Cringeworthy and Stalker-ish Moments from "Sex and the City" Season 1 | Episodes 8 & 1
They say hindsight is 20/20, if that’s true then looking back at Sex and the City episodes from the late 90’s / early 2000’s in 2020 gives an interesting look back at the way things were and could never be in this day and age. In quarantine I’ve been watching a few shows from the oughts - America’s Next Top Model, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Rock of Love and recently added Sex and the City to the mix.
A few months back a thread about Top Model went viral on Twitter for toxic plot lines including fat-shaming, racial remarks and beauty expectations to name a few. The same could be said for Sex and the City, a show that was groundbreaking back then, makes some of the storylines with Carrie and her crew today sound like ol’ fuddy duddies. Not to mention, watching the show when I was 13 and now again at 32 the dating adventures of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha just “hit different” as the kids say. Let’s take a look at a couple cringe-worthy moments that stood out to me.
Season 1; Episode 8: “Three’s a Crowd” (1998)
In this episode the topic is threesomes. The conversation is spawned when the man Charlotte is dating proposes doing a threeway with her. Of course Samantha’s done one (or several) and Miranda feels left out as the gal pals express which of them they would want to have in the sack with their significant others; Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte neglect Miranda and leave her out of the running. Oops! Later back at Big’s place, Carrie asks him if he’s ever had a threesome - to Carrie’s surprise, he has, and it was an even bigger surprise to learn it was with his ex-wife. Boom! Big was previously married - bombshell. So naturally Carrie does some digging to find out about the ex. I can’t blame her for that one, I would do the same. However, Carrie being Carrie, she takes it a step further and books a fake meeting at the ex’s publishing company and meets with her. Guys, this is nuts. The ex turns out to be a great person - she calls Big and tells him about the meeting. Now, if I were Big this would be a huge red flag if you ask me. Also, Carrie and Big are in a relationship, shouldn’t you be able to talk about anything and everything with the person you're dating? Why not just talk with Big about the marriage and what went wrong? Again, I get that it’s a show and Carrie coming face-to-face with his ex-wife is far more interesting.
Season 1; Episode 12: “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” (1998)
In this episode, Miranda is dating a playwright who showers immediately after they are done having sex, a behavior he blames on the nuns from his Catholic school. It appears that Miranda has been dating Thomas John Andersen for at least a few weeks and makes love to him multiple times. When Miranda confronts Thomas and tells him sex isn’t a sin, he loses it and goes into a whole spiel about God, body expression, and sarcastically thanks her for absolving him of his actions. As if that alone isn’t bad enough, Thomas tells Miranda he’s going to go take a shower and would like it if she was gone by the time he got out. Yikes! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t imagine a man essentially throwing me out of his home moments after making love to him. As the story goes the two never speak again and the holier-than-thou speech makes its way into one of his plays. How is it that Miranda can just bounce back after a hit like that? Sure, the guy was a jerk, but this is also someone she was intimate with. In addition to a private moment made public off-Broadway - needless to say… cringe.
In that same episode, Carrie is dating Big and while walking the streets of Manhattan after grabbing a latte she encounters him with his mother coming out of a church. As Big puts his mother in the town car, Carrie catches his eye and he makes his way over to her. Carrie learns that while she spends Sundays writing, he spends the Lord’s day with his mom at church. Super sweet! But instead of leaving well enough alone, Carrie then asks Big when (not if) she can join the two for church. First of all, Carrie isn’t even religious, but I understand the desire to be included and what a big (no pun intended) step that would be for their relationship. Big somewhat dodges the question and explains that church is something special and private that he and his mother do together. Case closed, right? Wrong! At least not for Carrie… she proceeds to what I can only describe as crazy stalker behavior, she shows up at their church with Miranda to watch them. WHAT!? Ummm, Miranda, you’re supposed to be the sensible one, why didn’t you stop her? Seems like Miranda was a bit of an enabler in this situation, but then again she also could have just wanted to get eggs for breakfast as Carrie had promised. If you saw the episode you know Carrie drops a bible from the second-story pew and to Big’s surprise - he turns around, looks up and sees his girlfriend. Again, cringe!
Now, I would have gotten the hell out of there and waited for Big’s what was that? What were you doing there? call, but instead Carrie waits to greet him and his mother, because to her rationale “they already saw her.” She’s introducing herself to his mother unbeknownst to him. To me, meeting the parents is a huge benchmark in any relationship, so I find it odd that Carrie just takes this moment upon herself. The three have an awkward chit chat in which it’s revealed that Big’s mother knows nothing about Carrie and hasn’t even heard her name uttered before. CRINGE! Now while I feel bad for Carrie, this has to hurt I also think she played a part in her own dismay. I’m sure many, if not all of us have engaged in some semi-stalkerish behavior when it comes to relationships and dating, but this is next level and involves the man’s mother. I once read that many of the plot lines on SATC were taken from real-life moments experienced by the writers, now I want to know which stalker writer did this?
If episodes 8 and 12 tell us anything it’s that Carrie tends to get carried away when it comes to trying to make herself a permanent fixture in Big’s life.
There’s 5 more seasons to go and the cringeworthy moments that spring to mind are endless.
Look for more SATC retrospectives coming soon.