5.20.2010


So, of course this Jaunty Bird is excited down to her pinfeathers about the new Sex and the City sequel coming out. I watched the first movie again for no other reason than I could, because it's like eating a giant cheesecake in one sitting. In my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, I couldn't help but wonder, shouldn't I feel a bit guilty for loving a show that celebrates so many bad habits? It eschews some of the worst sins of consumer label-lust and it parades unrealistic lifestyle goals under the sheep's clothing of "girl power," and yet I've loved it from series to screen with unwavering devotion. I still watch the neutered reruns when they're on late at night with commercials that cut nearly half the show. What the hell is wrong with me? I think it comes down to the inner-beauty of fictionalized character Carrie Bradshaw's trainwreck of a life, and how they've never been afraid of putting this character through hell as a reminder that, yes, life is hard, but one must keep calm and Carrie on.

Granted, the first movie presented Carrie-B with an impossibly perfect fairy tale wedding, but thankfully made it go awry with Hindenburg flourish. Movie adaptations tend to do a reductive number on television series, but they got their painful jabs in, when a jilted Carrie confronts her sheepish would-be groom in the one-way street, pummelling Mr. Big with her wedding bouquet, and then the wordless scene of Carrie removing her sunglasses to reveal a face bearing the wreckage of nonstop tears and sleepless nights. Ouch. But I think some of the best scenes from SATC were in the series, when Carrie has a humiliating trip on the catwalk, becoming "runway roadkill," or is photographed looking like a hot mess poster girl for the urban myth of the self destrutive single life. Even the quiet humiliation of being shown up at a book signing event by a dog, where more people are interested in seeing the fuzzy, dumb-looking star of popular children's books than hearing her give a reading.

It's the little victories in life that are the most poignant, and I think the series really showed its skill in finding those. The ability to pull oneself up after a clumsy fall and just shake it off because, what else are you going to do? Or sitting alone, without the armor of a book or a computer to hide the fact that one is dining for one, and learning to be comfortable with that. These seem like inconsequential things, but they're the everyday battles everyone has to face at least once in their life, and even if it's through the eyes of a fictional character, it's a great comfort to know that no one is alone in these daily pitfalls and concerns.

In the back of my mind, I fear the clothes, shoes and designer labels may threaten to bury the legacy of SATC's well-crafted stories, but those nuanced moments are the reasons why I'll always keep a place in my heart for these fractured little characters. I didn't love seeing Carrie make so many bad choices, so much as feel inspired by her hope, and her ability to dust herself off after every fall and keep moving forward in those impossible heels.

Jaunty Fine Print: photos from HBO/Sex and the City episode guide

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3 comments:

  1. I'm so happy to read this post because it says everything that I feel about this series. There are so many great insights to be appreciated (even Mr. Terrace agrees- although he may never admit it...) I can't wait to see the second movie this summer!

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  2. Great post! I'm so excited too!

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  3. I loved this post, you brought up a really wonderful point about looking at Carrie B as more than just a style icon.

    I can't wait for the premiere!
    Cheers!

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