Season 2, Episode 1: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

“How does it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? It’s like seventh grade with bank accounts!
What about us? What we think, we feel, we know … Christ!
Does it always have to be about them?” 
– Miranda

SATC ballgame

MIRANDA’S howl of frustration is a bold tone-shifter for the first episode of Sex and the City’s second season – it’s just a shame she backtracks on it so soon afterwards, declaring herself a jerk.

Yes, she was perhaps being a little unsympathetic towards Carrie’s post-Big-break-up heartache, but it was hardly unreasonable of her to hope they could make it through brunch without talking balls (specifically, in this case, those of Charlotte’s new man).

However, it’s nice to be reminded of the strong bond between Miranda and Carrie, and their dinner scene reminded me of a very different one in Sex and the City: The Movie in which a furious Carrie storms out through a cloud of Valentine’s balloons.

I was taken aback by the revelation that her first shot at a relationship with Big lasted a year – they had their first sort-of date in episode four and she didn’t find out he had an ex-wife until episode eight, which suggests a bizarre lack of curiosity. It would be understandable if they’d simply been having a laidback fun time for the first six months, but Carrie was overanalysing his every eyebrow raise within minutes of meeting him.

Samantha is still – still! – going out with her poorly endowed beau from season one, and in a super-creepy scene resorts to perving on baseball players in their locker room. Thankfully this doesn’t lead to a tryst – for a moment I feared as much – but her reprimand was far too mild. The show really had some issues with violations of privacy in the early day, what with its chuckles at a man secretly filming his conquests and normalising of women snooping through their partners’ porn collections. Not cool.

A couple of technology references really date this episode: Miranda tries to distract the women from their man-chat by whipping out her PalmPilot, pathetically thrilled at the notion of electronic schedules, and Carrie comes across a photo of herself and Big in bed that she claims was taken with a disposable camera. This is a doubtful claim – who ever took a successful selfie with one of those things? – and it also highlights the fact that contemporary relationship reminders cannot simply be binned. Sure, texts, emails and pictures can be deleted, but what about other digital paw prints such as Facebook likes? Eliminating those involves re-writing one’s online history.

Carrie’s column: In a world where leaving each other seems to be getting more and more frequent, what are the break-up rules?

Fashion: Miranda in “jerk” mode is back in denim dungarees, this time teamed with a matching puffa jacket and cap. She looks crackers. Carrie looks OK for her date with celebrity rebound Joe (aka “the new Yankee”) but, and great in a layered, hippy-style ensemble when she bumps into Big.

Puns: None as such, but Carrie’s hilarity at the following exchange backstage at the ball game is taken as evidence she’s drunk. In later seasons she requires no alcohol to be this easily amused:

Samantha: Did you see that bulge?
Miranda: Uh, he was wearing a cup.
Samantha: Well honey, his cup runneth over.

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