Hot Child In The City

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Trying to pick my favourite episodes of Sex and the City is similar to trying to pick my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each show has great 'standalone' episodes (and on Buffy, some episodes are characterized by such eps, while others are more about the season-long arc) that are more memorable, yet the episode-spanning story arcs like Carrie's affair with Big or Charlotte's marital troubles with Trey are the heart of the show, and what really captured your attention over the endless parade of bachelors the girls worked their way through. If you haven't watched the show or movie and don't care to be spoiled, don't read on.

I have no reason to write this entry, other than I was just thinking of the hot and humid weather, which segued into 'Hot Child & The City' (a fave SATC ep...not sure if it ranks top 10...read on to find out), which made me think about the movie coming out next summer.

To be totally honest, I'm not sure how I feel about the movie. I loved getting back into the show with some new content, and I loved analyzing the endless parade of fashions...but it really just made me miss the show and all its brilliance. They coulda, shoulda, woulda (?) continued it on methinks. The movie was missing a lot of things the show did - the humour was more slapstick than sassy (think: Charlotte's poo-kipsie incident), the so-called happy ending was hard to cheer for after the shocking level of depression shown by Carrie, and overall the film suffered by its length. While you never wanted a SATC episode to end (ah how I love the bite-size episodes), they were all very tightly wound in terms of themes (at times, laughably so). The movie felt like endless sketches and lacked that cohesiveness.

Still, I will be there opening day.

Back to my entry. I'm doing this off the cuff. I've spent zero hours thinking about this really, so I'm not going to actually rank these episodes from fave to least fave - they'll be ranked by season of appearance. And without further ado...my top 10 episodes of a little show that introduced us to Big and Carrie (blah). Oh and for the record...I tend to like the episodes of momentous occasion. You'll see what I mean.

S2 - Series Episode #29 - Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-Something Women: This is one of the eps that sees the women outside of NYC for a rollicking good time. Charlotte's entire faux-twentyhood is awesome and hilarious. This was one of the episodes that really put the whole setting of the show in perspective (as someone who first saw the show as a teen) and clearly demonstrated what stage of life these women were in. As much as I felt like I could relate to them (and still do), seeing twenty-somethings through their eyes was hilarious in this instance (and not quite as malicious / pie-in-the-face as 'Attack of the 5'10 Woman' in S3).

S3 - Series Episode #41 - Running With Scissors
As one of many loyal Aidan devotees, it was hard but amazing to watch Carrie engage in her affair with Big. As if he didn't jerk her around enough in the first two seasons (and again, why it hard to support the ending of the series / film)...anyway! This is the best of the entire affair storyline, although I enjoyed the previous ep or two ago where Big and Aidan actually meet at the furniture show. The show isn't afraid to not only dig into "Why would you ever have an affair?", but also to highlight that things are degenerating between Big and Carrie as shown in the opening montage from swanky 5-star to seedy motel. Plus the confrontation at the end with Natasha and Carrie, and Big at the hospital? Handled so shockingly / grippingly! Who doesn't love the little details like Natasha slamming the cab door shut when Carrie attempts to accompany her to the hospital?

S3 - Series Episode #45 - Hot Child In The City
Apparently I love me some pot-smoking Carrie, despite being anti-drugs. I couldn't *not* include this episode as it's literally the first one I ever saw, and to this day makes me giggle. All four storylines are hilarious / awesome / insightful; Carrie's fried chicken afternoons with Wade? Charlotte's 'Rebecca' and Trey's 'Schooner'? Miranda's gawk-ward braces? Samantha's showdown with a tween a-lister (future emo teen star Kat Dennings of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)? I love an episode that manages to be hilarious, self-deprecating, and insightful at the same time, all wrapped up in tightly-linked storylines.

S4 - Series Episode #50 - The Real Me
This is a perfect example of Sex and the City catering to its fans; giving you a does of celebrity stardom and showcasing one of the show's stars: fashion. Not only that, but one of the funniest scenes of the entire series - fashion roadkill! - takes place. The rest of the episode is pretty whatever and doesn't impact much future happenings, but Carrie's fashion storyline more than makes up for it.

S4 - Series Episode #63 - Change of a Dress
Possibly my favourite episode of the entire series...for the Aidan and Carrie storyline. They have a much more interesting, deep, defined, and prototypically flawed relationship this season, and everything that happens in this episode has been simmering for the first 2/3rds of Season 4. The horrible wedding dress scene, and the truly beautiful break-up scene outside the fountains...it's painful. The other girls really aren't important in this episode, but the Carrie/Aidan drama (and actually the next episode, which follows it up SO well) is worth it.

