Friday, February 20, 2004

Saying Au Revoir

Sex and the City's last episode is looming near, and though I am not saddened by this à la 'My So-Called Life' or 'Freaks and Geeks' (which were shut down prematurely, and thank goodness, since where would we be if Claire Danes had not gone on to make the masterpiece 'Polish Wedding,' and Linda Cardellini to make the docu-drama 'Scooby-Doo: The Movie'?), I am a little tight in the throat to see it go. Granted, I spend most of the twenty-seven minutes of each episode gagging and pursing my eyes closed at dialogue like, 'I couldn't help but wonder,' and 'Oh, sweetie!' and 'Okay, you little tartini...,' but I will still miss the one moment each week that makes all the violent sick worthwhile. Like in the first season, when Carrie is having her photo taken to be put on the side of a bus for her column, the Red-Shoe Diaries-esque jazz-ak trilling happily over her long stares down her nose into the camera make the whole rest of the episode (featuring first sex with Big, 'greasy Chinese,' and cheese 'lovers') seem as lifting as Charlotte is thick-thighed (only in the first season, however). Or in the fourth season, when Miranda is treated to some anal-lingus, then, out of expectation, her partner's rear is rising steadily towards her face, to the point of danger, and Miranda screams, "I don't want to do that!" and retreats to tenderize his back with her fists, is sheer physical comedy genius. And my absolute favorite ever: when, in the this season, Samantha dodges hand-holding to the point of falling down a shaft under a building, shrieking, windmilled arms pumping.

Yet the current season has been almost unbearable. The disaster that was Jack Berger, with his whiny delivery and pasty skin, was enough to make me sometimes not watch each episode again on OnDemand, at least for a few days. Each character has been flaccid with weakness, with barren Charlotte and her ugly Harry googling and balding over each other, Miranda and her love for looks-like-he-goes-number-2-with-the-door-open Steve, and Samantha and the blank Jerry/Smith Jerrod, the least unbearable couple of them all. But despite all of this, I find myself tuning in to HBO each Sunday at exactly 9:00, telling my boyfriend to shut up so I don't miss anything, positively stiff with anticipation. I don't have a logical explanation for such a polar existence; though I am a bit pink in the face to admit this, I can say that I have a love, constantly requited, for Carrie & Co. I can liken it to having a sibling, and being annoyed to the brink by their shrill voice, snot-stiff fingers, and messy hair, yet defending them to the point of bloodshed when they are made fun of by anyone outside of yourself. Sex and the City is my older, whore sister, whose pseudo-clever delivery and constant, glibby hair-tossing makes me want to stab my television with my own head, but I love her and will miss her when she is (finally) gone.

Let's face it: women love watching other women be miserably confused, and we especially love hashing it out over and over again. SATC is comforting in that way, like a security blanket stained with fluids and lip gloss. It's home. Men (used to) love watching the show because of the gratuitous and guaranteed sex and the harried peek into wimmin-talk. Sex and the City, horrible as it is, is a good romp. Perfectly reined in at a bearable 27-ish minutes, we have just enough time to realize that the show is tinkling, merry hen-scratch, but not enough time to change the channel. What keeps me coming back for more is, frankly, pure kitschy nostalgia. I have made a commitment, something the four ladies know how to talk (and talk) about, and I will see it through to the bloody end. I love it as I would a found precious stone which later turned out to be a petrified dog turd: its glory is still present among the flaky stench. The show is a record of a specific place in time: when couture meant ugly, pink drinks weren't ridiculous, sex was fashionable and mastered, and women began to realize that they could, truly, roar into a great unknown, and not care if they were ever answered, or echoed. Yes, I will miss Carrie, with her fried hair and beady eyes; Miranda, with her thickening waddle and tongue-thrust; Charlotte, with her ever present cry-face and Burberry wardrobe; and Samantha, who has everything. I'm glad to see it go, though glad like a desperate woman quitting smoking: it's for the best, yet what will she do with her oral fixation, what will comfort her when she is breaking up with her live-in, slobby fat boyfriend?

And so it is with tempered joy that I will say goodbye this Sunday night, and I can't help but wonder: what time is Curb Your Enthusiasm on?

***Edit***I cried after the last episode. My heart will go on. I win.

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