Season 2, Episode 3: The Freak Show

“If a man is over 30 and single, there’s something wrong with him” – Miranda
“OK, what about us?” – Carrie
“We’re just choosy!” – Miranda”

freak show

This episode starts off boldly, with the above exchange challenging the show’s core assumptions about our four (anti-?)heroines and the men they date. We also get a glimpse into the conversations their male counterparts might be having over brunch in another part of town – relaying tales of the woman who sleeps with her shoes on, the cat lady and the plastic surgery addict.

Admittedly, the first two alleged freaks hardly qualify, and highlight the curiously vanilla attitudes of our supposedly enlightened foursome. It seems a little hypocritical for them to tease Charlotte about her reluctance to date Manhattan’s “Mr Pussy” (so-called because of his talent for cunnilingus) in the same breath as Samantha expresses dismay at discovering a date’s penchant for S&M.

However, Carrie’s subsequent trio of dates deserve the circus-themed music played over their scenes. The first is a ruthless money-grabber, the second prone to random bursts of aggression and the third a kleptomaniac.

Which is why when she randomly meets Ben, “an editor at a hip political magazine”, Carrie suspects he’s too good to be true. So what does she do? Regular readers/viewers may recall that our characters have no qualms about breaching the privacy of the men they date, so naturally Carrie turns his apartment upside down while he’s out. Only this time – hurrah! – she gets busted in the act and Ben dumps her on the spot.

While the episode concludes with Carrie admitting everyone is a freak or some sort, including herself, she annoyingly lets herself off the hook for her bad behaviour by calling herself “the frightening woman whose fear ate her sanity” rather than “the empathy-deficient snoop who likes to make excuses for herself”.

Carrie’s column: Are all men freaks?

Fashion: Carrie wastes a series of nice outfits on her trio of dud dates, and a statement print skirt for her meet-cute in the park, but follows that up with two blah, conservative ensembles for her “non-dates”. Not for the first time, it seems as though she’s style-matching herself to a man (in this case, an “editor at a hip political magazine”).

Puns: None, but plenty of snappy one-liners.

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