Recap: The pilot of Sex and the City tries oooh sooo hard to appear edgy and groundbreaking by being brazenly raunchy for brazen raunchiness' sake...and the awfulness of the episode (and, frankly, the show) is further compounded by the relentless stream of pronouncements and witticisms about sex/dating/relationships. The series opens with a voice-over from Carrie Bradshaw, who regales viewers with the sad tale of a beautiful blonde journalist named Elizabeth who meets an investment banker named Tim. For two weeks, the pair dated, snuggled, and had lots of fantastic sex. One day he took her to look at a townhouse that was for sale and popped the question - which is a fucking insane thing to do when you've only known someone for two weeks - but nevertheless...soon after that, Tim became distant and no longer returned Elizabeth's phone calls. In the next scene, Elizabeth is moaning about the callous fuckbag to Carrie, who puffs on a cigarette and tries to look empathetic. She then turns to the camera (an annoying schtick they mercifully did away with after Season 1) and solemnly declares to viewers, "It was the end of love in Manhattan. Welcome to the age of un-innocence."
Carrie is in her Upper East Side apartment, which someone who writes a superfluous sex column for a tabloid rag could never possibly afford, tapping away on her computer. (I realize that twenty/thirty something New Yorkers on TV shows never have realistic apartments, but that doesn't it make it any less irksome to watch.) She's writing about the hundreds - nay thousands of women who are looking for love in Manhattan, then ponders one of the great mysteries of life: why are there so many great unmarried women, but no great unmarried men? Flawed theories like this, she explains, are the kinds of issues she explores in her shittastic column, Sex and the City. To support her premise that all men are heartless monsters, we get "testimonials" from two douchebags in suits who disdainfully tell viewers how desperate women become once they enter their thirties. Apparently, they all want to be married and have children instead of just wanting to have a good time. After that, we get a testimonial from Miranda Hobbes, who talks about a former friend who used to date one sexy guy after another - until she woke up one morning and realized she was forty-one years old - egads! - and was no longer young enough or pretty enough to get any more dates. Once the devastation of aging set in, she had a nervous breakdown, lost her job, and moved to Wisconsin to live with her mother. In another testimonial, Charlotte York repeats the tired old nonsense, "most men are threatened by successful women", and offers her take on the dicey world of sex/dating/relationships in Manhattan: "Keep your mouth shut and play by the rules." OMFG. Out of all the testimonial givers, I wanted to smack Charlotte the hardest.
For a change of pace, we get a short testimonial from a bespectacled, curly haired dork named Skipper, who believes that love conquers all...but thinks romance is lacking in Manhattan.
The four gals are celebrating Miranda's birthday, which Carrie describes as "another thirty something birthday with a group of unmarried female friends". Samantha urges her friends to stop whining about not being in a relationship and just fuck around the way men do: without feelings. For instance, she recently hit the sheets with a guy who was super hot in bed - and she didn't give a hoot about him before, during, or after! How fantastic. Miranda argues that men don't like it when you use them just for sex 'cause it hinders their performance abilities, and Samantha just shakes her head and barks, "That's when you dump them." Carrie furrows her brows as if they're actually having a reasonable discussion and asks, "What about romance?" and Samantha derisively rolls her eyes at the ridiculous notion. Miranda tells the girls about a poet she recently doinked, then says (and this quote is word for word): "The sex was incredible, but then he wanted to read me his poetry and go to dinner - and I was just like, let's not go there." Right...because God forbid anyone on this show have any kind of interaction that doesn't revolve solely around cocks and lubricant. Charlotte looks troubled and says it's sick to give up on the idea of love - but Samantha insists that the idea of "the right guy" is just an illusion. Carrie, meanwhile, is curious if it's truly possible for women to pull off the whole women having sex like men thing...and then one of them invokes the movie, The Last Seduction, and all four cackle over the lascivious way Linda Fiorentino nailed some guy against a chain link fence. Charlotte poutishly contorts her face and snaps, "I hate that movie."
Back in her swanky East Side apartment, Carrie ponders Samantha's demented ravings from the previous scene and wonders aloud if it could mean that all women are giving up on romance and opting to "throttle up on power"...which I will assume means rampant, vengeful coitus. She grins mischievously and calls it "a tempting thought".
