As a 90s kid, I was too busy binging Dragon Tales to tune into Sex and the City when it was actually on TV, but thanks to both my parents’ iTunes and my ex boyfriend’s HBO Go, I’ve since made up time lost by watching and re-watching the show so many times that I can literally just say all of the lines with the characters at this point. Am I proud? Honestly, kind of. So in honor of this ridiculous show’s 21st anniversary, I am graciously taking on the responsibility of pointing out the most absurd plotlines of each season of Sex and the City. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
If one of the reasons you love Sex and the City so much is because of its sheer ridiculousness, I’m with you. With that in mind, I’d just like to point out that I am well aware of the many more stupid plotlines than the ones I mention below. I don’t have the energy or word count to list them all, so help a betch out and lmk the ones I missed in the comments. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The most ridiculous plotline of this season is pretty easy. The threesome episode is so f*cking stupid it pains me to even talk about it. Why are all four women absolutely shaken to their cores when they learn that young men enjoy threesomes? Isn’t this supposed to be a show that’s like, pretty progressive when it comes to sex? Don’t they live in New York where people are ~freeing the nipple~ left and right? Why are they all so shocked that their non-eunuch male counterparts are d for group sex? I’m pretty sure I learned that significantly earlier in my life than they did, and even I just kind of shrugged and carried on with my life.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that the most sexually vanilla character had the best reaction to the proposition of a threesome! Charlotte, you go girl! I’m sure it comes as a shock to no one that Miranda obv had the absolute worst reaction. She felt so #lame that all of her friends were having threesome drama, so she literally did the 90s equivalent of posting an ad on Craiglist to get in on the threesome game. Harvard-educated ginger seeking open-minded couples for a ménage à trois, anyone? Like, I’m sorry, but be a little more desperate, Miranda. Just because three of your friends are f*cking ignorant about men and their completely unrealistic threesome fantasies doesn’t mean you have to be! The dumbest part of this whole plot line is that Miranda didn’t even go through with it. Like, she somehow got this couple’s hopes up and then “left to make a phone call” on her giant 90s cell phone and just left them high and, quite literally, dry. SMH, Miranda. This couple prob has some weird ginger revenge fantasy to play out now. Gross.
Anyone remember that episode where Carrie lost her sh*t because she ended up on the cover of The New Yorker looking like Frank Gallagher on a bender? I mean, you’re a writer and you’re on the cover of the f*cking New Yorker, so please explain why you’re complaining. Be grateful, bitch! I can’t even watch that episode anymore because it makes me so mad. To put things in realistic perspective, one time I ended up on the jumbotron at a Knicks game shoveling curly fries into the detachable jaw that I call a mouth, and I made my date (who I never saw again after that night) take a picture so that I could make it my cover photo for a whole two years. Carrie, live a little. She also let this
amazing opportunity for self-promotion unflattering photo keep her from hooking up with one Bradley Cooper! I mean, he has a Porsche, girl. Let him give you a ride. As a struggling writer with an affinity for designer things and no man to pay for said affinity, I would do literally anything to get in/on The New Yorker. Writers are desperate for any notable editors to see their work or know their name in any capacity, so if you somehow land the goddamn cover of a reputable magazine looking like Shrek, you’re f*cking thrilled about it. That’s it.
Charlotte and Trey. Like, is there an opposite hashtag for #couplegoals? I’d rather be single literally forever than end up on one single date with someone like Trey. First of all, he will always be Orson Hodge to me, so there’s that. But, more importantly, he and Charlotte make absolutely no sense as a couple whatsoever. We already know that she has great taste in men because she ends up with my favorite Jew, Harry Goldenblatt, and his role in this show is a true mitzvah if I’ve ever seen one. Someone who could marry Harry would never be interested in the wet mop that is Trey MacDougal. The man says “alrighty!” for f*ck’s sake!
