Thursday, April 30, 2015

SATC: in summation

Well thanks to my cold I was able to  lie around on my sofa for days and watch all six seasons of Sex and the City. I did come to like the characters, mostly, and especially the interplay among the four main female characters. I find it impossible to meet up for brunch with even one friend in New York City on a regular basis, everybody is so busy (and often out of town on the weekends), while SATC presents four women friends who hang out together very frequently. It's enviable.

I will not miss the Carrie high-pitched squeal/shriek. So annoying for a grown woman to make that sound. And I won't miss her horrible relationship with that Big character.

Although I was glad to see the Big character show up at the end of season six to get Carrie back from France and from the much older man Carrie was living with in Paris, played by the former ballet dancer Baryshnikov.

There is a scene at a party in the middle of season six in which Carrie's editor, played by Candace Bergen, complains to Carrie that she can't find a man her own age to date, and men like the character played by Baryshnikov date women Carrie's age instead. This situation of course is still going on in the world, but now more women are deciding to date younger men. It's fascinating to realize that the word "cougar" is not used once, even in reference to Samantha, during the entire run of the show.

And speaking of Samantha Jones, many women wish they could be just like her, or to put it in modern lingo Samantha Jones is my spirit animal.

I was intrigued to see that Julia Sweeney was credited as a creative consultant in at least one episode of SATC. She also makes an appearance as a nun who has cancer (Samantha Jones helps her get a coveted appointment with a popular oncologist.) Sweeney is well-known for having survived cancer, and for being an ex-Catholic atheist. You can listen to her discuss both things at This American Life.

And I had another connection to the series - another actor I worked with turned up on the show. You can see her in the Self Help section of a bookstore, chewing on her hair, which is meant to give the Charlotte character the impression that weirdos hang out in that section. And in fact this actor is much more eccentric than just chewing on her hair. This woman, who has also appeared in minor roles on other TV shows including (of course) Law and Order, refuses to eat vegetables. Ever. And she has a rule about her wardrobe - she only wears purple Monday through Friday, but weekends she can wear any color. And then there was the time I stopped by her apartment in Greenwich Village to drop off a script in advance of a reading of a play of mine that she was cast in. I had to go to the bathroom, so right after I handed her the script I opened my mouth to ask her if I could use hers, but before I could get a word out, she pushed me out the door of her apartment.

So I developed a theory that she was able to afford her nice apartment in the Village on a TV-show-extras salary because she moonlighted as a dominatrix. And she had somebody tied up in her apartment when I stopped by and didn't want me to see them and that's why she so rudely pushed me out the door.

It's just a theory, of course. Actually she had an awkward personality (in addition to her food and clothing eccentricities) and didn't wear makeup, and was fairly prudish and I wouldn't be at all surprised if she was a life-long virgin, who possibly didn't even know what a dominatrix was.

So I am going to miss watching the adventures of these characters, especially the aspirationally fabulous Samantha. Buzzfeed provides 12 Life Lessons from Samantha Jones.

One more connection between me and this show - back in 2009 I wrote and produced a play, FOX FORCE FIVE that included a reference to the show - long before I saw a single episode:

   BETH 
So I hear you’re a big fan of “Sex in the City.”

   EMILY 
Yeah. How about you?

   BETH

I only watch cop shows. Where girls like Carrie end up on the slab. After falling off of their five-inch high heels.

And it's true, Carrie does wear ridiculously high heels a ridiculous amount of time. I sure won't miss that. 

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