Season 2, Episode 8: The Man, The Myth, The Viagra

“You blew me off for a piece of politically incorrect meat?” – Miranda, to Carrie

man mythI’D been warned I would really like Steve the second time around. In my memory he was whiny and annoying with a major chip on his shoulder – but I sure do love him in this episode.

He and Miranda only meet because Carrie has once again mucked about her friends in favour of hanging out with Big. This behaviour is bad enough in modern times – when people can bail out with a text – but unforgivable when it involves leaving a cancellation message on someone’s home answering machine and hoping for the best.

But back to Steve. Miranda is feeling so cynical about everything that she refuses to believe he’s sincere about wanting to date her after their one-night stand. She’s back to being the mean, rude character we met in season one.

The theme of the episode is the Urban Relationship Myth – the too-good-to-be-true happy ending that inspires women to keep dating through thick and thin. Samantha reckons she might have struck gold – literally – when a pensioner takes a shine to her, and Carrie decides there’s been a shift in her relationship when Big calls her his girlfriend (oh, the privilege!) and serenades her in a restaurant (surprisingly well). It’s a shame her cell phone doesn’t start ringing while he’s crooning.

I love how the writer introduces the concept of the iconic romantic scene in the rain then has Big use the gloomy weather forecast as an excuse to cancel plans (further evidence that he and Carrie are two peas in a pod – I’ve always said they deserve each other). Only the hardest heart could resist the final scene where the penny drops for Miranda and she realises that sometimes the stars – and rain clouds – really do align.

Steve will get crap soon though. Just wait.

Carrie’s column: Are we willing to believe anything to date?

Fashion: Samantha wears a knock-out gold dress for her geriatric date, but should know better than to sit with her sandals up on the furniture and later lets herself down with an ill-fitting, pink blancmange version of Monroe’s Seven Year Itch dress. Carrie’s new metallic “very favourite dress” is awful, clinging in all the wrong places and disappearing up her bum. Also unattractive: Carrie and Big’s chain-smoking as they cook dinner. Yuk.

Puns: Nope. Too much cynicism in this episode for jokes.

Season 2, Episode 7: The Chicken Dance

The_Chicken_Dance2“I don’t understand why women are so obsessed with getting married. I mean married people just want to be single again” – Samantha

I’M not quite sure what the title of this episode means, but it’s a neat single-narrative affair in which a male friend of Miranda’s has a thunderbolt, love-at-first-sight moment after being introduced to her interior designer.

As emphasised previously, I’m no wedding expert, but I do know this: you should not wear a nude dress split to the crotch to anyone’s wedding. Not even if you’re reading a poem.

Miranda’s chums become engaged within a week, much to her disgust and seething envy, and the wedding serves to emphasise Miranda’s feelings of invisibility as well as the rubbishness of Carrie and Big’s relationship (he demands a +1 invite after being amused to learn she’ll be reading some self-penned words about love, only to piss off mid-stanza).

Bridesmaid Charlotte hopes lightning will strike twice after being paired with a handsome best man, but there’s a cruel twist in the tail, as there so often is for poor Charlotte. This time the problem is the wandering hands of her beau’s father. Her continued optimism in the face of constant defeat really is quite inspiring sometimes.

Carrie’s column: In a city as cynical as New York, is it still possible to believe in love at first sight?

Fashion:
Miranda might have had a chance to hook up with her pal, pre-thunderbolt, if only she hadn’t opted to team a grey silk blouse with weirdly billowing powder blue pantaloons when seeing him for the first time in ages. The women mostly look terrible at the impromptu engagement party, in a host of unflattering cuts and in Samantha’s case a bonkers jacket covered in fluffy tassels. In culinary fashion faux pas, I’m sure I spotted Carr’s water biscuits being served out of the packet.

Puns: None, just poetry.

Season 2, Episode 6: The Cheating Curve

“Men cheat for the same reason that dogs lick their balls – because they can. It’s part of their biology” – Samantha

cheating curveIT’S been a long time coming, but in this episode it finally dawns on Carrie that adopting a classic “dicks before chicks” approach by sneaking off from her pals to see Big is really not on.

Was reviving the relationship a stupid idea? Yes, and she knows it. Are her friends entitled to be infuriated? Yes – both because they don’t want to see her hurt and because they know that brunch is going to be hijacked for months by Carrie going over the same old ground.

It would have been nice to see some more reflection on why she has succumbed to Big’s dubious charms at this point – she admits “Sure, I knew it was wrong, seeing an emotionally unavailable man I had sworn off months earlier” – given that basically nothing has changed since the first time around.

Instead we have the meaty matter of cheating to discuss – sort of. Charlotte’s dismayed when she catches the man she’s seeing kissing another woman *while he’s on a date with Charlotte*, Miranda’s having to compete for  her boyfriend’s attention with the porn films he insists on watching in bed, and Samantha dates a personal trainer who trims her lady garden – and a few other ladies’ gardens – into a lightning bolt.

The approach to these three hot topics – exclusivity, porn addition and pubic styling – is decidedly quaint, given the episode was made pre-Tinder, when regular Brazilians were not the norm (even for women like Samantha, who observes “it’s a very neglected area”), and when porn collections were stored on VHS videos. It’s worth noting the cultural shift between this episode and the first Sex and the City film, in which Miranda’s neglect of her area inspires some downright nasty ridicule from her wax-happy peers.

Scunnered with men, Charlotte is delighted to be welcomed into a lesbian social circle –only to be turfed out when she admits she isn’t gay. It seems the misunderstanding can be traced back to her wearing a distinctly unflattering pair of Prada loafers. I’m not sure what any of this has to do with cheating.

Carrie’s column: In a gravity-free world of anything goes, what constitutes cheating?

Fashion: I was distracted by the reflective glare on the fashionable eyewear sported by Charlotte’s new friends. Clearly there are no branches of Specsavers in Manhattan. Mr Big looks ridiculous in a black turtleneck while boaking at Carrie’s fondue.

Puns: None. I feel cheated.