Season 3, episode 13: Escape from New York

“My husband can’t be impotent – he’s gorgeous!” – Charlotte

sex-ny-mmFair play to Carrie, for once – she’s been dumped by Aidan but generously allows Charlotte’s sex-free honeymoon to be top of the pair’s brunch agenda after they exchange their latest bad news. “So, shall we get more coffee, or shall we get two guns and kills ourselves?” she quips first.

There’s not much time to commiserate, however, as Carrie and the other two are off to LA for a holiday she’s manged to blag because someone wants to make a movie based on her columns. Which is ironic, given that the second Sex and the City movie revolves around a blagged holiday.

If you’d asked me what I remembered happening in Carrie’s meeting with Matthew McConaughey I’d have said he propositioned her and she walked out, but I remembered it wrong. Yes, he does tell her he wants to sleep with her, but when he says it he at least appears to be channeling Mr Big – the role he fancies in Sex and the City: The Movie. Carrie doesn’t ditch the follow-up meeting because he’s sleazy, but because his idea of script development involves barking “What the fuck is Carrie’s problem?” as if unaware that she – Carrie – is a real person and not a character.

Little else of note happens in the episode. Miranda has a liberating moment on a bucking bronco, Samantha sleeps with a dildo-model-slash-poet, and Charlotte establishes (albeit not very scientifically) that Trey is capable of getting it up (hooray!), just not with her (ouch).

Two things really date this episode – the naff silky nighties and the fact that Charlotte’s wedding photos are physical prints.

Carrie’s column: Can you ever really escape your past?

Fashion: Samantha’s blue LA outfit is very Samantha and very silly. Carrie’s red get-up effectively communicates the message “I need to be single for a while”. But Samantha redeems herself by wearing a nice blouse to her dildo-distribution brunch.

Puns: None as such, but a lot of sniggering about dildos.

 

Season 3, episode 12: Don’t ask, don’t tell

“Marriage doesn’t guarantee a happy ending – just an ending” – Samantha

sex wedding.jpgJeez, these women are right cows when it comes to weddings. The trio have all agreed to be Charlotte’s bridesmaids but each one seems to view this as an enormous favour – and each proceeds to give her a different pre-wedding headache.

First there’s Samantha, bitching and moaning about her dress until Charlotte points out she was only included so she didn’t feel left out. She of course proceeds to sleep with the best man, because god forbid she spends even one night in bed with a good book in the interest of reducing the risk of awkwardness at the reception.

Then there’s Miranda, who resorts to speed-dating (or multi-dating, as the show calls it) in order to find a date for the big day. Um… what? In what culture is it cool to bring a complete stranger to a close friend’s wedding? No-one there is going to notice or care that you don’t have a date, because this isn’t about you.

Then of course there’s Carrie, one-upping the rest by choosing the morning of the wedding to tell Aidan she repeatedly cheated on him with Big. She seems to think she deserves some such of prize for honesty, rather than to be instantly dumped.

“Maybe the whole idea is overrated”, she’d pondered earlier on. “Maybe coming clean is the ultimate selfish act, a way to absolve yourself.” Yes, or a way to make your friend’s wedding day all about yourself and spoil the photos with your puffy eyes.

Of course, the day is already marred by Charlotte’s startling discovery that Trey has bedroom performance issues.Not to worry, says Trey: “Sex is such a small part of it for us … that’s what I love about you.” Oh dear. Samantha was right; you really shouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first. But Carrie has the right approach when Charlotte drops this bombshell moments before the big “I Do”. She decides honesty isn’t the best policy, and provides a reassuring explanation involving a poorly-timed wank.

There’s been barely a nod to Trey’s Scottish roots up until now, yet suddenly he’s wearing a kilt and Charlotte’s walking down the aisle to Scotland the Brave. I’m not convinced our Char would have gone along with this, given how much thought she’s been giving to her wedding day for the past three decades or so (I believe this episode provides the first confirmation of their ages – the core trio are all 34 at this point). Her dad’s there, but reduced to the role of an extra, in keeping with the show’s erasure of familial ties and focus on opt-in friendships.

There’s another poignant ending as a heartbroken Aidan slopes off and Carrie joins the others as her voiceover concludes: “It’s hard to find people who will love you no matter what. I was lucky enough to find three of them”. Sniff!

Carrie’s column: In a relationship, is honesty really the best policy?

Fashion: The champagne bridesmaids dresses aren’t brilliant, but they’re a lot nicer than the pantomime efforts Carrie chooses for her disastrous non-wedding a few years later.

Puns: “Charlotte had something old, something new, something borrowed, and someone Samantha blew.”