Friday, January 14, 2011

Season One Episode Six: Secret Sex

This is the final episode on the first disc of the series and also it marks the halfway mark of the first season.

The show is beginning to settle into a series and the actors have the feel for their characters, they are definitely two dimensional and stereotypes but there is at the core a consistency.  

You feel like you are now watching a series and will see story arcs develop, the biggest and one suspects the longest is the Carrie Bradshaw/Mr Big arc.

So what happened in this episode.

Carrie and Mr. Big have their first official date, with Carrie wearing what was referred to as 'the naked dress.'

It did not leave a lot to the imagination.

Charlotte describes her dating rules, which have been mentioned briefly before, basically if you are serious about a man you don't have sex on the first date. This brings all sorts of complications with it, and moral issues but we will put all of that on the back burner for the moment.

Carrie has the interesting quote in one of her monologues, (which after some time this viewer is getting used to) she said "Is delayed gratification the definition of maturity"  saying that whilst wearing a dress that barely covered anything on her body was a little on the hypocritical side one thinks.

Then when she meets Mr. Big and basically within minutes sleeps with him declares she cannot be hemmed in by her emotions.

Obviously she is not mature.

Carrie meets her friend Mike Singer, in an out of the way Chinese restaurant, he is dating someone but does not introduce her to Carrie.  It turns out that he is 'secret dating' this woman because he does not want anyone to know about her.  Apparently she is not considered, by Mike beautiful enough to introduce her to others, she is good enough for him to sleep with but not beautiful enough for him to be serious about.

Carrie wonders if he was shallow or honest.  Even asking that question is puzzling the guy was so shallow he had as much water in him as the Ghobi desert in a drought. 

By the time he decided he wanted to be serious with her she had found someone who would accept her.

Miranda meets someone in gym class and dates him.  We are not told where Skipper is or what has happened to him, he is not even mentioned, which was strange.

It is here after a walk in the park with Carrie we see Miranda despite her bitchy behaviour still wants to be with a bloke.

She sleeps with him (naturally) and then he leaves early in the morning for a conference or some other writer;s excuse and lets her stay in his apartment and let her self out.  Does that really happen?

Sop Miranda goes through his stuff and finds a spanking video.  She is shocked and brings it up in a casual manner the next time she is with him, he mumbles something incoherent and Carrie narrated that Miranda never sees him again.  That appears to be the end of that, the point of it, I am not sure.

The girls discuss secret sex Samantha has no secrets just a lot of sex and Charlotte slept with a  Jewish artist once.

Carrie muses is secret sex the ultimate form of intimacy or another way of denying feelings and compartmentalising emotions.

She is worried Mr Big is keeping her a secret.

First they have a party to see Carrie's billboard on a bus. The same one on the opening credits.  As it drives past someone has drawn a penis on Carrie's head and she is devastated.  

Mr Big assures her he is not keeping her a secret and is ends with Carrie wondering aloud could this be for real.  

A lot and yet nothing going on, passable, with at the same time that nagging sense of irritablilty about how wrong the whole philosophy of their life is.

At best a mildly diverting series this was one of the better ones - my score is 6 out of 10.

I now must return this disc and hire the next one, depending on availability that will probably start from tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Season One Episode Five: The Power of Female Sex

For the first time I made it through this episode without feeling irritated, even when it used the word I hate most in the English language, not once but several times.

The episode flowed by, and while it was shallow and vacuous, and maybe because of those qualities I can actually see why people would like it.

The bulk of the story again focused on Carrie who was revealed to have an addiction to shoes, resulting in major credit card debt and her meeting with an acquaintance, a woman who basically travels the world sleeping with men and making a high priced living.  She was basically a prostitute.

Carrie is introduced to a French bloke and has a date and then sleeps with him, she leaves her $1,000 in an envelope causing discussion among the girls.  Samantha believes it is an equal exchange and fine, whilst Miranda believes it is belittling to the female.

Miranda does feel that and she is right, but it does reveal her hypocrisy as she is using Skipper and he is falling for her big time.

Samantha was the clothes horse this time with not much too do except feature a number of times in scenes trying to get seated in expensive restaurants.

Meanwhile Charlotte is trying to get the latest paintings from a famous older American artist, and finds out he is doing s series of paintings of the female vagina.  Something he called the source of all power in the world.  An interesting philosophy, which shows where his mind was focused.

