I have a tendency to re-watch shows from start to finish. It has happened more than once with Buffy, the all-time favorite, and it is now happening with Sex and the City, the second favorite (tied with Boy Meets World). This experience has been quite eye-opening because a) the first time I watched SATC all the way through I was quite young and too flabbergasted by all the sex and nakedness to understand/pay attention to anything else, and b) the other times I have re-watched SATC were through TBS, E! and Style Network, who all cut down the episodes for content and timing. So, long story even longer, this is the first time I am seeing every single episode of every single season of SATC, unedited, as an adult. Thank you ever so much HBO GO.
Season 1: A Reminder That SATC Began in the 90s
Shocking but true: SATC premiered in 1998 so it began filming in 1997, which the four ladies’ makeup/hair/outfits make glaringly obvious. Goodness gracious they looked terrible.
My goal for first season was to figure out what REALLY happened between Carrie and Big; I always forget which breakups and fights happened when so I wanted to get down to the real nitty-gritty and analyze how it all went wrong. Amazingly enough it all went wrong after their first date, when she accuses him of “hiding her” and acting like she’s not “perfect enough” for him. This was after their FIRST DATE! I can’t believe Big didn’t run away and never look back right then and there. This realization annoyed me because the show did a really great job of making Big look like the bad guy, but really it was the fault of Carrie’s unbelievable paranoia 90% of the time. Paranoia which I can identify with all too well, and that is perhaps why she annoys me more now than she ever did before.
I also noticed that the show wasn’t so much about friendship in the beginning, just sex. The four weren’t really a foursome yet but just happened to all be connected through Carrie, yet in later seasons they make it seem like they’ve known each other and been BFFs for decades. I guess the writers realized that while sex sells they needed to add more depth to the story. No pun intended.
Also also, I can’t stand the talking-to-the-camera thing that was in every episode in the first season. That is so Saved by the Bell.
Season 2: The First Two Breakups
Second season picks up right after Carrie and Big’s first breakup, which was entirely completely 100% no-doubt-about-it Carrie’s fault. She flipped out about the mom thing way too early — remember when she bumped into them at church and he was weird about introducing them and then he wanted to take her away on vacation but she wouldn’t go unless he told her she was “the one” after only a few months of dating? He really did nothing wrong there. So between seasons Carrie gets even skinnier and more scraggly looking, then second season starts and she dates a few non-memorables and gets back with Big after one phone call. The second break up, The Paris Fiasco, is much more Big’s fault than hers, and him coming back engaged to Natasha after only a few months was totes uncalled for, but Carrie still did a lot of horrible things in the relationship before all that. In the episode with the sparkly duck purse where she tells him she loves him for the first time and he doesn’t say it back right away, she brings another guy home to her apartment! Cheating because of a fight = not ok!
In this season we see the start of Miranda and Steve, which was also semi-doomed from the beginning because Miranda kind of sucks and their first breakup was over money thus very stupid. We also see the relationships between the other girls develop a little more, you know, when they aren’t completely obsessing over Carrie’s problems and only Carrie’s problems. I especially like the bond between polar opposites Charlotte and Samantha (who by the way I think is the most caring and awesome friend of the four). And lest we forget the glorious Hamptons episodes!
Season 3: Carrie’s Hair Starts to Look Normal, and Then There’s Aidan
Ah, the soft curls/waves phase. I love her hair in this season, as well as the big gold hoops and disco-chic outfits which all seem to stem from her dating groovy Mr. Aidan Shaw. I think when I first watched the show I was rooting for Carrie and Big to get back together even though that required her to cheat on Aidan, but now when I watch it breaks my heart (and makes me tear up a little) when she tells him about the affair and — mind-bogglingly — expects him to forgive her. Poor Aidan!
This is also when Charlotte and Trey get together, and I can’t stand that relationship. The whole thing happened way too rapidly; who seriously gets married without sleeping together first besides crazy religious folks? And then he doesn’t even care about his penis problems and how much it upsets Charlotte, his wife, whom he is supposed to have sex with all the time. He was truly awful. (Wasn’t he a murderer on Desperate Housewives?)
Stupid relationships and Carrie aside, third season is home to some of my favorite episodes: the two-part trip to LA with special guest stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew McConaughey and Vince Vaughn, and “Hot Child in the City” with the crazy bat mitzvah and one of my favorite lines ever from, of course, Samantha: “Dump him. Immediately. Here, use my cell phone.”
(Side note: I’ve never been able to watch an episode of Mad Men and not think of Roger Sterling wanting Carrie to pee on him. If you don’t understand that reference and are a Mad Men fan, I suggest you watch the first two episodes of third season.)
Stay tuned for seasons 4 through 6!