The main reason this is just a ridiculous plotline is because Charlotte admits that she refuses to settle for anyone who isn’t Prince Charming (how progressive of her…), so her engagement to an impotent Muppet is just so stupid, and I refuse to admit this season even happened because of it. Also, how does a Chanel suit-donning queen named Bunny produce such a waste of space? Like, if you look up the definition of “mommy issues” you will find a photo of Trey MacDougal, and there’s no way Charlotte f*cks with a dude who lets his mother chill on the ledge of the tub while he’s bathing in it naked. More importantly, Charlotte and Orson didn’t even date! He paid for dinner a few times then said “alrighty” when she suggested getting married. Yep, sounds like a healthy relationship to me! I can’t even get a guy I’ve been seeing for a month and a f*cking half to hang out with me more than once a week and she’s over here proposing to herself and getting a big-ass Tiffany rock in return. This is not how things happen, y’all. Next!
Ok this is a hard one for me to write because it involves throwing shade at my favorite SATC man, Aidan Shaw. As we know, Carrie and Aidan broke up because he didn’t take her affair with Big very well. Is Mr. Big really that good in bed, or does he just like, live up to his name? I wouldn’t cheat on Aidan for anyone other than Bradley Cooper, but Carrie lets this giant oaf screw up her relationship? I mean, at least she was honest about it, but that’s beside the point. So after he and C called it quits, Aidan gets a serious revenge body/glow-up and Carrie is eating that sh*t up. I mean, same. Blah, blah, blah then they get back together. Like, I’m sorry, but he once threatened to break up with her because she had a f*cking cigarette during dessert. Remember that? Let me get this straight: he can forgive her full-fledged affair with an old flame who she ends up marrying (and then cheating on with Aidan, no less), but he draws the line at Marlboro Lights? Someone please explain this. Anyone? Bueller? Honestly, I am pro-second chances, so I would definitely give her another shot, too. But for someone who wouldn’t bang her after a week and a half of dating because he didn’t want to rush things with someone he really liked, he proposed to her pretty damn quickly after getting back together! Look, I love Aidan. Aidan is goals. I want to marry Aidan and have little woodworking babies with him, but he’s giving us really mixed signals and I am not about it. Make up your mind, bruh.
Charlotte’s 36th-birthday-induced downward spiral was really confusing. She is like, hardcore trying to find The One, which isn’t surprising since she’s been playing the game since she was 15. But for some unexplained reason, the day she turns 36 is when she puts half of her thoughts and prayers toward finding her husband, and the other half into completely giving up. By that, I mean she attends inspirational love seminars right before she seriously takes up knitting. You can’t claim you want to get married and be an avid knitter. You just can’t. Sorry to all the knitters out there, but knitting is literally the most boring activity I’ve ever done, so I’m def not trying to fill the sexless void with handmade scarves.
Anyway, Charlotte is quietly having an emotional breakdown about not having a boyfriend, which is confusing because she’s meeting a LOT of men in this season! The only time she looks pretty pathetic because she’s literally flying solo is en route to Atlantic City, when she’s third-wheeling Samantha and Richard f*cking on a private plane. Charlotte admits that she’s pretty, smart, and cultured, so her breakdown seems kind of random, especially because there is only one episode during this season where she isn’t dating someone. If I had that many men in my life, I would def not be complaining about being lonesome, honey. Also like, why 36?
Carrie moving to Paris. Look, I get it. By the last season, Sex and the City was making so much money that they could have set up camp and starting filming on Mars. But, like, this whole plotline was so, so ridiculous that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. The only thing that made sense was when Big showed up and was basically just like, “wtf are you doing here? Can we leave?” And then they left. I wouldn’t move to Paris with my f*cking husband, but Carrie is out here dating a former Studio 54 regular who she’s been with for approximately two months. Quoi??? The fact that absolutely all of her friends, who she relies on for literally everything, were against this incredibly bold/stupid move should have been enough for her to not relocate her life in her late 30s for a man and a city she barely knows. But no, Carrie decides that now is the time to flee her very #blessed life in New York to walk the streets of Paris with a stranger. Don’t get me wrong, I lived for the two Paris episodes, but I will never get behind the writers’ choice to bring the ultimate New Yorker to a city where her disgusting attempt at a French accent would def not be taken lightly by the Parisians. Watching her eat sh*t in Dior, though, def made up for it!
