Season 1, Episode 7: The Monogamists

I’m not your stud horse you know,
Miss Dial-a-fuck!” – Skipper, to Miranda

sexepisde7WHEN S&TC first hit TV screens, the concept of “dating” – seeing multiple people in a romantic context instead of one at a time – was regarded by many British viewers as slightly alien.

Fast-forward to 2014 and the internet has changed all that, in good ways and bad. One aspect of relationships transformed by this is the question of exclusivity, which is no longer simply a case of “shall we agree not to see other people?” but also one of “shall we take down our profiles?”

That said, it’s hard to imagine a 21st-century version of Mr Big twiddling with Tinder or posting blue-steel selfies on match.com. He keeps his cards too close to his chest for that. I’m pretty sure that on first viewing of this episode it seemed to me that he was a bit of a cad, callously bed-hopping his way around Manhattan. Second time around – and bearing in mind the many, many dramas to follow – it seems much more possible this was just a case of two people interpreting the same events in two different ways.

Carrie describes a romantic whirlwind including four-hour conversations that fly by in 15 minutes, but we’re given few clues to what she and her new beau actually talk about. She may be handy with a quip and a girlish giggle, but what are her interests beyond pop-sociology and fashion? Does she have views on the issues of the day?

This episode sees the series start to hit its stride in terms of taking a broad theme – in this case monogamy – and showing a way in which it impacts (or doesn’t) on each of the women. Admittedly the only connection to Charlotte’s story is a throwaway line about a golden retriever, but otherwise it’s neatly done, and Skipper and Miranda’s story parallels that of Carrie and Big but with the genders reversed.

Carrie’s column: “Has monogamy become too much to expect?”

Fashion: Carrie seems to be going through a satin phase, and the pale blue dress she wears in this episode is really flattering. And backless, too – a surprisingly daring look given her character’s later habit of keeping her bra on during sex. I wonder how the actresses felt about the differing nudity clauses in their contracts.

Puns: During a discussion of Charlotte’s aversion to blowjobs Carrie tells her not to get “choked up” about the matter. If it earns a groan, does that make it a pun?

Advertisements

Season 1, Episode 6: Secret Sex

“The Victorians were on to something – they valued romance!” – Charlotte

episode6I REALLY don’t like the phrase “bunny boiler”, partly because I love bunnies and partly because it’s only ever used to describe women, reflecting an archaic double standard according to which women must be pursued, never pursuers. But Carrie’s behaviour in this episode is crackers.

The topic of The Rules comes up as she’s preparing for her first proper date with Mr Big, and the women – except Charlotte, of course – are quick to dismiss this approach to dating. Carrie does briefly get-to-thinking about whether delaying gratification is a marker of maturity, but goes ahead and sleeps with Big anyway.

By the time of their second date her head’s full of thoughts about “secret sex” – the kind that results when one of the pair is embarrassed to be seen with the other – and when they bump into some of Big’s friends and fails to introduce her, she fears the worst. In spite of this she goes ahead and invites him, on Samantha’s suggestion, to meet her friends.

Meanwhile, Miranda is finally nice to a guy. Only after accidentally kicking him in the face, but it’s a good start. However, she later freaks out after finding some very slightly kinky porn in his pants drawer. You know, while having a snoop around his apartment in that way women do. Hmm, wait a minute. Is that something women do, or something terrible people do? Maybe Miranda should hook up with that guy from episode two, and they can violate each other’s privacy til the cows come home. Apparently she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with snooping, because she more or less tells the guy that she knows his terrible dirty secret (which is neither terrible nor particularly dirty). He dumps her. Good.

Inspired by this car crash of an episode, I propose some new Rules:

  • Don’t invite a man to meet all of your friends after one date
  • Don’t overreact wildly to minor social faux pas
  • Don’t be a snoop
  • If you must be a snoop, at least be a bit ashamed about it

Carrie’s column: “How many of us out there are having great sex with people we’re afraid to introduce to our friends?”

Fashion: Carrie wears a “naked dress” for the Big date. It’s not really very nice.

Puns: None again, but there are some funny lines. In a flashback to Charlotte’s secret romance with a Hassidic Jewish artist, his beard is described as “his wool”. (Charlotte’s whole what-would-people-think act around this is amusing given her eventual choice of – entirely wool-free – husband).