Carrie's out for drinks with her favorite gay, Stanford Blatch. His take on sex/dating/relationships is that the gay community may be the only place left where true love can happen. He laments that he doesn't have time for a significant other, since his client, Derek, takes up all of his time (FYI: Stanny's a talent agent). He suddenly glances across the room, goes, "Ack!" and discreetly informs Carrie that a guy she used to semi-regularly doink, Kurt Harrington, is sitting at the bar. Carrie glances over at him, then turns to the camera and tells viewers, "Kurt was a mistake I made in my twenties." Stanford cautions her not to go over there, then reminds her that Kurt is scum...plus, he doesn't have the patience to clean up that emotional carnage ever again. Carrie assures him she has absolutely no feelings for Kurt, then excuses herself to go to the "bathroom" and covertly tells viewers that she's now able to see Kurt for what he was: a self-centered creep who was the best sex of her life. She sashays over to the bar, flashes Kurt a coquettish smile and asks him what he's doing here. He's like, "Hey babe" and gives her a once-over and says she looks gorgeous, then asks how her life is going...and she shrugs casually and says, "The usual." She asks him if he's seeing anyone special, and he goes, "Not really" and she tells him she's being boned every now and then by a few different guys. Back at the table, Stanford is frantically waving his arms, mouthing, "NOOOO!" but Carrie ignores his pleas and asks Kurt what he's doing later. He chuckles and throws it in her face that she once declared she'd never talk to him again, so she takes a puff from his cigarette and saucily replies, "Who said anything about talking?" He perks up and goes, "My place, three o'clock?" and she's like, "OK!" She returns to the table where a dismayed Stanford is waiting, and he glares at her and snaps, "What the hell are you doing?!" She rolls her eyes condescendingly, tells him to calm down, and explains that she's "conducting research".
Carrie's getting oral sex from Kurt (I will assume), moaning his name while I ran to the nearest toilet to throw up. She gleefully informs viewers that he's even better in the sack than she remembers...but this time she has the advantage of knowing she's not going to allow any pesky human emotions to get in the way of her orgasms. No, ma'am. Kurt emerges from under the covers and says it's his turn now, but she checks her watch and says, "Sorry - I have to get back to work." He's all, "Wuh? Are you serious?" and she tries her hardest to sound breezy as she replies, "I'll give you a call - maybe we can do this again sometime." As she strolls on a busy Manhattan street, she proudly voice-overs, "I'd done it! I'd just had sex like a man" and adds that she feels "powerful, potent, and incredibly alive" - like she owned the city, and nothing or no one could get in her way. Calm down, Carrie. All you did was have a nooner with a vapid dinkwhistle who wouldn't give two shits if a bus hit you. Someone accidentally bumps into her, causing her to drop the contents of her purse all over the sidewalk...and as she's kneeling to pick up the various birth control products she totes around, a man stops to help her. [Spoiler: it's her future husband, the man she annoyingly nicknames "Mr. Big".] She glances up at him and notices: 1) he was handsome, and 2) he wasn't wearing a wedding ring. He hands her the condoms that spilled out of her purse, and she coyly thanks him before scurrying off in her age-inappropriate, thigh-baring outfit. She can't resist turning around to sneak a last glimpse...and is delighted to see that he's waving at her. Run fast, run far, John Preston.
In the next scene, Carrie is having coffee with Skipper, who's complaining that it's been a year since he's slept with anyone. She's all, "Wuh?" and says he's such a nice guy, so he says maybe he's too nice, has too many feelings, and is too much of a romantic. Carrie blurts out, "Are you sure you're not gay?" and Skipper insists he's not a stereotypically sensitive gay man; he's just a decent person who doesn't routinely objectify women. Sorry, Skipper...but until you learn to objectify, demean and jump into bed with every woman you rub up against, there's no place for you on this show. He asks Carrie if she has any friends she could set him up with, and for some reason Miranda comes to mind...even though she strongly suspects that Miranda will hate Skipper on sight. She nonsensically predicts, "She'd think he was mocking her with his sweet nature and decide he was an asshole - the way she's decided all men are assholes."
Charlotte calls Carrie and says she can't go out with them tomorrow night 'cause she has a date with Capote Duncan, one of Manhattan's most eligible, douchebaggiest bachelors. Charlotte makes it clear that she has no interest in her have sex like a man challenge, and Carrie puts her hand over the receiver and conspiratorially tells viewers she declined to tell Charlotte about how good her cheap and easy sex with Kurt felt. She then wishes Charlotte a good time and makes her promise to tell her everything 'cause they both have the maturity of thirteen year old girls.
