“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:
Carrie turns back and the car drives away.