If you’re a tried and true Sex and the City fan, you prob noticed Samantha barely appeared in this article. Samantha’s character was pretty on point throughout the entire show. She knew who she was and she did what/whom she wanted. The only thing she ever did that made me f*cking mad was in the series finale, when Smith flew all the way back to New York to surprise her with a succulent and she wouldn’t even say she loves him in response to him saying he loves her. What a heartless wench! Like, it’s the last episode of the most epic show, Sam. Tell the boy you love him.
Images: HBO; Giphy (6)
The legacy of Sex and the City has been debated hotly and often since its debut. As an avid fan—like, own-a-SATC-branded-tote-bag avid—I’ve faced a wide range of reactions. More often than not, I’m made to feel I should be embarrassed, if not apologetic. It makes sense—SATC haters see, at best, a grating six-year chick flick. At worst, they see a cesspool of materialistic internalized misogyny. And while I see (and cringe at) those aspects, I also see an exploration of women’s problems that no one else was putting on TV. I see a defense of the right to care deeply about things men laugh at, or dismiss. So, is Sex and the City sexist? In the interest of deciding once and for all whether I’m going to apologize for my love of SATC, I’ve compiled a list of the show’s best and worst moments, sexism-wise. Let’s dive in.
Best: Crying At Work
There’s a hilarious scene after Samantha is called “emotional” at work. That’s code, she explains, for “I don’t want to hire this woman.” Charlotte is still haunted from the one time she cried 10 years ago. Miranda has cried, but only in the privacy of her office. Samantha has never cried; Carrie faked crying to get out of a deadline. The girls inform her, with annoyance but no real anger, that she’s making all of them look bad.
This is where SATC shines—it presents the expectations women are faced with, and explores their options. There’s a huge power just in naming this dynamic they’ve all faced, and even more in not laying down a judgment on how they handle it. Even Carrie, who gets the most heat for playing to men’s expectations, is gleefully frank in her reasoning: “Boo hoo, it was 80 degrees and sunny.” I fully respect that, and I equally respect Miranda fleeing to her office. They’re just doing what they can to live their best lives.
Worst: Working At Work
The depiction of the women’s careers—other than Miranda’s—I find troubling for a few reasons. Both Samantha and Charlotte frequently sleep with people they should be treating as clients, muddling the success they’re then seen to enjoy with their desirability for men. Carrie by definition is sexualized in her work—and tops it off with a level of incompetence (that girl needs several months of computer classes) that brings any professional success into serious question. If three out of four successful women have their careers depend on men finding them sexy, and every single one of those instances is met with reciprocated desire instead of discomfort, that’s a problem for me.
Best: Trey’s (Literal) Impotence
Trey is both Charlotte’s downfall and her saving grace. At first, he’s everything terrible that she wants—he’s the white knight of all her worst Victorian daydreams. But once the wedding’s over, it’s immediately hollow. They don’t have sex. He refuses to discuss it. If she wants sex or openness in their marriage, she’s on her own. And, as women do in a crisis, she handles it like a boss. Charlotte, a woman who has never willingly looked at her own vagina, becomes an overnight expert on the physical and emotional triggers for ED. She handles it with more comfort than her literal doctor of a husband. And eventually, she leaves him, giving up the option of continuing in a picture-perfect marriage. Charlotte realizes she needs an equal partner who will fight as hard as she does, even if it isn’t easy. This is a lovely moment because Charlotte is almost strong in spite of herself. You can feel how badly she wants it to work.
Worst: Big’s (Figurative) Impotence
Speaking of women being strong, let’s discuss Carrie’s kryptonite: Mr. Big. (I’m totally Team Big over Team Aidan, no one from either camp @ me.) But Jesus Christ. It’s oft repeated in the show and in subsequent interviews, like this one from Chris Noth, that Mr. Big is “honest.” He’s honest that he doesn’t want a serious relationship, that he can’t commit. You probably recognize this line from every college fuckboy, because 22 is the suggested age cap on accepting this bullshit.
The thing his, Carrie is honest too. She might not be as on-the-nose about it as Big, but that’s because admitting you like someone and want to be with them is a lot scarier than saying you don’t want those things. It’s evident to anyone with half a brain that Carrie wants a relationship, that she loves him. And yet, the storyline here is largely of Carrie being dumb for letting a guy repeatedly ruin her life. Why is everyone on this show, Carrie included, forced to act as though Big was incapable of leaving her the fuck alone?
