Saturday, May 19

Season Six, Part One: Episode One, To Market, To Market

The Summary:Dear Readers (if indeed, you are still there, after these long months of extensive silence from me--and why should you be, really? Your patience, is it infinite? Your capacity to wait, is it boundless? Why should it be?): But if you are there, welcome back! So very delighted to be with you once again.  My very first year as a professor is now over (how...?), and I have officially Come Up for Air.  In sum: being a full time academic--splendid, but also--MAD.  I feel as though the past months have passed in a sleep-deprived, but delightful whirl, in which I frequently had to ask my students what day it was, because I honestly didn't know.  I love being a professor.  I love teaching.  I love my school.  And yet, I also LOVE that it is summer.  Bring on the... sleep!  

And also, bring on the end of BOCS! Much as I love this here blog, I think the summer should see it finally reach its natural conclusion and, well, conclude.  It will be a poignant day, indeed.  But happily, we still have a good bit to go--allll of Season Six (which I quite like), and both the wretched movies (neither of which I like at all.) 

And so welcome, mes amies, to this, the sixth and final season of SATC! I will note, in an uninteresting aside, that this is one of the first episodes I ever saw of the series, and I remember that it thoroughly charmed me/encouraged me to seek out more of the show. Is this because of the insane, awesome shoes which Carrie wears in the opening scene? Is it because of the presence of an adorably scruffy Jack Berger? Is it because there is nothing here to offend my sensitive feminist heart/nerves? Or... all of the above? It seems likely.

So, we begin with Carrie gadding off to ring the opening bell on Wall Street. Said bell-ringing is all presented as madcap fun which, in light of the raw financial hell which said Street plunged us into a few years ago, rather causes the bile to rise in the throat. Wall Street--shame on you, I find you charming not one small bit. Carrie--I disapprove of your mindless celebration of unfettered capitalism, while simultaneously admiring your clothes. Contradictory.

ANYWAY, the Wall Street thing only really matters because it inspires Carrie's central question of the episode, that being: when investing (in either the financial market or in the dating market) is so inherently volatile and unstable... why the heck do we bother to do it? Well... why do we?!? (Ummm... because we are greedy and keep forgetting that the Great Depression ever happened, and gents like Berger seem to promise that Dating Hell can sometimes be more entertaining than it is painful? I dunno... enlighten me, episode!)

So Carrie is considering investing herself in a new relationship, with my own personal SATC crush of the moment, Jack Berger. They are soon to have their first date, and she is super, super excited--and also super, super nervous. She obsesses. She buys multiple new outfits. At her friend's insistence, she goes on a "simudate" with a nice bloke she's not remotely interested in "to take the edge off Berger" which, predictably, is an unmitigated disaster. (And, I will note, not terribly fair to the poor, nice bloke. Messing with the feelings of a gent you care not a jot for... not cool, Bradshaw, not cool at all.)

Carrie only calms down about her pending date with Berger after she bumps into ex-boyfriend Aidan (of "disastrously dated and painfully broken up with not once, but twice" fame.) Turns out, Aidan is happily married and has a fetching new baby, and (happily for him, Carrie, and us, not necessarily in that order) as such is clearly demonstrably fine, even after having endured not one, but two, hellaciously awful breakups with our own Miss Bradshaw. And Carrie realizes that she, too, is clearly demonstrably fine, even after surviving the very same breakups (as well as assorted other romantic disasters, over the years.)

So, weirdly (but happily for Berger, Carrie, and us, not necessarily in that order) remembering all her past heartache, and realizing that she was strong enough to survive it, inspires Carrie to let go of all her anxiety about her date with Berger and just... go on her date with Berger. (Carrie, reflecting that if she and Aidan both made it through their nutty relationship unscathed: "there was nothing I could do on a first date that I couldn't bounce back from.") So she calls him, and they meet up to go to a movie. And they are charming and adorable together and IT IS MY HAPPY TIME NOW, SO DON'T REMIND ME HOW QUICKLY THINGS GO SOUR.

