S1:E2 – models and mortals

Modelizer: a particular breed only obsessed with models

Miranda is at a dinner party with Nick, who she met in the elevator in their office building, and his friends. Nick asks everyone to name an old movie star who you’d like to fuck when they were young, and the party goes around with their answers (Sophia Loren, Montgomery Cleft (he’s gay!), and Bing Crosby). Miranda wistfully names Sean Connery and is having a great time until she finds out from the two other women that Nick has a huge thing for models and he invited her because she was not. Flashbacks of previous parties show Nick’s model dates pushing their food around, pouting, and naming their “old” movie star: Charlie Sheen (which back in the 90s I could see that, but he’s more into porn stars – not models). His friends are sick of Nick and threaten “NO MORE MODELS!” so he brings Miranda – his intellectual beard (or is it beer? I could never tell) for the evening. After confronting him, he confesses that he is a modelizer.

At Carrie’s, the ladies are shocked that Miranda was out with a modelizer and didn’t realize it. I think it’s because Nick isn’t all that attractive and Miranda knew that she wasn’t really attracted to him, but went out with him anyways because he asked and if it did work out, she had a good reason if she ran into Skipper. So I’m sure she would have seen him again, but only for the dinner parties and she would have been really sad about that. Everyone then points out their flaws: Miranda hates her chin, Carrie her nose (another commonality with I), and Charlotte her thighs. When it’s Samantha’s turn, she doesn’t see any flaws and loves the way she looks (get it girl!).

It’s onto public opinion time from models and their modelizers. The models all love their lives. They travel, get free stuff, and are constantly told how beautiful they are. Nick, the spokesman for all modelizers says it best though: Why fuck the girl in the skirt, when you can fuck the girl in the ad with the skirt? Nick probably has his own catalogue with the ads of all the women he’s fucked, although I theory that he needs to do more than just take them to dinner parties.

Carrie and Barkley

You gotta light?

Now just when you thought that Nick was creepy, we meet Carrie’s friend Barkley (who’s probably Capote’s younger brother). Barkley’s a notorious modelizer who takes his obsession up a notch on the bedpost by secretly taping his model conquests. He calls it his “real art”, but I call it super creepy. One of the videos shows him winking at the camera as Carrie asks him for a light. Next creepy guy, but in a sincere way, is Skipper who just wants Miranda to call him back. He stops Carrie as they walk down the street and asks her to talk to Miranda for him, but then it goes to voicemail and Skipper grabs the phone and leaves a pathetic message that only validates Miranda’s intentions to never call him back. I feel bad for Skippy, but Miranda is just way too assertive with him and that assertion only turns her off. Carrie then meets up with Stanford who has developed his own obsession with his only client, male supermodel Derek aka “The Bone” at a fashion show. Samantha’s also there and so is Barkley (shocker!) and they’re introduced. Samantha then proceeds to solidify her place in badass women history by asking Carrie the Best. Question. Ever.

Best question ever

Martini straight up, or with a twist?

In more suddenly “small world” New York City news, everyone ends up at a runway after-party and of course Carrie runs into Mr. Big and she offers him a puff – a sweet potato puff. She has no shame in taking more than a couple puffs. After all, who else is going to eat them? The models? Certainly not Mr. Big’s model friend who lures him away so Carrie can finish the rest of her puffs. Samantha’s very excited about Barkley and despite Carrie’s warnings about the camera, she definitely wants to sleep with him now and goes to his loft. When she asks him about the camera, he tells her not to worry since he only tapes models (creepy & rude!), but he’ll make an exception since she doesn’t mind. Carrie in the meantime, is about to go home when Derek asks to come with her. After having some wine and sharing a cigarette, Derek divulges his dislike for modeling and how lonely he is. See, even beautiful people can be lonely!

A lonely and beautiful-in-denial Miranda is at her local bodega when she awkwardly runs into Skippy. Poor guy still doesn’t understand why he won’t return his calls, especially because he thinks she’s luminous. This is exactly what Miranda’s been longing to hear and she invites him to come home with her. Awwww, he modelizes her!