 She is persuaded to pose and the episode ends with Carrie deciding to keep her $1,000 and the girls at the art exhibition trying to guess which painting is of Charlotte.

There was some amusing parts and perhaps I am getting used to the tone of the series, I still find it hard to reconcile certain aspects, and find the basic philosophy repulsive, but if the rest of the series was basically like this I could live with it, although begrudgingly.

My score is 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Season One Episode Four: Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys.

So I missed viewing an episode yesterday, but here we are again back into it, and this one was for the most part fairly unpleasant.

Imagine if you will the sort of guy or girl that you would be horrified to take home to your parents, well this is that sort of TV series.

So the Mr. Big story line gets ramped up with Carrie Bradshaw bumping into him several times and then trying to see him  on purpose with results that can only draw a result of how far can we writers string this out for.  I am suspecting the next ninety odd episodes...

Samantha was her normal unpleasant self sleeping around and making rather stupid observations on life.

Miranda was her normal irritating self as well, and in one incident abusing a cab driver without reason and of course without consequences, because it is cool to abuse people in the service industry when you are a lawyer.

Charlotte actually gets a story line, although it is not a warm or witty story line.  The man she is dating wants anal sex.  Samantha believes that this is a physical experience that the body was designed for.  Miranda put it down to power in the relationship.  Carrie babbled and in the end she didn't do it.  Of course she slept with the guy but that is normal in the SATC world.

In fact all four ladies slept with guys in this episode.  Skipper was there, the nice guy who is more and more like a loser each time we see him.

Carrie "dated" a twenty something guy who was of course vapid and messy.  

One thing I did observe she arranged to meet with Mr. Big at a restaurant at 10:30 PM.  Who meets up at a restaurant at that time?

So other things I did not like - 

The whole idea of just labeling everyone and confining them to a little box.  

The fact that there was even a suggestion these women would pass for being in their twenties.

The idiotic remark ":There is no available men in their thirties in New York."

The equally idiotic remark - "What's the big deal it's only a fling"  That's why there is so many STD's and so many broken miserable lives, but just like a guy shooting people in Arizona could have nothing to do with lack of gun control and people having the right to bare arms so this could not possibly be and people have the right to sleep around and ruin other people's lives.

Ultimately I am really having trouble empathising with these characters and have to say this was the worst episode I have seen yet.  Not even the episode title was that clever this time.

My score 1 out of 10.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Season One Episode Three: Bay of Married Pigs

I asked my friend to day if he had ever watched Sex and the City.  He said yes and he was a fan of the show.  There are only two men I know (so far) who like the show, including my friend and they are both gay, so I am not sure if there is a link there.

My friend said he really liked the first season because it really addressed the issues we all were thinking about and asked the questions we wanted to ask.  

Now this interested me, because I had not felt that had happened in the first two episodes.  What was I missing and then during the third episode I realised what I was missing.  It was my world view.  I had a totally different world view than the people on this show.

What I mean by that is I don't believe in sleeping around with different people, in fact I don't think sex outside of a loving committed marital relationship is a good idea at all.  My view of marriage and singleness was totally different to these people.

So if I really took that on board could I then watch the series with a different approach, say, I am watching it knowing that my world view is in total contrast to their view, but let me watch it not with that critical view but from a different level.  Well it works and it doesn't.  There are still things that infuriate me but now that I realise what the main issue has been perhaps my views will be a little more tempered.

Anyway this episode has I must say a very clever title and the issue of the difference between married and singles is there.  To call it a war I thought was a bit extreme, but perhaps I am more comfortable in my skin than others?  To use the conflict in Northern Ireland as an analogy however is just a little bit offensive and something I really found hard to get past.

This episode had Carrie being set up with a guy desperate to be married by her friends.  It also had one of her married male friends exposing himself to her, which was all rather an odd story arc and I am wondering if that will be referred to later on, it may have just been for comedic relief.

Samantha slept around and basically used and abused Charlotte's doorman.  The doorman had the best line in the episode when he offered to open the bathroom door for Charlotte.

Charlotte was basically under utilised again, although I am assured she does have some major story arcs.

Miranda was set up with a lesbian by a well meaning but obviously stupid co-worker and then took advantage of the situation to get closer to her dream of becoming a partner at her law firm.