It's Friday night, and the gals (minus Charlotte) are at a bar named Chaos, where apparently the crème de la crème of New York likes to party. Miranda is sitting at a table with Skipper, complaining that every woman in the bar looks like a model. He mumbles, "Yeah, it's like under-eaters anonymous" and she stares at him, stone-faced, and replies with a slight edge in her voice, "That's funny, Skippy." He reminds her it's Skipper, but she starts blathering about a theory she just concocted in her head: men hate pretty girls because they used to reject them in high school. Skipper points out that a non-model can still be an interesting person, and Miranda glares at him and snaps, "Are you saying I'm not pretty?" so he assures her she is...but she tunes him out and accuses him of putting women into one of two categories: boring/beautiful or interesting/ugly. He insists that that's not what he's saying - and suddenly she asks him if he has his hand on her knee (yep - there it is...don't know why he'd want to go there, though). She orders him to keep his hands where she can see them, then has the temerity to ask him if he finds her beautiful and interesting. Sadly, Skipper doesn't have the nerve to tell her she belongs in the shrill/cunty category...or that her little boy hairdo doesn't help compensate for her bitchiness.
Carrie's wandering around Chaos, looking like a cheap hooker in a hideous leopard print bra top. She runs into Kurt, who tells her how happy he is that she finally understands the type of non-relationship he wants with her: sex without a commitment. She looks stricken and mumbles, "Right...sure...I guess" and promises to give him a call next time she's in the mood for casual sex. Kurt says he really likes "the new Carrie", then promptly ditches her to canoodle with a statuesque woman standing at the bar. Carrie looks crestfallen and sheepishly tells viewers she doesn't feel so powerful and in control anymore. Hmm...I guess not all women are giving up on the idea of romance in order to "throttle up on power" after all.
Samantha points out Mr. Big to Carrie and tells her he may be the next Donald Trump...except he's younger, better looking, and nowhere near as gigantic an assclown. She remarks that she's often seen this handsome stranger in the company of models...then - in her deluded mind - decides she's as good looking as any model. She touches up her makeup, then sashays over to where Donald Trump 2 is standing.
Charlotte is wrapping up her date with Capote Duncan. He invites her to his place under the pretense of wanting to show her an expensive painting he owns, and she agrees to stop in for just a minute. When they arrive, she stares at the painting, moans, "It's beautiful" and estimates its worth at 100K. Capote lays on the smarm and insists that she's the beautiful one, then gives her an intense smooch. When their lips unlock, Charlotte tells him she has to get up really early, and he seems fine with that and offers to call her a cab. Charlotte smiles to herself, smugly satisfied with how flawlessly she played the evening; however, when the cab arrives, Capote climbs into it with her and says he's headed to Chaos. She's all, "Wuh?" so he explains that while he respects her decision not to have sex on their first date, he really really needs to have sex tonight...so badly, in fact, that he couldn't wait for the next available cab. Charlotte looks icked out by the gross turn her evening has suddenly taken, then stares mournfully out the window.
Back at Chaos, Samantha is not so subtly putting the moves on Mr. Big, but he's not into it and rebuffs her advances. She tells him she has the key to the private room downstairs then suggestively asks him if he wants a private tour, but he makes a blech face and replies, "No thanks. Maybe another time." Haha! And ouch.
Skipper has become hopelessly smitten with Miranda, which can only mean he's completely insane. She starts to give him the 'you're a nice guy, but' speech, but he quickly silences her with a big smooch.
Capote has found his "fix" for the night: Samantha. Shocker. He takes her back to his place and the two go at it...but before the buttons start popping off, he tells her in no uncertain terms that she can't stay over. She assures him she has no desire or time for any activity that doesn't involve the immediate gratification of their genitals, then strips off her clothes.
Carrie's having trouble hailing a cab, and just when all hope of getting a ride home is lost, a fancy black car pulls up beside her. Mr. Big, who's being chauffeured by his driver, rolls down the window and invites her to hop in. She does, then gives the driver her address. He asks her what she does, and she explains that partying at bars is her life's work, then refers to herself as a sexual anthropologist. He makes a face and goes, "You mean...like a hooker?" - bwahahaha! yes! - so she explains that she's in the midst of writing a column that entails researching whether or not women enjoy having casual sex the way men do. Mr. Big says he's not into casual sex, and she stares at him in befuddlement and blurts out, "Wow! What's wrong with you?" and he chuckles knowingly and says, "I get it. You've never been in love." Carrie dramatically slumps back in her seat, then voice-overs that at that moment she suddenly felt the wind being knocked out of her. The car pulls up in front of her building, and she gets out, then turns around and knocks on the window. When Mr. Big rolls it down, she asks him if he's ever been in love...and he gives her a wide-toothed grin and says, "Abso-fucking-lutely." As the car pulls away, Carrie remains rooted to the spot and mulls that over.
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