Season 2, Episode 14: The Fuck Buddy

“It’s all about multi-tasking – none of us can afford to fall into this ‘one man at a time’ pattern” – Samantha

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It’s interesting to hear the women talk about juggling more than one man in the era before Tindr, Whatsapp and the rest.

Carrie has an old-school approach: she simply calls up her “Dial-a-dick” and he comes trotting over. It’s all very convenient, but predictably when she tries to date the guy – who you may recognise as Liz Lemon’s terrible on/off boyfriend Dennis in 30 Rock – they turn out to be a terrible match. She wants to exchange witty banter and muse about literature and history, but he’s all about phone bills and tits. If he had a dating profile it would involve a topless selfie and he’d open with “how’s u?”

The main theme of the episode is getting stuck in a relationship pattern that never works out. After hearing some home truths about her dating history – which involves being asked out by a perfect-seeming guy then building unrealistic expectations – Charlotte decides to branch out and ask a guy out for the very first time. And then a whole load more guys. It’s fast work. Of course is goes pear-shaped pretty quickly when she tries to juggle two in one night.

Miranda’s pattern apparently involves dating unpleasant bossy men, which doesn’t really ring true to me. It doesn’t matter how good the sex is – I don’t believe it would ever get to that stage to begin with.

picnic cropCarrie’s column: Are we all in fact just dating the same person over and over again?

Fashion: Miranda really plumbs new depths during a picnic scene in this episode but Carrie gives her a run for her money in some kind of German barmaid ensemble topped with a loud poncho.

Puns: None, and generally a bit of a damp squib of an episode all round.

Note: I accidentally switched to French mode on the menu screen – the title of this episode was “l’Homme Objet”. Interesting

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Season 2, Episode 13: Games People Play

“Therapy is just so self-indulgent – ancient man didn’t need shrinks to survive” – Carrie

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Jon Bon Jovi is in this one! Swoon!

I had almost completely forgotten this episode. The only aspect that really rang a bell was Miranda’s terrible outfits. Why do so many of her skirts billow? Her therapist should maybe try exploring this.

Carrie and Big may be over but that doesn’t mean she’s moving on. No, instead she’s taking her self-absorption to a whole new level by talking literally non-stop about him, rather than just steering every conversation around to him like before.

The others have had enough of it, so they forcefully nudge her towards a psychiatrist just to shut her up, and it’s there that she meets Josh (Jon Bon), a fellow patient and owner of a dazzling smile several kilowatts brighter than anything Mr Big had to offer.

The episode’s theme – game-playing in relationships – has a lot of potential, but it doesn’t really relate to what’s going on with any of the characters (hence the need for some vox pops, which haven’t been deployed in ages). Perhaps there’ll be another episode later on that explores “The Rules” in more depth.

Ultimately, Josh’s smile turns into a frown and Carrie is forced to accept that she has a habit of picking the wrong men. Although really, couldn’t that be said of any singleton? If they’d picked Mr or Ms Right, they wouldn’t still be single.

Carrie’s column: Do you have to play games to make a relationship work?

Fashion: Carrie wears a couple of nice dresses, but her outfit for her date with Josh is beyond ridiculous, and a particularly provocative choice for someone who picked up a guy in a psychiatrist’s waiting room. I’m always a fan of a shorts-and-heels combo, but add a clashing-coloured bikini top and things go quickly downhill.

Puns: She still hasn’t got her mojo back.

Season 2, Episode 12: La Douleur Exquise!

“Did I ever really love Big, or was I addicted to the pain?” – Carrie

Carrie-SATC-beretThe only thing that infuriates Carrie more than Big being selfish is him being upfront and fair. In the last episode he was squeamish about having her pants in his drawer. By this one she’s inviting herself to live with him on another continent.

She discovers quite accidentally that he might be moving to Paris for work, and that she’s simply not a factor in his decision-making. The latter shouldn’t really come as a surprise but I do have some sympathy for her, even after she drunk-calls him at 5.30am to rage about it.

The fetish theme of the episode is a nice way of exploring Carrie’s masochistic approach to relationships, and light if fairly gross relief is provided by Miranda dating Will Arnett’s sexual exhibitionist and Charlotte prostituting herself to a foot fetishist for a series of fugly sandals.

There’s also a very cute side story in which Stanford gets sucked in (ahem) to the world of cybersex after enhancing his credentials somewhat. We’ve already seen him be cruelly stood up after a placing a personal ad, and this time he makes himself even more vulnerable by stripping to his pants, but – hooray! – there’s a happy ending.

Carrie’s column: When it comes to relationships, how do you know when enough is enough?

Fashion: Carrie does loungewear in style with a baby pink and baby blue combo and Cosmopolitan in her hand. She also showcases some nice nighties, but her ever-present fag gets worryingly close to them.

Puns: I’m really hoping the death of Carrie and Big (for now) will give her fresh focus on her true calling, which is to elicit groans of a non-sexual nature.

Season 2, Episode 11: Evolution

“I can’t decide whether you represent our future, or our demise” – Carrie, to Samantha

EvolutionIt’s really interesting to hear the women discuss their fertility in this episode, not just in terms of foreshadowing the baby-making trials that are to follow much later in the series, but also because concepts such as egg-freezing must have seemed pretty far-fetched to the original audience.

Miranda is only 33 in this episode. Cripes!

Samantha has cause to reflect on her evolution from needy to liberated when Lex Luthor, the only man to ever break her heart, worms his way back in to her life. It doesn’t end well. She is only human, after all. It’s notable that in this episode Carrie describes her as having “the ego of a man trapped in the body of a woman” – crucially different from the suggestion many have made that the character is simply a gay man played by a female actress.

Meanwhile, Charlotte dates a fabulous friend who she’d previously assumed was gay but is actually just highly evolved, and as usual it goes really well until a deal-breaking incident (in this instance it’s a flouncy freakout over a mouse in the kitchen).

Carrie’s current preoccupation is the fact that she’s been gadding about New York like a hoor for months on end due to Mr Big having never offered her anywhere to store spare pants. Should she stake out her territory, or remain a creature of mystery? The conversation culminates in the women literally talking shit.

S&TC string vestCarrie’s column: Are New Yorkers evolving past relationships?

Fashion: Samantha looks stunning on her “revenge plan” date. Carrie “evolves” her look and it involves a string vest. Charlotte wears an ill-advised hair-handkerchief.

Puns: Miranda has some nice witty lines, but it’s a pun-free zone.