Regular readers will know that one of our favourite topics of all time is Sex & the City. And why not? It’s only the greatest (and most relevant) television series in existence. It also just came to my attention that this week is the 20th anniversary of the series premiere. And yet, it remains as relevant in 2018 as it was in 2008.
Years ahead of its time, it offers dozens of sex and dating life lessons all under the guise of “research” for Carrie’s weekly New York Star column. Those brunches, random interviews with her extended social circle and legendary vox pops (RIP) create a multi-layered thesis style plot turning each character’s life into a modern-day anthropological diorama of sorts.
Although by the end of the series she takes on more prestigious endeavours (hello, $4.50/per word at Vogue), we’ll always long for the early days of the series, musing about how she actually makes rent. But forget all of that. The series is really about how the career girl locks down the ultimate emotionally unavailable man. A unicorn if you will, he walks all over her for the entirety of the series and both movies and she still manages to end up with him. We don’t even learn his real name until the end of the series. Instead she gives him a Mr. moniker in line with the other men she and her friends date. And because he’s kind of a “big” deal, I guess that’s where he got his from.
Now we couldn’t help but wonder, how does such a smart and worldly, well-verserd “sex-pert” not know a bad relationship when she sees one? Let’s breakdown the top ten reasons this match made in hell should have never happened:
- He hides her from his mother – This was a great early episode. Carrie sees Big and his mother outside of church. Asks about said mother. Gets a vague answer and no invitation to meet her. Decides to attend same church with Miranda. Makes a noisy scene when she drops her bible from the upper rafters. Forces Big to introduce said mother. No semblance or recognition, meaning he’s never mentioned Carrie. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.
- She goes ballistic and breaks up with him when he refuses to tell her she’s “the one” – Figure it’s best to go in chronological order here. This made me laugh actually. She was in her dream relationship with her dream man but because he refused to reveal all his cards she abandons him as they about to jump into a town cab to go to St. Bart’s. Really? He should have let you break up with him and blocked your number then and there. Oh but wait, it’s 1998 and could you do that on analogue phones? Caller ID barely existed.
- He’s really bad with her friends – Remember when Big basically refuses to meet the girls for dinner because it’s raining outside? This is a HUGE red flag. Why would you want to be around someone that makes 0 effort with your friends? Your friends are already judge-y jealous bitches. They’re waiting for him to slip up. When he doesn’t make even a drop off effort, it means he doesn’t care they’re talking shit about him to you and likely everyone else you know. Also, he never really looks like he wants to be there. He TOOK A CALL when she was giving a speech at that wedding. What a d-bag.
- He won’t let her leave her things at his place – This was so cringe-y. She leaves a bunch of her stuff at his place (wasn’t there a scene in “How to lose a guy in 10 days” about this?) and expects Mr. Big (Commitment Phone) not to freak out. He kindly hands her property back to her one casual evening before dinner and she is appalled he feels the need to do so. He then knocks her out of bed, forgetting he’s even there. They get into a physical altercation after that and the relationship should have really ended there. But OF COURSE it doesn’t.
- She’s not domestic in the least but brings nothing to the relationship financially so… This came to me in the episode when Carrie cancels her drinks date with Miranda to eat veal at home with Big. He’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen, battering those unethical pieces of meat while she sits there sipping his $90 bottle of Tiganello. Excuse me, what exactly does Carrie Bradshaw bring to the relationship? She can barely afford to pay rent (at $750pm in a rent controlled situation), she has a staggeringly expensive shoe addiction ($40,000 in a decade?) and she’s constantly out to brunch. She admits to using her oven as knitwear storage! She isn’t exactly beautiful. She’s a terrible friend (see Miranda date situation). And she is taken aback that this rich, alright looking man doesn’t want her as much as she wants him. She brings nothing to the relationship except debt and a closet full of questionable fashion choices.
- He leaves her for Paris – Big allows his job to send him an ocean away and when Carrie after much inner turmoil agrees this could be a good thing for their relationship, tells her she shouldn’t come to Paris for him. Yeah, go fuck yourself. This should have been the end of it, really.
- He marries someone else – This is the BIG ONE. I would have made it the last reason they shouldn’t be together, but they end up dating and married (sort of) after this. So number seven it goes, which should really say it all about how mismatched they are as a couple. After leaving Carrie for Paris, Big meets a 26-year-old East Coast debutate in the City of Lights. Obviously she works for Ralph Lauren in PR, because what else to 20-somethings of her pedigree do with their succinct single lives before marrying sickeningly well and shooting a few kids out in Greenwich, CT? Carrie learns of all of this on vacay in the Hamptons something like one episode after their breakup and is then haunted by their very public engagement in the episodes that follow. I feel her on this one. There are no words to describe how their relationship terrorises her. But again, if this isn’t a sign they aren’t meant to be, what is?
- She’s easily bought by him – He shows up with balloons on her 35th birthday when all her friends stand her up (each with a good reason). She decides, “cool, my life doesn’t totally suck. A rich man picked me up in a town car, brought me a bunch of red balloons, champagne and cake.” Oh but wait. She called him the night before at midnight to remind him it was her birthday. Didn’t his secretary already have that in her calendar the year before? Pathetic and desperate, Carrie.
- He’d rather watch Shark Week than talk to her – Based on how many red flags are in the series I was going to leave the movies alone, but this was juicy. He buys her a television under the guise of it being something they can do together and then proceeds to ignore her while she’s talking to him to watch SHARK WEEK. This is after refusing to come to Smith Jarrod’s movie premiere. He deserved to get cheated on with Aiden, who by the way looked delicious.
- He leaves her at the alter – Going out of order here, but I really don’t know how a whole film was made about this. Big leaves the poor woman at the damn alter. After all that press around the dress. After the ballooning guest list. After all obscene attention it received. He just can’t find it in him to get our of the car. Like, what? Why would he have so coolly agreed to marrying her in the first place? And then. And THEN she has the audacity to blame Miranda for putting it in his head that marriage is the worst. He’s a 50 year old man that’s been married twice before and it took a friend of Carrie’s that Big barely talks to to freak him out about marriage? Please, the man’s an old hand at this by now. Miranda was just a scapegoat to justify their reconciliation. After all, he bought her that obscene apartment and built her a shoe closet. God damn this woman is the most vapid human to ever walk the streets of Manhattan.