How could her continued infidelity with Big while he was married and she was with Aidan be excused as misguided passion? Is it just me or does this droll little wildflower character condone the idea that its okay to treat a good guy like the remnants of a coffee filter, while a real (Big) dickhead can be put on a pedestal on a fairly repeated basis—even if after 10 years of punches to the gut, he can stand you up at the altar in the film? Yeah, yeah, love makes us weak. But must it make us insensitive narcissists as well?
My Laundry list extends into next Tuesday, but I end here before this critique seeps into an assessment of my personality—I truly am quite nice, and not as cynical and misanthropic as I must come across this very minute. I’m otherwise very fond of lots of inner conflict, lots of damaged love stories, lots of weak-willed characters…
I just…you know… really don’t like her.