By Rosalie Tirella
You live in Worcester and are a middle-aged, single woman. You didn’t watch the Sex and the City television show when it ran on cable TV from 1998 to 2004 because 1. you didn’t have cable, 2. you didn’t have a TV and 3. you didn’t believe all that cultural icon hyperbole that had been heaped upon … a freakin’ TV show! You had your own life to live – to hell with Carrie Bradshaw’s!
But when Sex and the City went off the air four years ago, and you read all the accolades written by some very smart people in some very smart magazines and newspapers (hello, New York Times), you figured, what the hell, you’d take a peek and see what all the fuss was about. You now owned (were given) a 20-year-old television set that wasn’t hooked up for cable but was hooked up to a 10-year-old VCR (also a handy-me-down), and you knew the public library had all six seasons of Sex and the City on videocassette. So you borrowed some SATC videos, asking the librarian at the check-out desk (a bit cynically): “Did you watch the show? Is it any good?”
The no-nonsense librarian, the kind who wears sensible, thick-soled shoes, (very un-Carrie-like) replied, “Well, it’s about these four women having sex in the city.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Still, I took home Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha that night and … Va Va Va Vooom!!!!!!! It was love at first sight – forever!
The girls, the city (New York, New York), the sex, the friendship! The razzle, the dazzle! The bazillion and one NYC restaurants, clubs, neighborhoods, theaters, museums, parks, shoe stores, subway stops and sidewalks the scenes were set in (never to be re-filmed in another episode – isn’t New York grand? The city that doesn’t repeat itself!) floored me. The gazillion skirts, dresses, hats, gloves, panties, blouses, sweaters, scarves, bathing suits, stilettos and sling-backs that flitted across the small screen were more than just “wardrobe” – they were characters in their own right. The frank, funny, vulgar sex talk about things like blow jobs was a kind of poetry! Said Samantha in one episode (and I’m paraphrasing here):“You’ve got to consider teeth, gagging … Honey, they don’t call it a job for nothing!”
But the older, sexually voracious Samantha was the Queen of blow jobs because she knew that she could bring men to their knees when she got on hers. And that’s what made Sex and the City so wonderful: the mundane, even messy, was inseparable from – totally caught up in, actually – the magical. From glittery Manhattan, home to the girls (all from some where else, of course), to the scintillating dialogue and startling epiphanies, watching Sex and the City was like reading a great novel, a novel Charles Dickens or Tolstoy would have written if they were around today. A grand novel with a grand backdrop where relationships of all kinds are poignantly and truthfully observed. Sometimes, just like love, watching SATC transported me, made me cry.
Why was BIG – the love of Carrie’s life – so emotionally unavailable to her for most of the six seasons the series ran? Neither BIG (who wasn’t very introspective, but whom we – like all BIG fans – want to think was in touch with his feelings at some level) nor Carrie would be able to give you the answer.
Why did Miranda, the brilliant lawyer, have it “all” only after she chose to hitch her star to the blue-collar bartender Steve – someone who, in one episode, couldn’t afford to buy her more than a gargantuan slice of New York City street pizza during one of their dinner dates?
Watching the girls search for TRUE LOVE each episode was a blast. Though sometimes they just wanted hot sex. And sometimes they just wanted a guy – any guy. “I need a man to lie on top of me!” a lonely, all too human Carrie whines to her gal pals in one episode.
Ladies, we’ve all been there.
And who better to show us “there” than the four lovely lasses of Sex and the City: Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattral, Kristen Davis and, of course, my personal heroine/fave, Sarah Jessica Parker?
For some weird reason, lots of guys loathed Parker.
Like my ex.
“She’s got a horse face,” he said one night, as we were watching the show, snuggling in my bed, as the girls romped through half of New York’s.
“I think she’s beautiful!” I said.
“She’s ugly,” he said. “She looks like a man.”
The ex was a Samantha fan – he said he liked that she was “a slut,” never really getting the fact that Samantha was just as romantic as Carrie – maybe even as romantic as the wide-eyed, sometimes goofy optimist, Charlotte. (If Samantha didn’t share her friends’ values, she couldn’t have stayed friends with them for years and years, right?) Samantha, however, was as freaked out about true intimacy as BIG was. And, let’s be honest, sometimes she was unwilling to do all the work involved in keeping a relationship going.
All of the Worcester reviews about Sex and the City the movie – all of them written by guys – diss the show and the gals. The stupid Worcester male reviewers call my girls superficial, immature and, horror of horrors, guys. Or guys at their most shallow.
For the male Worcester reviewers the new movie could be re-titled: Sex and the Shitty!
They are so wrong! Why? Because they are 1. inexperienced when it comes to women and life (which is why they, to our bad luck, landed writing jobs in Worcester) and 2. afraid of smart, fearless gals like the ones celebrated in Sex and the City.
So, to you, InCity Times readers, especially the women, I say, go out, and rent, borrow or buy the Sex and the City TV series. Watch some episodes and go see the movie (something I plan on doing this weekend). Then go back home and watch the series from beginning to end, starting at season 1, episode 1, when Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte look like they just graduated college. Watch them grow, along with the many penises (though not all – see Charlotte’s first husband, Trey!) that are strewn along their free-way of love. The one that cuts straight through the heart of the City.