The show first came into my life when I was the impressionable age of I wanted to be a writer, had no idea about boys and spent all my money on the latest boob tubes and pedal pushers to hit Miss Shop. Sex and the City spoke to me, which, now that I think about it, was part of its problem — teenagers could relate to Carrie and, to a certain extent, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. These days, some of us talk about SATC like an ex that disappointed us but still holds a place in our hearts.
So here, like a mix tape, is my inconsistent, messy and completely subjective list of every SATC episode ranked from worst to best, chronicling my love-hate relationship with a show that both influenced and infuriated me. Ring a Ding Ding Also known as the episode where Carrie has money problems, this is the one I love to hate. Kate Erbland articulates her rage at this episode a lot better and in more detail than me in her article for Film School Rejects.
If you have a similar opinion, I suggest you check it out. The way Miranda gushes about its benefits foreshadows her role in Sex and the City 2 as Abu Dhabi travel guide reader-outer. To Market, to Market Carrie is in her late 30s and still acts neurotic before her Berger date. Who buys six outfits before a date? Who is so irresponsible that they oversleep on the morning they have the honour of ringing the bell at the Stock Exchange?
The woman gets to sleep in every day! Gay, straight, pick a side and stay there. Miranda expressing her fears about Steve moving in and seeing all her flaws when a jar of marinara sauce splatters over her perfect floor. Hop, Skip and a Week Carrie gets jury service. Berger acts insecure and mopey. Jennifer Coolidge yelling at her party guests that she cut up her bedspread to make her handbags. Berger is insufferable yet again. She unsurprisingly yet still infuriatingly wears heels.
Miranda yelling at Steve to get proper treatment for his testicular cancer. Baby, Talk is Cheap This episode shows Carrie at possibly her most irritating and selfish. When she decides she wants Aidan back, she orchestrates a double date with Miranda and Steve with no regard for how Steve might feel led on or how Miranda might feel uncomfortable. And for the whole trip she moans about a pimple — note what I said earlier about teenagers being able to relate to Carrie.
Also, Charlotte acts nuts toward her married friend when she suspects him of deliberately trying to keep her and his single friend Phil apart. The Cold War This seems like a filler episode, a way to kill time before we get to the main event — the finale. Rather than let Sam come across as an arsehole, Kim Cattrall manages to make us sympathise with her. The Domino Effect One of a handful of episodes that touches on mortality, Big has an angioplasty.
Games People Play Carrie obsesses so much about Big that her friends send her off to see a shrink. We feel her humiliation when she realises that she was playing peek-a-boo alone. The cringe worthy moment when Carrie floats in the air. Miranda giving in to the fact that she and Brady come as a package deal. Even the littlest moments or throwaway lines can speak to you.
Escape from New York Sex and Another City As the disastrous Sex and the City 2 shows us, Sex and the City can fall flat when the girls go on an out of town caper.
The high point is Miranda ripping her shirt off on the bucking bronco. What wrong with it? Easy Come, Easy Go A lot happens in this episode. However, the episode will probably be best remembered as the one where Sam dates a guy with funky tasting spunk. The Big Time The worst thing about parties on boats? Carrie finds herself trapped on a boat not only with Big, but also with the head over heels Charlotte and Trey. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it.
Even the title of the episode has a ring of resignation to it — pardon the pun. The storyline does have a comical twist when we learn that it was Miranda who picked out the pear shaped diamond ring that makes Carrie throw up. We had just gotten over their never ending sexual problems and then we had to immediately endure this miserable plot. She stoops to her lowest point literally for the sake of her habit when she picks her cigarette up from the gutter.
This time, it treads the territory in silver Manolo Blahniks. Luck be an Old Lady This out of town caper works a bit better than the two-parter LA vacation because of two contradictory yet equally poignant quotes. His relationship with Marcus is finally given some meaningful airtime when he finds out Marcus used to be an escort.