S4 - Series Episode #66 - I Heart NY
This is a prime example of a very 'big moment' (not Big moment...) the show purposefully orchestrated. This is my friend Robyn's fave episode, and for good reason. I actually love the final four episodes of S4 with almost equal ardor - Carrie's post-breakup lament here is probably her most genuine (save for the movie), the stint at Vogue is a nice fashion-y diversion, and this episode is just pure magic. It's interesting they launched us towards Big again so soon, but they were smart to do so - giving Carrie a kind of bittersweet clean slate, and finally showing some grown-up romance and interaction between these two. Did I mention I love Moon River? There are just so many great scenes here...and clothes for that matter, I want almost everything Carrie wears this episode. Miranda's season-long arc also comes to a fitting end, and Charlotte has her last interaction with Trey (he did film a guest appearance in the s5 finale, but they cut it out to preserve love for Harry). Not only is the message of this episode sweet and memorable...we finally have a change of season!

S5 - Series Episode #72 - Critical Condition
I quite like the episodes where the characters kind of dwell on past break-ups. It makes for more cohesiveness when they're all going through a sort of single gal phase. This particular episode does things in a humorous but harsh way when Carrie gets "the face" from the next chick to date Aidan after her, which altogether makes for a funny takeaway. Who hasn't talked about this episode and made 'the face' with their friends? On top of that, we have the *awesome* Samantha / vibrator storyline, and the introduction of Harry. Joy!

S5 - Series Episode #74 - I Love A Charade
There are definitely elements of this episode that harken back to the S4 finale...but I somehow find this one more genuinely sentimental, romantic, and most importantly realistic. While S4 was all about wrapping things up with a pretty bow, this episode was really about transitioning these women into the final wrap-up of the show. Carrie is finally open to new possibilities (and believing in love again after the sham-marriage she's invited to). Miranda realizes it's not as easy as she thought to live happily ever after. Samantha finally moves past Richard. And Charlotte finally (albeit a tad reluctantly) accepts Harry as a full-fledged part of her life. I have a strange affinity for this episode, despite not liking S5 as a whole.

S6 - Series Episode #81- The Post-It Always Sticks Twice
Words cannot describe my love for (parts of) this episode. I actually wrote a paper on the Carrie-blows-up-in-Bed scene on communication theories. This is one of the funniest / best break-up stories the show puts out there, and possibly my fave comedic episode of the series. Aside from that, I like that Miranda finally gets a non-frumpy moment with her 'skinny jeans', and copious amounts of sexy Smith and happy Charlotte are always nice as well.

S6 - Series Episode #86 - One
This episode mostly ranks high because of the Steve & Miranda resolution. Don't get me wrong, I loved Dr. Robert Leeds, but these two are truly meant to be (at least in TV fantasy world). I know most people hated the Russian, but I liked this quirky introduction to his character that really set the stage for their relationship (him running the show and over-the-top bizarre romance) - plus Carrie's dress on their date was amazing. I also like Charlotte's story here, a nice return to form from an intermittently pandering character during the latter half of the show.

Honorable Mentions:
- S1: Secret Sex
- S2: The Chicken Dance, Evolution, La Douleur Exquise!, Games People Play, The Fuck Buddy
- S3: Politically Erect, Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl..., Easy Come Easy Go, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Escape From New York / Sex & Another City, What Goes Around Comes Around
- S4: Baby Talk Is Cheap (hot Aidan), My Motherboard My Self, Sex & The Country, Belles of the Balls, Just Say Yes, Ring A Ding Ding, A Vogue Idea
- S5: Luck Be An Old Lady, Plus One Is The Loneliest Number (Grey's Papaya!), The Big Journey
- S6: Pick-A-Little Talk-A-Little, Hop Skip & A Week, The Domino Effect, The Ick Factor, Splat, American Girl In Paris Parts Une & Deux

Fave Season: Four! Each of the ladies had an interesting - and at times, heart-wrenching - relationship this season, and 3 of the guys had a real good chance of developing their characters and stories this season (before being chucked anyway).

What are your top 10? Choose carefully. Looking at my list again, I would probably scrap my S2 choice and subsitute it for something like the S3 LA episodes, Ring A Ding Ding or a Vogue Idea, or the series finales...I just can't pick one I like the best out of those, so it stays.

But yeah, that's my top 10! Now all I want to do is rewatch the series for the millionth time. Love.

- Britt's On

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