As many of you know, in the last few years HBO has really come into its own as a TV station. Instead of just playing wall-to-wall crap, like Showtime, or soft-core porn, like Skinemax, HBO has tried really hard to show good, blockbuster movies and create good TV shows. The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Oz, and of course, Sex & the City. The other day I decided that I have learned a lot from this show and so I sat down to watch the entire first season on DVD and record some of these pearls of wisdom to pass along. Some may seem outrageous to you, but keep in mind that it’s all in good fun.
Now, before I get into the pearls of wisdom dispensing, I feel the need to acquaint you with the show. It centers around 4 single 30-something women who live in Manhatten and their various escapades surrounding life, love, relationships, etc. The main character is Carrie Bradshaw. She writes a sex column called “Sex & the City” for the New York Star.
Quotes on Carrie:
Carrie: The things ya gotta do in the name of research.
Carrie: I had begun to realize that being beautiful is like having a rent-controlled apartment overlooking the park: completely unfair and usually bestowed upon those who deserve it least. [later] I take that back. Beauty is fleeting. But a rent-controlled apartment overlooking the park is forever.
Carrie: What exactly about me screams, “Whore!”?
Miranda: Besides the $1000 on the end table?
Miranda: She’s not gonna have sex, she’s gonna look like sex.
Carrie: The truth was, I was dying to sleep with him. But isn’t delayed gratification the definition of maturity?
Carrie: So I did what any writer would do–I pulled an idea out of my ass.
Carrie’s supporting cast includes her three best friends: Miranda, a lawyer, Charlotte, a gallery proprieter, and Samantha, who owns her own PR firm. The four of them are so different that it makes for great conversation about men, dating, sex, etc.
Quotes on Miranda:
Carrie: Miranda was going to hate Skipper. She’d think he was mocking her with his sweet nature and decide he was an ass.
Charlotte: I just know that no matter how good I feel about myself, if I see Christy Turlington I just want to give up.
Miranda: Well I just want to tie her down and force-feed her lard, but that’s the difference between you and me.
Charlotte: So are we going to stick around and catch the bouquet?
Miranda: That is so not going to happen.
Miranda: You could not drag me to that thing if you put a grappling hook in my mouth.
Quotes on Charlotte:
Carrie: Charlotte treated marriage like a sorority she was desperate to pledge.
Carrie: Some people read palms. Charlotte read real estate.
Carrie: She’ll juggle, she’ll spin plates, but she won’t give it up.
Carrie: The closest Charlotte had ever come to getting screwed on a plane was the time she lost all her luggage on a flight to Palm Beach.
Carrie: Charlotte hadn’t been that excited since she tried on her JV cheerleading uniform.
Carrie: That was the thing about Charlotte: just when you were about to write her off as a Park Avenue Pollyanna, she’d say something so right on you’d swear she was the Dalai Lama.
Charlotte: Do you think my hair is too shiny today?
Carrie: And then she’d say something else.
Quotes on Samantha:
Carrie: Samantha had the kind of deluded self-confidence that caused men like Ross Perot to run for president. And it usually got her what she wanted.
Carrie: Samantha Jones never missed a major fashion show. She was one of the only people I knew who thought proximity to beauty made her feel more attractive.
Carrie: Maybe we should start tagging your married men and that way you could keep track of them.
Samantha: Money is power. Sex is power. Therefore getting money for sex is simply an exchange of power.
Samantha: There’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Carrie: You would say that, you’re a publicist.
Carrie: Faced with her own inadequacy, Samantha did something only Samantha could do. She threw an “I Don’t Have a Baby” Shower to let everyone know she was fabulous.
Samantha: I don’t have a baby! Everybody drink!
Now that you have a grasp on these lovely ladies’ personalities, let’s talk about NYC. They live in the wonderful Big Apple, with many scenes taking place on crowded streets, beautiful Central Park and the hottest night clubs around.
Quotes on New York:
Miranda: There are no single men in their 30s in New York. Giulianni had them removed along with the homeless.
Samantha: Nobody notices a bus in New York until it’s about to hit them.
New York is the city they live in and it is just crawling with people they encounter. There are 1.8 single women in NYC and 1.3 single men, which provide oodles of possibilities for Carrie and Co. to form friendships, enemyships and relationships with. When you worship the church of fashion and dating, what else are you going to talk about?
Quotes on Women
Carrie: It was the last straw. She was smart, beautiful, AND she got me. I’d have to kill her.
[at Brooke’s wedding]
Carrie: Was I the only one who remembered that Brooke once described this man as more boring than exposed brick?
Brooke: It’s always better to marry someone who loves you more than you love them.
Quotes on Men:
Stanford: Oh my god, don’t turn around. The loathe of your life is at the bar.
Carrie: It was Curt Harrington. A mistake I made when I was 26. And 29. And 31.