With an unexpected twist of her own, Stanford calls Carrie looking for Derek. Stanford then hears Derek’s beautiful voice and freaks out at the possibility that Carrie slept with him. When she says she didn’t, Stanford is hopeful once again that Derek is even more in love with him. Sadly, Derek moves back to Iowa and fulfills his dream of becoming a cop who in my fantasy moonlights as a stripper cop.   We also find out that Nick has hit rock bottom with his model obsession and I sincerely hope he gets help. After being rejected from Derek, Carrie puts him on blast in her column that she’s finishing up at her local coffeeshop when Mr. Big shows up. He’s been thinking about her column and concludes that men are attracted to beautiful women (duh), but you just want to be with the one who makes you laugh. He leaves Carrie beaming and happy about having a rent-controlled apartment because that’s what writers do. They’re constantly rambling about their rent-controlled apartments in the city (the original title of the show).

S1:E1 – Sex and the City

“Once upon a time…”

Grab your cosmopolitan and let’s get started with the very first episode of Sex and the City – the one that began it all!  The year was 1998.  A time long before flat screen TVs, iPads, and Amazon Prime TV where all six seasons can be streamed if you have a Prime membership.

Of course it begins with the now-iconic theme song “Sex and the City” by Groove Armada.  For those unfamiliar with Groove Armada, they are an electronic duo from the UK and had a hit song “I see you baby (shakin’ that ass)” and a remix of the song with Fatboy Slim.  Surprisingly, I didn’t see any mention of this theme song on their Wikipedia page so if anyone wants to edit their page now’s your chance.  As the main narrator, Carrie tells the story of Elizabeth, who recently moved to New York City from London.  Elizabeth meets Tim, an investment banker at a gallery opening.  It was love at first sight and over the course of 2 weeks, they golf, play footsies at fancy restaurants, and have great sex.  He then asks her to meet his parents (a dream come true after 2 weeks!), but cancels the day of due to his mom being ill and asks for a raincheck.  Two weeks later while it’s actually raining, she hasn’t heard from him in that time and confronts him over the phone.  After another promise to call her, she finishes telling Carrie that she never heard from Tim after that.  In today’s terms we refer to that as “ghosting”.  Carrie goes home to write about men like Tim – a toxic bachelor who appears to want to settle down and get married, but ends up bailing when presented with the opportunity (i.e. Elizabeth).  Well, that and the obvious fact that Tim’s a huge asshole, but let’s move on as poor Elizabeth had to do.

One of my favorite parts about this episode and others in this season are the opinions of other New Yorkers, including those from Miranda, Charlotte & Samantha.  All together as the “unmarried female friends”, they discuss how men are intimidated by successful women.  Samantha, a powerful women with her own PR firm, suggests that showing such power is to have sex like a man without any feelings.  The next day while Carrie is having lunch with her gay bestie Stanford, she sees her ex Kurt and decides that he’s going to be her experiment since she no longer felt anything for him.  Later that afternoon, she tests her “have sex like a man” experiment by letting him go down on her and then immediately leaves after he says it’s his turn.  As she leaves Kurt’s apartment, someone knocks into her and her purse falls to the ground.  Carrie scrambles to retrieve the contents when along comes a handsome man who crouches down in front of her and picks up the condoms that have also fallen out of her purse.  Although I do give props to Carrie for carrying her own supply of condoms (safety first!), was it really necessary to have that many in her clutch purse?  Don’t get it twisted, I think it’s great she even had condoms in her purse as I don’t think many women even carry one.  But is that part of having sex like a man by carrying a dozen condoms?  Anyways, she collects all her condoms and as she walks away, she does what every girl seems to do when they know a handsome man is watching: she trips in her heels.

Next we meet Skipper, Carrie’s nerdy friend who reveals that he hasn’t had sex in over a year as she pretends to be in total shock.  Skipper is desperate to meet someone and asks Carrie if she has any single friends she could set him up with.  She suggests Miranda and arranges them to meet at this nightclub called Chaos.  Either Miranda wasn’t prepared to meet Skipper, or came to the club straight from her office, but she was way too professionally dressed to be in a nightclub where a “model bomb exploded”.   Skippy (as Miranda called him), wanted to impress her by agreeing with everything she said, but unfortunately ends up offending her and defending himself with being a nice guy who suddenly and awkwardly put his hand on her leg.  Carrie, in the meantime, runs into Kurt who was initially pissed off with being a guinea pig.  However, he realizes that she’s finally giving him what he’s always wanted: non-committal sex as long as he’s not with anyone else.  After her experiment backfires, Samantha points out a handsome man in the crowd who happens to be the same guy who helped pick up her condoms.  Samantha tells her that he’s the next Donald Trump (a proclamation that makes me cringe) and proclaims that if Carrie’s not interested, then she’ll be the one to hit on Mr. Big.