So with all that in mind, with the fact that I still find the characters self serving and disagree with much of what they say and do, there were some positives in this episode.  I am of the opinion, at this early stage, however that for me becoming a fan of the series may be a bridge too far.

Episode three - five out of ten.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Season One Episode Two: Models and Mortals

Well I had this flash whilst watching episode two - watching this series is kind of like watching a car crash.  You are totally appalled and horrified but you just can't look away.

The thing that really gets me about it is the whole philosophy behind most of the character lives.  They are living only for sex and nothing else.

Carrie Bradshaw continued her narrating which I suspect will be the theme of the series and Samantha was vapid and self centered again.  Miranda was cynical and the other nice one, Charlotte, I had to look up her name as her character is pretty forgettable at the this stage, well she was nice but did not have much screen time.

The characters are two dimensional cut outs and in this episode it features models, who obviously must be all stupid.  Let's face it could you have a smart model.  One only needs to realise Elle McPherson started modeling to pay her way through law school to know that this is rubbish.  Cheap points are scored from stereotypes, that is why racism is so vulgar and that is why this episode was equally vulgar.

Another aspect that was a cop out was the line this only happens in New York - nowhere else in the world.  Apparently all the models hang out in New York and thousands of men sleep with them, being that men only think about sex, apparently.

The nice guy was there, Skipper, who for some reason is attracted to the witch Miranda who barely gives him the time of day.  That much is true men don't always realise what women are really thinking, but this woman still acts like a cow.  He is the nice guy and so he is again made out to be a loser.  The whole Captain Crunch line typified that thought,  I'm anticipating something along the lines of jokes about him having a small appendage or something equally as base next.

The final thing was "Mr Big's" last scene with Carrie again with a little pause on how an idealistic love could be.  After twenty four minutes of a philosophy with is the antithesis of these ideals it is no wonder you almost choke on the absurdity,

These ideals don't come about form pithy statements but from something that runs deep within you and seriously all we get in this is shallow vapid people.

This was worse than episode one - wondering if I can face another one - my score 2 out of 10.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Season One Episode One: Sex and the City

Unusually for an American series episode one does not come with that famous title 'Pilot" in fact it just calls itself "Sex and the City" which is more like one of those musicians first albums when they can't think of a clever title.

Anyway the episode title is neither here not there.  The episode itself was very heavy on the cynical and apparently all we live for in life is sex.

Men seem to be total scum and the one 'nice guy' comes across as a total loser.  (For the illiterate amongst us note I said loser, that is how it is spelled with one O - if it had two it would be looser such as he lost weight so his trousers were looser.  A small note but you would be amazed how many people spell loser with a double O.)

Anyway the philosophy of women having sex like men was wrong on so many levels it would be hard to count and is demeaning to both men and women and in the last thirty seconds we seemed to get a taste that perhaps our hero Carrie would come to that conclusion eventually.

A scene from Episode One.
What about the main female characters.

Carrie Bradshaw - our every girl hero who seems to drone on and on about nothing endlessly.

Samantha Jones - woman that looks like she is entering middle age and wanting to treat men like sex objects. Not very attractive externally and ugly inside.

Charlotte York - the nice girl who because she is obviously the nice girl comes across as a naive loser. 

Miranda Hobbes - Thomas Hobbes was an interesting philosopher in the sixteen hundreds, I think his name is being denigrated here as this woman is just a right sniveling cow.  Nothing going for her and of course the witch type character has to have short red hair.  

The episode was long on narration, short on plot and as in most pilots trying to set up the series and introduce the major players.

Perhaps things will improve but it was pretty bad with characters that at this stage are hard to cheer for and that incessant narration of Carrie Bradshaw.

I'll keep watching, after all there is only ninety three more episodes to go....

As for Episode one - I will score it a 3 out of 10.

Onward to episode two, and I will try to watch one episode a day. 

Prologue: My plan

So I have decided to watch the series "Sex and the City" and then the two (so far) movies.

This was a 'phenomenon' back when it aired, and does come from the rich pedigree of being on HBO who have aired some very fine series, but it never had much appeal for me.

Anyway this blog will be my journey into the world of Sex and the City.

Apart from this one gag I will try to steer away from such comments as "the show that starred Pharlap"

Anyway on with the show and the review begins!