Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Morning After: Reconsidering Sex and the City

Well, the final episodes of Sex and the City have aired in Canada, so I feel I can write without spoiling anything for any regular viewer who might have missed the initial broadcast of said final episodes...

You know, I can't help but feel disappointed. No, not because the show's ended, though I do suppose that's part of it. What I'm really disappointed in is the resolution of Carrie's character arch.

Anyone who watched the show over the years can bear witness to the demise of the formerly saavy, independent Carrie Bradshaw. "Formerly," indeed. Particularly within the past two seasons, Carrie became more needy, more insecure. Whereas before, though she looked for romantic love and male companionship, she knew she was perfectly capable of surviving on her own, in the final seasons she became desperate, grasping. It wasn't enough for her to have a secure group of friends who loved and supported her; it wasn't enough for her to have a job she loved and for the fruits of said job to include a lucrative book deal and the means to buy all the Manolo Blahniks her heart desired. It wasn't enough that she truly loved and thrived in her little corner of the world, New York City.

No. Because when all was said and done, Carrie--Sex and the City writers decided--was incomplete. Somehow unfulfilled unless she had a man in her life.

(Before you say that the writers implied the same thing with Charlotte, think again. I'm not going to go into it here, but this article via astutely details the development, the blossoming of Charlotte.)

To have the heroine of a show that championed woman's singlehood feel compelled to settle down is a tragic failing of what was otherwise an appropriate denouement to such a cultural phenomenon.

That Carrie abruptly (what was with that transition anyway? It seems more than a little suspect that she got over Aleksandr Petrovsky in the, say, fifteen minutes she spent with Big! Either a desperate Carrie settled just to have a man in her life, or the writers truly, definitively lost sight of any concept of realistic character development)--but unsurprisingly--ended up with Big does not sit well with me, nor should it comfort anyone who loved the show as it was.

Apparently, others are troubled by Carrie as much as I am.

What is perhaps the greatest of all ironies is that Sex and the City was carried by H.B.O.--a cable channel that prides itself on thinking outside the network-television grid. What does it say for the already-lamentable state of North American television programming for one of the supposed "alternatives" to carry a show that ends with all four of its main characters happily settled down?


But perhaps I've ranted enough. I really did love Sex and the City. Why? Well, I think there's something to Georgie Binks line of thinking...

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