Wednesday evening I attended a special Sex and the City night at a local independent theatre, Zoetropolis, with my friend Ashley. It was a fun girls’ night out where they showed the very first episode and the very last episode with trivia and a best shoe contest (complete with prizes!) in between. We snacked on cheese and cookies, drank cosmos, and met new friends.
The theatre is adorable, you get to sit in comfy couches or armchairs that make you feel right at home. I got most excited about the trivia – I know way too much about this show. As soon as we walked in the door I started eyeing up the competition like a hungry predator. I knew I had it in the bag – we totally won the most trivia questions AND best shoes. Score!
Did you know it’s been 15 years since the show debuted in 1998? Kind of crazy. I was a freshman in high school when Sex and the City first came out – I didn’t start watching until I was a senior. I remember renting the VHS tapes (yes VHS!) from the public library and it felt pretty scandalous to my innocent 18-year-old self. I started buying the DVD’s when I was a sophomore in college. Since then I’ll estimate that I’ve seen the entire series more than two dozen times. And I don’t mean just catching an episode here and there on E!, I mean going through all 94 episodes in a row. I’ve watched the series time and time again while running on my treadmill. The adventures of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha kept me going – I could usually reach 4.5 – 5 miles while watching 2 episodes. All my DVD cases are broken – why were they made so cheaply?! It got me through the countless break ups and boy confusion of my twenties. Remember all those quizzes trying to tell you if you’re a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, or a Charlotte? In truth we’re all a little piece of each of these women. (I still find myself a Carrie with bits of Charlotte that shine through as I get older). I was so glad I was not the only one dating freaks and non committal boys and over analyzing all of my relationships!
For all your non-SATC lovers out there, at the heart of it, the show isn’t truly about sex. Us fans are often labeled as artless, misguided, materialistic, and extremely naïve girls. I take offense to that. While the show has materialistic and yes shallow moments, Sex and the City truly shines in the moments highlighting female friendships, self love, and adoration for New York City. Like me, Carrie was simply a woman naively searching for love but ended up finding herself instead. Love was only an added bonus. And that, my friends, is beautiful, no matter how you package it.
So I dedicate today’s Five Friday Favorites to my top Five Sex and the City episodes. This was hard to narrow down – there are so many I love, even if it’s for one emotional scene or good laugh. My top five favorites all involve Carrie and the girls discovering their true selves. Two of my favorites also serve as a beautiful tribute to New York City. So without further delay:
The Post it Always Sticks Twice
Season 6 Episode 7
After initially telling Carrie that he can’t be in a relationship, Jack Berger briefly returns, only to break up with her on a post-it note the following morning. Charlotte is ecstatic about her engagement to Harry while Samantha refused to be labeled as Smith’s “girlfriend”. An excited Miranda can fit back into her skinny jeans and they all head out to the new club “Bed”. Carrie is so devastated from her break up and declares this won’t be “the day that I got broken up with on a post it note”. After buying pot from strangers on the street, Carrie’s gets her wish – the day turns into “the day I got arrested for smokin’ a doobie”.
A Woman’s Right to Shoes
Season 6, Episode 9
Carrie is forced to remove her shoes at an old friends baby-shower – which leads to her Manolos getting lost. When she asks her friend to reimburse her, she is told that $484 is a waste to spend on shoes and gives her $200. Carrie points out that singles don’t get any gifts after graduation, totally not fair! Samantha learns even her bravado is helpless when it comes to children and Miranda meets and instantly falls for rich new upstairs neighbor Dr. Robert Leeds. Meanwhile, Harry moves in and Charlotte freaks out over his bachelor habits, leaving dripping teabags around and walking around and sitting nude on her white (gasp!) couch! In the end, Carrie registers herself at Manolo Blahnik, in recognition of her just-announced marriage to herself. The only item that she registers for is a single pair of the missing $485 shoes, and Kyra finally comes around and replaces the missing Manolos.
Season 5 Episode 1
This episode is a favorite as it highlights the most important relationship in the series, that of Carrie Bradshaw and NYC. This was the first episode filmed after the events of 9/11 and was filled with New York symbolism. Carrie is still reeling from her loss of Big and Aiden and wonders if she has met her quota of great loves. Charlotte is ready to say goodbye to her life as Mrs. MacDougal and can’t wait to meet new men. Samantha is giving Richard hell after he cheated on her and broke her heart. It’s Fleet Week and the girls (minus Miranda who is at home adjusting to motherhood) are determined to live it up in the city. At the end of the night, Carrie turns down a charming Southern sailor and decides she is happy enough to go home alone and be single for the time being.
I Heart NY
Season 4 Episode 18
Notable quotes: “If you’re tired you take a nap-a, you don’t move to Napa.” Carrie
“I got to thinking about fate. That crazy concept that we’re not really responsible for the course our lives take. That it’s all predestined, written in the stars. Maybe that explains why, if you live in a city, where you can’t even see the stars, your love life tends to feel a little more random. And even if our every man, every kiss, every heartache, is pre-ordered from some cosmic catalogue, can we still take a wrong step and wander off our own personal milky way? I couldn’t help but wonder, can you make a mistake and miss your fate?” Carrie
Big shocks Carrie with the news that he is moving to Napa. While still gathering her thoughts on Big leaving, they share a romantic moment dancing to “Moon River” and Carrie declares that they are going on one last big “New York” date. Samantha suspects that Richard is cheating and follows him in disguise, she got a wig from the Raquel Welch wig line. Carrie takes Big out for his New York send off, complete with a carriage ride through Central Park. However, the night is quickly interrupted when Miranda calls to say she is in labor. Carrie arrives in time to see Miranda give birth to baby Brady. Samantha’s suspicions are proven true when she walks in on Richard and another woman and she is heartbroken. After the birth, Carrie attempts to rush back to catch Big but fails. Upon arriving at his apartment she finds the “Moon River” record and a ticket to Napa.
An American Girl in Paris Part Duex
Season 6, Episode 20
“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” – Carrie
A desperately lonely Carrie continues her stint in Paris with Petrovsky. After lunch with Petrovsky’s ex-wife she learns that Juliet and Petrovsky split because she was tired of always coming in second place to his art. Meanwhile, Mr. Big has finally realized that he cannot live without Carrie and sets out to Paris to bring her back to NY. Back at home, Charlotte and Harry’s wish comes true when they find out that they are getting a baby girl from China. Samantha finally admits that Smith means more to her than any other man. Miranda suggests that she and Steve take in his mom who just suffered a stroke. In a touching moment, Magda tells Mirada “this is love”. Back in Paris, a depressed Carrie realizes that she does not belong here and after a horrible fight with Petrosky she runs into Big in the hotel lobby and they understand they are truly meant to be. Carrie heads back to NY with Big to start the next phase of her life.
The perfect ending to all the women’s character arcs. I cry every time:
What are some of your favorite memories and characters from the show?