Okay, so, onto the other ladies! Miranda's plotline, as it so often does, gives me a ripsnortin' headache. Miranda realizes one night, having a lovely evening with Steve and young Master Brady, that she is, in fact, in love with Steve. (In related news, the world is round, and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. You heard it here first!)

Terrified by all these lovey-dovey feelings, Miranda nonetheless eventually decides that she needs to, you know, tell Steve that said feelings are ones she possesses. (Thank you, Jesus and any other adjacent deities.) So she invites him to dinner at a romantic restaurant, gets all prettily gussied up for said dinner, gears up to tell him... but before she can, he tells her that he's just started dating someone new, really likes her (that is to say, the new girlfriend), and is no longer in love with her (that is to say, Miranda.) Head, desk, I think by now you know what to do? Good, carry on without me, I need to go find myself a wee little drinkie.

Happily things are somewhat better in Charlotte Land--well, from my perspective, anyway, if not from Charlotte's. I am happy as the writers seem to have ramped down the "Oh, Jews! What strange and alien people they are!" malarkey they pulled so often in Season Five. Charlotte is rather less happy, as her Jewish boyfriend can't marry her, because she is non-Jewish. Alas. Or, oy veh, or whatever.

Beginning to contemplate converting to Judaism, and trying to understand why this whole "Jewish thing" is so important to her beloved in the first place, Charlotte finally learns that Harry primarily wants to marry a Jewish lass so that he can raise his future youngsters Jewish. Oh dear. This revelation means, of course, that Charlotte has to make a revelation of her own, and disclose her own fertility problems/potential inability to have children to Harry. Tears, they flow. Sad memories, they are brought back.

Happily, however, Harry tells Charlotte that he loves her no matter what, and that they can always adopt if they can't have their own biological youngsters. Excellent!

And as for Samantha... boooooring. She sleeps with some beautiful young bloke who has just moved into her building and whom we progressively learn is 1) a trader on Wall Street, 2) is a somewhat shady trader on Wall Street, who gives insider tips to his lady friends, and finally 3) a very shady trader on Wall Street, who gets hauled off by the cops at the end of the episode. Wall Street guys who are morally suspect? Sam sleeping with a generic pretty gent we never see again? Shocking!

The Analysis:I... really have very little to say about this episode, apart from the fact that I enjoy it.  I am totally charmed by Carrie and Berger (they have such a relaxed, witty dynamic together--so much more fun than the bland pleasantness of Aidan Shaw, or the laconic creepiness of Mr. Big--well done, Bradshaw!), I am somewhat annoyed that the writers keep jerking me around re: Miranda and Steve (as they have done for the past four bloody seasons), I am quite glad that Charlotte and Harry are happy together (and that the writers are back-pedaling a leetle bit on the 'Oh, those amusing Jews! How peculiar they are!' style humor), and I am completely uninterested in the boring pretty-boy Samantha sleeps with.  Nothing to really inspire my feminist love, or to rouse my feminist ire--just a pleasant episode, with some fun shoes.  As the Jews would say--meh.  I'll take it!

Notable Quotables:
Carrie, on investing: "I like my money right where I can see it... hanging in my closet."

Carrie, bubbling over about the utopian future she and Berger are going to have together, and how happy she anticipates they are going to be together: "I love this time before the first date when you can make statements like that, and almost believe them."

Carrie, on dating: "Caring too much is like a disaster magnet." (Good, excellent, I will try to convert myself into an inanimate, unfeeling block of wood, then!)

Next Up...?:
"Great Sexpectations"--see what they did there? It's a terrible pun! Nice to see the writers back on form when it comes to Creating Puns That Make You Want to Slash Your Wrists.  So, as one might expect in our next episode we contemplate what happens when you expect sex to be great, and are disappointed to find it terrible. (And yes, I would be talking about Carrie and Berger here, and yes, that makes me wish to weep silent, bitter tears off in a corner somewhere.  Waaaaaahhhh!)