Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Deconstructing Carrie

Tonight was the last episode of Sex and the City (on TBS, so minus nudity and the f-word). It reminded me of the experience I had last year of checking entire seasons out from the library so that I could watch episode after episode until I staggered out, bleary-eyed, into the kitchen to get more Diet Coke and go back for another. It was very much what I imagine an addiction to be like. Also sort of like falling in love.

Anyhow, the last season hadn’t yet come out on DVD when I was in the midst of this drunk (although we had free HBO, miraculously, just for the final episode). These last few weeks on TBS have therefore been on the one hand heavenly, and on the other hand, somewhat more distanced from, and therefore different than, my overwhelming infatuation. On the one hand, I kept this appointment with the girls religiously, itched with irritation if the phone rang, could fly into an impatient fit/rage at interruptions from my children (bad, bad mother!). On the other hand, since I wasn’t flinging myself headlong into a lost weekend kind of a deal, I took a sort of cooler view of the whole enterprise—these women, their lovers, their exhilarations and disappointments, their shoes.

My question—and, I think, a subtext of the last season—is, is Carrie a woman or a child? Woman: she begins to embrace her mortality, and think more carefully about her connections in that light. Child: she speaks in that breathy, girlish voice when in full flirtation mode. Woman: stands up for her decisions, vacillates less, is less vapid in general. Child: can’t understand how an artist opening a museum show might be preoccupied with that project—and thus can’t spend the days holding hands with her in Paris. I loved Carrie in her Paris dresses, but kept thinking, come on, grow up!

I ended up loving Miranda the most—the least fantasy-based character. But I confess that I was glad to see Big back in the picture, big worldly man who comes around just enough to confess love. Best happy ending. And I’m in a position to report that it’s a happy ending that stands up to re-viewing.

1 comment:

Dr. Write said...

Oh Carrie! We love her, we love her, we don't exactly hate her, but...I don't think I ever got over Carrie's break up with Adian (however you spell it). I mean, come on, he makes furniture and he's dreamy, what more do you want? Oh yeah, someone to bankroll your shoe habit. Yes, Carrie is every gay man's fantasy of a straight woman: fabulous shoes, fabulous hair, has sex like man ("great sex. don't call me."), and, because she has committment issues, she'll never hook up with just one man, thereby leaving her available to be a lifelong fag hag. You know what I mean.
She is a teenage girl. No, maybe a 25-year-old girl who never settled down, never had to grow up. She's living in the moment and the moment is so fabulous that she can't think about the future. I also favored Miranda as the most realistic (she finally chooses Steve, thank god!) and, frankly, the most fun (I love her sarcasm). Carrie, in some ways, is the woman we want to be: self-centered, beautiful, with great shoes. I mean, I could wear those great shoes (and walk around Manhattan. Right!) if I only weighed 100 pounds too. And if I had the money. See? Carrie hardly ever worried about money, she got to have lots of sex and fancy drinks and great outfits. The rest of us? We have to remember to feed our children and cannot, therefor, buy shoes that could feed them for a week. Who are we kidding? Two weeks.

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