What a shame. After their dismal fifth season, all four ladies (and the writers putting the words in their mouths) of Sex and the City got their groove back in season six, which would turn out to be the show’s last. The good news was that the series went out on a creative high note. The bad news was that none of the fans were ready to say goodbye.
But, luckily, that’s why we’re here. Four years later, realizing that when it came to Sex, the fans were as insatiable as Samantha, the ladies are back this weekend in the long-awaited Sex and the City movie. As excited as I am to see it, my big (pun sort of intended) fear is that the movie will completely unravel the show’s happy ending. We spent six seasons accompanying these women on their journeys to find love, and certain clues in the movie’s trailer threaten to take that love away from a few of them. So before we watch the movie destroy their happiness, let’s review how Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte found it in season six.
Charlotte’s relationship with Harry seemed to reach an impasse when he revealed he wouldn’t marry a non-Jewish woman. Charlotte made a few attempts to change his mind before diving head first into the conversion process. But when Harry failed to pop the question after she cooked her first brisket, Charlotte flipped out. Her impatience to marry Harry caused her to say some very hurtful things about his appearance, and he walked out on her, right in the middle of their first Sabbath dinner. But he couldn’t stay away for long, and by the middle of the season they were happily married and had become the proud parents of a King Charles Cavalier named Elizabeth Taylor. By season’s end, they had become grandparents to Elizabeth Taylor’s first litter of puppies. There was just one problem. Despite their growing dog family, Harry and Charlotte still hadn’t found a way to bring any human babies into their house.
Miranda, however, did have a child, and was finally starting to appreciate the joys of motherhood. She also learned to re-appreciate the joys of her baby’s father, Steve, and decided to confess her love to him. But right before her moment arrived, she learned that all her years of not appreciating Steve had caught up with her. He’d finally gotten over Miranda and was moving on with a new woman. Miranda distracted herself from the pain of losing Steve by starting a relationship with her hot new neighbor, Dr. Robert Leeds (Blair Underwood). Robert was a near perfect boyfriend, but when he declared his love for Miranda by spelling it out in chocolate chips on a giant cookie, she couldn’t return the sentiment. At first she thought it was because he’d expressed his feelings in such a corny fashion. But when she found herself alone with Steve in a laundry room, lighting the candle on Brady’s first birthday cake, she knew the real reason. She told Steve she loved him, and despite his new relationship, it was obvious this was what he’d been waiting to hear for years. They got married in a low-key garden ceremony, minus all the normal wedding frills Miranda despised. The newly united family was happy to be living together at last, but they soon realized Miranda’s Manhattan apartment was too small to hold everyone. They packed up and moved to a real house with a backyard in Brooklyn, despite the fact that Miranda protested the entire way there.
For the first time in the show’s history, Samantha was given the best storyline of the season. After picking up a twenty-something waiter with a cute butt (played by the impossibly attractive Jason Lewis) in a restaurant that served disgusting raw food, Samantha found that her one night stand wouldn’t go away. And to her horror, she discovered that she didn’t want him to. She liked the waiter, whose (unfortunate) name was Jerry Jarrod, so much, she even made the trek out to Brooklyn to see him in a play after learning he was an aspiring actor. Samantha saw star potential in his (literally) naked performance, and promised to help make him a star. She started by renaming him Smith, a name taken from an alias he used in their bedroom playacting. With Samantha’s help, Smith’s rock hard abs and luscious blond hair was soon plastered all over the city in a provocative ad for Absolut Vodka, forever labeling him the “Absolut Hunk”. Movie offers began to roll in, but despite his growing fame, Smith’s attachment to Samantha continued to grow. She eventually gave in to her feelings for him, and agreed to accept the label of “girlfriend”, and even let him hold her hand. It turned out that Smith had arrived in her life at exactly the right moment. Soon after committing to their relationship, Samantha was diagnosed with breast cancer. And for the first time in her life, she had a man in her life completely willing to stand by her side as she faced surgery and chemotherapy. Samantha knew it was love when Smith shaved off his trademark flowing, golden locks to make her feel better about her hair loss.
And there was Carrie, who suddenly seemed to be the only single girl left in New York. Her relationship with fellow author Jack Berger started out with lots of promising witty banter, despite the fact that it took them a few tries to achieve the same level of chemistry in bed that they had in conversation. But things fizzled out when the insecure Berger began to feel threatened by Carrie’s success. He infamously dumped her on a Post-It note that read “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”
But Carrie wasn’t alone for too long. She met the famed Russian artist Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov) while visiting a gallery with Charlotte, and found herself attracted to this mysterious older man, despite their fifteen year age difference and lack of common interests. Like Carrie’s outspoken friend Miranda, I never got this relationship. Aleksandr seemed to treat her like a child at times, scolding her and delivering her lectures on everything from art appreciation to acknowledging the possibility of Samantha’s death. When he invited her to move to Paris, Carrie was at first conflicted, but decided to go after watching a former party pal die a lonely, accidental death. But once they arrived in Paris, Carrie began to realize that Miranda had been right. She’d given up her job, her friends, and her home only to be taken for granted by her new boyfriend. Carrie had lost track of herself in her desperate attempt to finally hold on to a significant relationship. But Carrie found herself (symbolically displayed on the show by the re-discovery of her trademark nameplate necklace) and stood up to the Russian, letting him know that she was looking for an all-consuming love that they just didn’t share together. And she realized it just in time. Mr. Big had finally realized she was the love of his life, and with permission from Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, had flown to Paris to bring her home. It was one of the show’s most romantic moments, but an even happier one came a few scenes later, when Carrie was reunited with the three “loves of her lives”, as Big called them. Apparently, he didn’t get the results of our season four poll.
So the series signed off with four friends happily gossiping with each other as they strolled through Manhattan. We couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but my guess their conversation was about how Charlotte and Harry were adopting a baby girl from China, how Smith had flown home from his movie set for the weekend just to tell Samantha he loved her, how Miranda had proved how much she’d learned to open her heart by opening her home to Steve’s ill mother, and how Mr. Big’s name had turned out to be John.
Fashion Highlights: During her chemo treatments, Samantha remained true to her outrageous self in a series of outrageous wigs. Charlotte was a stunner in her simpler second wedding dress. After losing her baby weight, Miranda rocked the skinny jeans she hadn’t fit into since 1985. And although Carrie didn’t fit in while in Paris, her glamorous wardrobe did, especially the green tutu she wore in the finale. It not only echoed the iconic outfit from the opening credits, but it was the perfect fairy tale outfit for her fairy tale ending with Mr. Big.
Best Quote: I could leave you with one of the season’s romantic declarations of love, or one of Carrie’s self-empowering speeches from the finale. But we all know that there was one line this season that spawned its own self-help revolution, and ingrained itself in our pop culture lexicon forever: Jack Berger’s blunt analysis of Miranda’s date, “He’s just not that into you.”
Best Hookups: No more casual hookups. Each lady met her match this season, and the same four men were left standing by their sides when the series ended. Many have argued that by pairing everyone off in the end, the show had backpedaled from its initial message that a woman can lead a rich and satisfying life without a man in the picture. Personally, I was happy with the happy ending. I liked the idea that the women were able to find true love without compromising their identities. Maybe that kind of optimism makes me a Charlotte, but if it does, then I’m in good company, since Carrie, Miranda and Samantha turned out to all have a little Charlotte in them, too.