Carrie: Modelizers are a particular breed. They’re a step beyond womanizers, who will sleep with just about anything in a skirt. Modelizers are obsessed–not with women, but with models, who in most cities are safely confined to billboards and magazines, but in Manhatten actually run wild on the streets, turning the city into a virtual model-country safari where men can pet the creatures in their natural habitat.
Miranda: When did all the men get together and decide they would only get it up for giraffes with big breasts?
Carrie: I couldn’t believe it. The man had slept with half the perfume ads in September’s Vogue.
Carrie: He was like the flesh and blood equivalent of a DKNY dress: you know it’s not your style but it’s right there so you try it on anyway.
Charlotte: Jack says I have a fire inside me.
Carrie: You tell Jack they have a cream for that.
Miranda: In 50 years, men are going to be obsolete anyway. Already you can’t talk to them, you don’t need ’em to have kids with. You don’t even need them to have sex with anymore, as I’ve just VERY pleasantly discovered.
Samantha: Men aren’t that complicated. They’re kind of like plants.
Quotes on Religion:
Miranda: If I’d known he was Catholic, I never would’ve gone out with him in the first place. They should make ’em wear a sign.
Charlotte: Good church! It’s one of the best on the East Side.
Carrie: What, are you rating churches now? Is there a Zagat’s guide for that?
Miranda: 4 stars. Great bread, disappointing wine selection.
Carrie: In her effort to help, Miranda had accidentally detonated some kind of Catholic guilt bomb.
Quotes on Relationships:
Carrie: Welcome to the age of uninnocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany’s and no one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfast at 7 am and affairs we try to forget as soon as possible.
Carrie: Everywhere I looked people were standing in twos. It was like Noah’s upper-west-side-rent-controlled Ark.
Carrie: It was my pal Mike Singer. We’d known each other for 10 years but never had sex. Because we wanted to know each other for another 10 years.
Carrie: I’d committed the cardinal sin: I’d foresaken my girlfriends for my boyfriend.
Charlotte: I think a relationship has to be based on honesty and communication if it has any chance of succeeding.
Samantha: Okay, if you were 25 that would be adorable, but you’re 32 now, so that’s just stupid.
Carrie: There’s a moment in every relationship where romance gives way to reality.
Samantha: Normal is the half-way point between what you want and what you can get.
Now, over the course of Season 1 (and seasons 2-5) Carrie has a relationship with this one special guy, Mr. Big. That’s right. Mr. Big. No first name, no emotional reachability. Anyway, they’re torrid, turbulant little romance leads to some very interesting situations. I’ll be curious to see how they resolve it in the last season.
Quotes on Mr. Big:
Big: First of all–well, there are so many damn gorgeous women out there in this city-
Carrie: What an amazing observation!
Big: But the thing is this: After awhile you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh. Know what I mean?
Carrie: Men in their 40s are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle: tricky, complicated, and you’re never really sure you got the right answer.
Carrie: The island of Manhatten is a cozy village populated by more than 7 million fascinating individuals who all behave like they own the sidewalk. But lately it seemed as if the entire city had been magically reduced to only 2 people: us. Four hour conversations flew by in the space of 15 minutes and a few days apart felt like weeks. I realized that Einstein’s Law of Relativity would have to be ammended to include a special set of rules. Those to explain the peculiar effects of infatuation.
Carrie: I felt like a fool. I had gone so far out on a limb with my feelings that I didn’t realize I was standing out there alone.
Since Mr. Big is your typical “I’ll Never Get Married” kinda guy, the gal pals of NYC have had lots of interesting things to say about being married versus being single. Samantha never wants to get married, yet Charlotte wants nothing more than to start a family.
Quotes on Being Single vs Being Married:
Carrie: I hate it when you’re at a dinner party and they all look at you like you’re a-
Lisa: Are we married?
Dennis: Yeah. Remember that day you wore the white dress and we got all the flatware?
Lisa: Hm. I guess I should stop seeing other men.
Carrie: It was your average $100,000 wedding: investment bankers and the women who hate them. Classmates from Steinard, Daltons, and Brown. And us. We looked like the Witches of Eastwick.
Carrie: Maybe it’s just a phase.
Stanford: Puberty is a phase. 15 years of rejection is a lifestyle. Sometimes I think I should just marry a woman and get all the money.
Carrie: What is there, a cash prize?
Carrie: Let’s be honest. Sometimes there is nothing harder in life than being happy for somebody else. Like lottery winners. Or extremely successful people who are 27. And then there’s that hell on earth that only your closest friends can inflict on you: the baby shower.
And finally, at the end of season 1, Carrie and Mr. Big breakup because he can’t tell her she’s The One. (Of course, we all know their relationship is far from over, but it’s still a little sad). Here are Carrie’s parting words of wisdom:
Carrie: After he left, I cried for a week. And then I realized I do have faith: faith in myself, faith that I would one day meet someone who would be sure that I was the one.