In the end, Stanford and Marcus rise above their detractors well, Anthony and reconcile. Are you really that bad an actress? On a sidenote, it always bugged me that they never explained what happened to Marcus. Stanford ends up with Anthony? Four Women and a Funeral This episode deals with how some single women can struggle with loneliness. Miranda buys an apartment by herself then almost chokes to death and has a panic attack. A lot of SATC commentators see this as a blessing and talk about how dated the technique looks.
I, on the other hand, am a fan of the talking heads approach. But even now, I think it works. I mean, when the show started, it was about Carrie gathering research for her columns. It made complete sense. If you pull the wrong thread, everything falls apart.
However, as Charlotte demonstrates in this episode, being cynical can sometimes be the easier choice. Desperate women who will believe anything.
After Miranda finds out she has a lazy ovary, she considers freezing her eggs — something she defends in epic fashion to her date: This lays the groundwork for the series six finale when he finally says the words she wants to hear. In that case, what I perceive as his feelings for me may only really be reflected projections of my feelings for him. On a sidenote, Steve was a bit like Skipper 2. I wonder what would have happened if the two characters had ever met.
However, the best part of this episode is how it deals with the issue of money between Miranda and Steve. Yet I also think my refusal to re-watch is testament to how great an actress Cynthia Nixon is for giving us such a realistic depiction of grief. I really like how the storyline focuses on the two least emotional SATC women — on how death forces Miranda to deal with her emotions and inadvertently makes Sam deal with hers.
I wanted one of those so badly! Oh Miranda, you have the quickest wit of them all. Said birthday party is where Miranda and Steve finally get back together. I Love a Charade There are two words to describe this episode — funny and lovely. The comedy comes not only from guest star Nathan Lane, but also from Miranda. Miranda also gifts the episode with two of its lovely moments — when the sight and smell of lilacs entices her to sleep with Steve and, later, call him from the wedding.
And while the wedding ceremony is surprisingly moving, the most surprisingly lovely line of all comes from Marcus. Hey, remember when those triangle-shaped head hanky things were all the rage? Laugh out loud moments come when Miranda calls herself a 34 year old nerd and a stoned Carrie throws chicken out of a bucket. The episode mixes sad and funny by picking up the humour in the second half, when Carrie attends a Women in the Arts benefit hoping to impress Natasha. The humour is decidedly black considering that the storyline exposes how women can act downright nasty to each other.
Just listing some from the top of my head: All or Nothing This late season three episode shows how even a person as independent and confident as Samantha can feel lonely and hopeless — even though she has to be hit with the flu to experience it. Change of a Dress This episode is great for three scenes. The first of these is the ending, when Aidan and Carrie finish their relationship after she learns that he cannot trust her. The second is the scene in the wedding dress shop, where things turn from comical to concerning in the time it takes to rip open a horrible lace dress.
Question — how the hell did Carrie do up all those tiny buttons on the back of the dress? The third scene is the most touching. Critical Condition The awesomeness of this episode comes from the storyline featuring Miranda and Samantha.
Miranda is hurt that Sam has barely acknowledged that she had a baby, so Sam gives Miranda her hair appointment and babysits Brady. Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys On the surface this episode is a seemingly frivolous one about how hooking up with a younger guy can seem so hot by night and so not in the harsh light of day.
Overshadowing all of this, however, is the fact that this is the infamous anal sex episode. Catch And so we jump from one episode about Carrie transitioning phases to another. In this episode, Carrie is no longer in her early 30s. This episode epitomises what Richard Lawson, writing for Vanity Fair, articulates so beautifully about season six: What a heart-melter it is when Sam scores an appointment for her. While I admit that Carrie flinging the Big Mac is simultaneously awesome and heartbreaking, it overshadows a pretty great storyline happening elsewhere in the episode.
The storyline eventually takes a nervous Stanford to a real life underwear fetish club where he has a meet-cute with an adorable guy and offers to buy him a beer.