Carrie: Just let me be happy.
Best: Anal Sex
The scene where the girls discuss anal sex in the back of a cab is among the show’s most iconic. In under five minutes, they lay out all the considerations a woman must make before engaging in sexual activity. Yes, desire is on that list, but as women, it’s never the only thing we have to consider. There’s the shift in power. The longstanding effect to your reputation. Whether the request contained adequate regard for your comfort and enjoyment. What it would mean if you said no. As with the discussion of crying at work, the options are laid out, not judged. What for a man amounts to “do you want to” is revealed in all its complicated, messy glory for women. Watch it just to see Carrie deliver this line: “Sir, we’re talking up the butt. I think a cigarette is in order.”
*Carrie during this conversation:*
Worst: Gay Sex
I have neither time nor energy to delve into SATC’s overall BAD treatment of gay people. To stick to specifically sexist moments, let’s all admit that Samantha’s brief lesbian relationship was more than a little embarrassing. It was a dull, insulting imagining of how men picture lesbian relationships. Samantha leaves her girlfriend because “too much talking” and because she can’t live without a healthy amount of dick in her life. I’m not saying every minute aspect of this was unrealistic, but it was the most uninteresting scenario possible. It affirms absolutely nothing beyond dull tropes like “women are all talk and no sex” and “dick cures all.” No, and definitely not.
The only acceptable type of Samantha breakup:
While SATC covers “small dramas”—dating, friendships, shopping—I refuse to call those issues petty in a negative sense. I care deeply about all of those things, and I love that SATC offers a defense of being “petty,” of caring about things deemed too “small” in the face of Important Manly Tasks. Men scoff at so many so-called “feminine” things because they have the option of doing so. (If men faced the same judgment for going makeup-free, for example, they’d all be up at 6am with contour kits.) Sex and the City, in my opinion, is a portrayal of what it’s like to simultaneously live within and struggle against society’s expectations. It’s not perfect, but it’s not stupid or negligible either. Is Sex and the City sexist? Sometimes. But among so many other deeply sexist TV shows of the 90s, I’d argue it’s a better choice than most.
Let’s be honest, back in the day Sex And The City taught us everything we ever needed to know about girl friends, boyfriends, cosmos and being absolutely ridiculous. It was simultaneously the most educational and unrealistic show of the 2000’s—so today we’re paying homage to our absurd spirit sister, Carrie Bradshaw and her BFFs.
Okay, been there.
Can you say eating disorder?
Okay this one’s fine.
How do you have any female friends?
Get it, because they don’t serve Cosmopolitans at drive thrus!
That’s like, mildly offensive.
You could try Sears.
You have problems.
Please kill yourselves.
Nipples, so hot right now.
This might be the dumbest thing anyone’s ever said out loud, ever.
This is not a good comeback.
Deep thoughts by Carrie.
How does Samantha not have like, 1 million STDs?
LOL, Charlotte, LOL.
No. Definitely Not.
You sound like a catch!
Definitely not true, idiot.
Keep running, Carrie, wild and free.
There’s nothing I love more than a holiday that encourages you to get shitfaced off green beer as an excuse to celebrate a part of your heritage that represents 2% of your genetic makeup. Seriously. I’m sure my great-great grandfather’s step-sister’s,cousin’s child who actually fucking lived in Ireland would be v proud of me for making out with that ginger in a dingy LES bar.
And the only way I feel I can properly show that love is to rank people who are 100% redheaded and most definitely not 100% Irish for my own amusement. Side note: in the midst of
chugging Guinness researching this piece I googled “popular redheads” and a number of porn sites came up. If that is not an indicator of how this article turned out then I don’t know what is. Anyway, here’s a list of our favorite redheads ranked in honor of St. Pat:
10. Ron Weasley
First of all, you’re poor. And not in the cute hipster/starving artist way that makes me want to pay all of your bills and fund your recreational cocaine problem, but rather in the I’m-going-to-complain-about-this-for-seven-fucking-books way while wearing an ugly fucking sweater. Secondly, not only did it take you seven years to grow some balls and actually help fight Lord Voldemort instead of gulping at spiders or whatever other spineless shit you were doing while your best friend was actually fighting wars, but it also took you that long to ask the DIME PIECE that is Hermione Granger out on a date. DO YOU HAVE EYES, RON?? This girl, for reasons that escape me, actually wants your dick and you’re like nah, could be more beautiful, smart, fantastic feminist fish in the sea. *Whispers “you fucking idiot”*
Also you had an ex-girlfriend named Lavender and that really just speaks volumes about you. Minus 1,000 points for Gryffindor.
