Why Did We Emulate Carrie on 'Sex and the City?'
I'll go out on a limb and say that I really do like Sarah Jessica Parker, even though Kim Cattrall clearly doesn't.
I think she's a talented actress who has really done well both before and after the role that made her a global superstar, Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, and genuinely enjoy her when she's being interviewed or when I see her in the latest ads for Bloomingdale's on 59th Street in Manhattan.
I, like many other gay men, have watched the entire SATC series at least 4 or 5 times, and we have also enjoyed the first movie and despised the second one (that isn't gay specific, mind you). I haven't watched the show in a couple of years now, and recently found myself watching it all over again as the winter went on in The Big Apple.
It has come to my conclusion fifteen years after the show ended that the character of Carrie Bradshaw is someone that no one should really emulate, gay or not. There are reasons to why I now find her to be the ultimate anti-hero in a pair of Manolo Blahnik's, and they are pretty easy to spot if you get a good glimpse of the show again.
First off, and this isn't Carrie's fault, but the show projected some ridiculous fantasy life that she and the other three characters lived while in New York City, which inspired hundreds if not thousands of men and women in real life to move here thinking they could be like one of them.
Well, that thought process was wrong unless you got extremely lucky out of the gate (AKA college) and were born with a silver spoon where mommy and daddy pay for everything. Carrie's job was to write once a week for a publication called the New York Star. Once. A. Week. And somehow, she was able to afford a brownstone in the Upper East Side, endless shoes, designer dresses and so much more. I write 500 articles a week (exaggerating) and panic if I order guacamole at Chipotle. That's just the mentality of the NYC'er.
There are two other major factors as to why I always found myself fast-forwarding through Carrie's scenes. Let's break down her relationships with Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis). Samantha was very sex-positive, she got it in pretty much every episode and lived her best life in doing so with zero f***s given. Carrie, a sex columnist, always found herself judging Samantha for the way she lived her life in several episodes as the series went on, which makes me wonder why these two were even friends in the first place given that Carrie was only really promiscuous in the series premiere back in 1998.
Charlotte was the punching bag for everyone. No one took her seriously, even Carrie. Every couple of episodes, Carrie found a way to shut Charlotte up and never listened to anything she would say. Sure, they had that one scene where Carrie really listened to Charlotte... but it was only because she was giving her Trey's engagement ring so that she didn't lose her apartment. I sometimes wonder why Charlotte even bothered with the other three.
The only friendship that seemed somewhat genuine was the one with Miranda, as their cynicism played out really well as the series went on. Stanford (Willie Garson) was someone who was sort of just there, she never really cared about his personal life as he literally had to shut her up one episode just to get a word in edge wise, but the bottom line was that Carrie was about Carrie and didn't really care about her friends from beginning to end.
Then, there was the relationship part of Carrie. Her relationships all ended because of her, not because of the men she dated (IMHO). Here's why (in bullets):
- Season One: Broke up with Big (Chris Noth) because he didn't introduce you as his girlfriend to his mother. You knew what he was about from the get go, so you can't get mad.
- Season Two: You threw a bag of burgers at Big (yum) when he told you that he had to go to France for work and didn't even let him explain himself because once again... its all about you.
- Season Three: You cheated on Aidan (John Corbett) with Big, your fault.
- Season Four: You left Aidan after he wanted to get married to you... still your fault.
- Season Five: You were preggo in real life, so yeah... your book party was fun.
- Season Six: You literally emasculated Burger (Ron Livingston) on so many occasions, that he had to leave you on a Post-It note.
- Season Seven: You left Paris after a week because you got bored and stepped in dog poop. Yes, I know that Aleksandr (Mikhail Baryshnikov) slapped you (by accident), but if its not all about you... then you jump. And of course, Big was there to rescue you.
Quite frankly, the best ending would've been Carrie being alone. I think her character got a tad better in the first film and then progressively worse again in the second. All I know is, all these years later, that Carrie wasn't really the protagonist that I thought she was and it may be worth checking the show out all over again to see if you find any differences compared to when you watched it the first time.
This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.