Maybe I’ve got it wrong.
Maybe I should have started from the beginning.
Maybe it is representative of the social milieu of the time.
Maybe there is no right or wrong way.
Maybe I should have listened to my paramour at the time, who urged me to watch it thinking it might be some kind of sexual awakening for me.
Maybe that’s just too many maybes. One thing I know for sure I have definitely missed the boat on this one. Should have listened, instead it was the odd episode from final series, followed by the first movie and then what can only be described as a train crash of a second movie, and now more recently a few episodes from earlier seasons.
Conclusion: Sex And The City is awful and Carrie Bradshaw is truly awful.
And that is deeply depressing to me because so many women out there – including friends – love the show and identify with the characters and I am suppose to love it too… all the elements are there; sex, the sisterhood, fashion, cocktails and iconic New York and yet… I simply can’t get past the characters especially ‘it always has to be about me’ Carrie. I find her needy, shallow and full of self-importance. And her outfits, okay the shoes are to die for (and I do owe Carrie a debt of gratitude, for on the back of Carrie’s obsession with Manolos I managed to get my first pair from my boyfriend at the time), but the clothes! One minute she could be quite classy then the next err… well one question, was she meant to be channelling a drag queen who likes a bit of vintage and Chanel and tulle?
‘Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw
Carrie is an antihero and here’s why: A dominant theme throughout is the sisterhood, four loyal friends there for each other no matter what, right? Well I say bollocks to that!! It is about Carrie, it is always about Carrie. Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha may be the besties but the most irksome aspect of Carrie is that she manages to turn every single conversation into being about her.
My first intro to SATC¹ was the episode where Carrie was talking about Aleksander Petrovsky while Samantha was getting high doses of chemo pumped into her veins. I remember having a WTF moment but I loved Samantha’s response, ‘I’m glad it’s going well! What’s new with me? Well, my white blood cell count is dangerously low.’ Or how about that time when Miranda got pregnant with Brady and was deciding whether to get an abortion or not and Carrie made it all about the abortion she had had thirteen years before, after doing it bareback with a waiter whilst drunk.
Another moment that springs to mind is when Carrie sent Aidan to go help a naked Miranda when her neck gave out, albeit she had a meeting with her editor but going around to Miranda’s the next morning, with apology bagels just to have an excuse to come over and bitch about Aidan is not okay.
‘As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw
For me, hands down most dickish Carrie moment has to be the one where she gets angry that Charlotte didn’t offer to lend her the money for her apartment down payment. A situation that only occurred because she let Aidan buy her place and the one next door to merge them into one big love shack and then couldn’t buy it back from him after she dumped him because she’s a thirty two year old woman with a closet full of $400 shoes but no savings. The thought of selling the shoes of course didn’t occur to her instead she asked Big for money. Okay he’s a gazillionaire but he’s also the ex, the occasional fuck buddy and the unresolved love of her life. Thankfully she didn’t accept it and no her next move was not to set up an eBay account, it was far easier for her to make Charlotte out to be the bad guy for not offering to give the money, even though Charlotte had just gone through a divorce and was not working; the guilt trip worked because Charlotte went against her beliefs and gave her the money, well her engagement ring, which I assume Carrie hocked to use as her deposit.
‘I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw
And there is Carrie’s treatment of Aidan: FIRST she cheats on him with Big THEN she gets annoyed that Big’s wife Natasha will not forgive her, after she has forced the poor woman into a confrontation in a restaurant AND then she gets annoyed again at Aidan, because he won’t get over it; so like a child who doesn’t get what they want, she repeats herself over and over ‘You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me, You have to forgive me …’ You’ll have to give forgive me reader, I think I might need to barf!
Speaking of Aidan – lovely, stable, in love with her, ready to commit Aidan; that episode where her computer crashes and she hadn’t backed anything up. I can relate a little, for I too can be inept when it comes to computers but even I know to back up my work. She is a writer in her thirties who’s ‘whole life is on that computer,’ and she didn’t know to back up her work and more importantly how is it Aidan’s fault? The guy buys her a new laptop and she proceeds to throw a tanty. Ungrateful dick!
And then there is that episode at Aidan’s country house, forget she has clearly never heard the word compromise and therefore wears her boredom as boldly as she wears those hideous outfits. How about for a touch of class letting Big – the guy she cheated with – visit her, eat with her and Aidan and then allow him to stay the night when he gets too drunk to drive. Not awkward at all Carrie and heels in the country, really? It made sense that she ended up with Big, who was proud, egocentric, the sugar daddy she needed and just as screwed up as her.
‘The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw
I could go on and on about my misgivings of Carrie, like who moves to Paris without first making a bit of effort to connect with people there; old friends, colleagues or even your magazine’s overseas branch. In hindsight I am happy to have not been a part of the SATC fervour but I can still remember it, when women everywhere identified with the characters: I remember hearing ‘Me, too!’ or ‘I’ll have a cosmo’ or ‘living a SATC life’ or ‘I’m a Carrie!’ Well I’m not like her and that’s abso-fucking-lutely fine by me.
¹SATC = Sex and the City