9. Donna Pinciotti
Donna is one of those girls that’s always saying shit like “I’m just more of a guy’s girl” and “girls don’t really like me.” Yeah, like your man hands and deep voice didn’t have anything to do with that. To make matters worse, you had a Kelso in your clutches and yet you still chose scrawny-ass Eric Foreman. But you did manage to snag Jackie Burkhart as a bestie so that saves you from last place. Barely.
8. Ed Sheeran
I know, I know. I’m probably going to catch shit for this one since people seem to be fucking obsessed with this guy, but how can you expect me to take someone who looks like this seriously? HOW.
Does he not look like the emo kid you sat next to in your 8th grade social studies class who was always writing poems in a dirty notebook about how popular girls didn’t like him? Seriously, every time I look at this guy it’s like a fucking time warp back to middle school. You’re a GROWN man wearing a cloth necklace and the same zip-up sweatshirt every fucking day. If it weren’t for the fact that “Kiss Me” will be the song I play
when hell freezes over on my wedding day then you’d be right up there with Ron Weasley, buddy.
7. Lindsay Lohan
Sorry LiLo, you would be higher on the list but you’ve pulled so many batshit stunts over the years (re: that time she got an accent or that time she chopped off her thumb to stay relevant) that I barely remember you’re a redhead. Seventh place for you.
6. Miranda Hobbes
Aka the member of Carrie Bradshaw’s posse that’s having the least amount of sex in the city. Don’t you feel like she’s the kind of person who sets fires to feel joy? That spikey/lesbian/mom haircut that plagued you through the entire series is keeping you from moving up the list, but you did have some fire one-liners so at least you have that going for you.
5. Emma Stone
So I know she won an Oscar and, like, fucks Ryan Gosling in every movie she’s ever been in so that counts for something. I guess. But she’s also about as exciting as that basic AF dress she wore to the Oscars. You may be an Oscar winner to the world but your only mid-list here, Stone.
4. Sansa Stark
Way to turn getting fucked over my your boyfriend/king/betrothed into one hell of a second act. Sansa went from the most annoying character on GoT to one of the most badass all while having fantastic AF skin. #Goals.
3. The Entire Cast of Riverdale
When I first started watching this show I thought maybe the wine I was drinking that had been sitting on my bar cart for six months had finally expired or something because every fucking character on the show was a ginger. And HOT gingers. It’s like the laws of physics ceased to exist on my screen. First of all, Archie is just the gift that keeps on giving. He’s an athlete, singer/song writer, and he’s constantly flashing his six pack abs. Seriously, this boy is hot AF and I would def risk jail time in order to hit that à la Ms. Grundy.
Then there’s Cheryl Blossom aka the person I want to be when I grow up. She’s like a redheaded Regina George and her one-liners are the reason I get up in the mornings. I’ll even overlook the low-key incest vibes happening between her and her brother because she is that hot.
2. Ginger Spice
Ginger makes it on the list because A) she’s a Spice Girl so fucking duh she’s making the list and B) she’s BFFs with my favorite Spice Girl, Baby, and that counts for something. “Surround yourself with people who are a stepping stone to the people you actually want to be friends with”—a direct quote from my mother. Aside from being the Token Ginger, her signature look was anything that showed her cleavage. And like, same girl. Thank you for teaching me the important lesson of using a deep V shirt to get ahead. It served me well during my college years… and all my other years on this earth.
1. Prince Harry
ALL HAIL THE KING. Prince Harry is hands down the best redhead to ever grace this planet and I will fight you if you disagree. Not only is he a prince and like v rich and gorgeous but he’s also the prince who isn’t losing his hair rn and can coincidentally fuck marry a commoner like me. Cheers.