Across town, Charlotte the art gallery manager is on a date with Capote Duncan, a toxic bachelor who lures her to his house by showing her some artwork he has.  Since Charlotte is the goody-too-shoes of the unmarried crew, she ends the night early with Capote (what a name!) and he calls her a cab.  As she gets into the car, he spontaneously decides to take the same cab to Chaos because that toxic bachelor needs to get laid!  Back inside Chaos, Samantha and Mr. Big are smoking cigars (yuck!) and she offers him a private tour of the club and he flat out denies her.  Later that evening, Samantha goes back to Capote Duncan’s place to check out the artwork which apparently is how he lures the ladies and they hook up.  Miranda walks out of Chaos with Skipper, intending to kill all hopes of another date, but Skipper takes a huge leap by kissing her and she’s all into it.  Good for you, Skippy!

We also see Carrie calling it a night by unsuccessfully hailing a cab when Mr. Big rolls up in his private town car.  She accepts the ride home and tells him about her experiment for her next column.  He concludes that she’s never been in love and hearing this becomes just as shocking as Skipper’s celibacy, but this time she doesn’t have an answer. She gets out of the car and starts to walk to her brownstone when she runs back and asks him if he’s ever been in love.  And Mr. Big gives her the answer of all answers:

Abso-fuckin-lutely!

Carrie turns back and the car drives away.

Hello!

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since “Sex and the City” first aired.   It was 1998. I was living in Portland, Oregon, a recent college graduate with absolutely no plan on what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher, but people would tell me that I was crazy to think that I would be able to handle teenagers. So I listened to these people and decided that I would use my English literature degree for something else. Like publishing I guess, which is the industry I’ve been in for over 12 years now. I don’t regret not pursuing being a teacher, but I do wish I had more of a plan for which career path I wanted. In fact, I’m still figuring that out.

With my English degree, I would tell people that I was a writer because that just seemed to be the second choice after teacher as non-English majors think there’s only two career paths. Of course, their first question was: what do you write? I didn’t have an answer because I thought that something would just miraculously come to me. Sort of like Mary Shelley when she had a dream that inspired the character, Frankenstein. While I was waiting for that inspirational moment, I worked jobs I had no desire to make an actual career out of, but I needed the money and experience to build my resume and my life. Needless to say, writing took a huge backseat to all this adulting.

Then a half hour long show called “Sex and the City” debuted on HBO.   I don’t remember how or from whom I heard about the show, but the moment I saw Carrie Bradshaw appeared amongst the big New York City skyscrapers with her pink tutu dress, I was instantly hooked. First of all, her name: Carrie. Not Kari, Kerri, Cari, but my spelling. Second, her last name started with the letter B. My last name also starts with a B! Third, she was a single girl living in a big city and so was I (except Portland is significantly smaller than NYC). And just like Carrie, I embarked on the singles scene with my girlfriends looking for Mr. Big in all kinds of setting (long before the convenience of dating apps). Last but not least, Carrie Bradshaw had my dream job as a writer and my dream closet. So it became totally obvious that I was that Carrie and my girlfriends were Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha (in both an individual and collective sense).   For six seasons, those ladies became more than just characters in a show.   Yes, they worked fabulous jobs, lived in fabulous apartments, and had fabulous shoes. But they also had the non-fabulous that many could relate to: awkward dates, failed relationships, tests of friendships, and bad fashion choices. Above it all they were each other’s soulmates and although it’s been 14 years since the show ended, their friendship and their stories are still being talked about today.

So why did I decide to start this blog? I recently started re-watching the episodes on Amazon Prime and it got me thinking about my experiences and how much more I had in common with these ladies. One painful commonality is that I’m now the same age as Samantha when the show first aired and like her I don’t want to admit it. Anyways, since blogs and TV show recaps were not really a thing back in 1998, I thought that it would be fun to do my own recap of all six seasons and their episodes. My plan is to watch an episode on a Sunday (same day the show originally aired) and post the recap the next day. I hope you enjoy these recaps and please tell the Mirandas, Charlottes, and the Samanthas in your lives about this recap blog as that will encourage the Carrie Bradshaw in me to keep writing – sex and all.

-Carrie B.