Sex and the City was a great show. Beyond the crassness and comedy there were some truly touching moments that captured the complications and delicacies of relationships. Season's 2, 3 and 4 are the masterpeices. Season 5 was where they started getting really cheesy and season 6 catered to the lowest common denominator. The movies should only serve as coasters in your apartment. Of course I didn't watch the second film. How can you call it Sex and The City and not film it all in NY? But I digress. Below are the scenes that I always have to rewind when they come on TV or watch over and over again on youtube.
1. All That Glitters
Season 4 Episode 14
Trey and Charlotte realize they will never see eye to eye on the child issue and decide to separate. House and Garden comes to shoot "the perfect couple." They look immaculate on the outside but they are strained and hurting on the inside. I love the concept of smiling through the pain. Such strength. It is so heartbreaking how beautiful the room is and how gorgeous a couple they make. The art director knows nothing of the ugliness that is brewing underneath. I love the pep talk Anthony gives Charlotte. Good friends are a treasure. I love that Trey shows up for Charlotte in the end. A proper WASP knows how to keep up a charade.
2. La Douleur Exquise!
Season 2 Episode 12
Big tells Carrie he is moving to Paris indefinitely and seems unaffected by the separation. She realizes he is cutting and running because they are growing too close. She explodes and throws McDonald's at him. He shows up at her apt that evening and spends the night. The next morning he wakes up to her sitting at her desk, looking out the window. He invites her back to bed and she says "go to Paris." Then in her musings she says this:
“Did I ever really love Big or was I addicted to the pain, the exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable?” Truer words have never been spoken. I probably relate to that line more than any other line ever said on the show.
3. The Good Fight
Season 4, episode 13
Samantha has been trying to avoid falling in love with Richard her boss. He invites her over under the pretext of talking business but he has a romantic dinner set up by the pool. She tries to make it about sex. He takes her hand and makes her dance with him to Sade's "By Your Side." One of the best love songs ever written. This is one of the most romantic scenes I have ever watched. I love the way she looks at him while they are dancing, like she is seeing him for the first time and allowing him to see her vulnerable. Her eyes are teary. She finally surrenders to her feelings, looks away, closes her eyes and rests her head on his shoulder. A very strong woman giving up and allowing herself to lose control and fall for "The Perfect Richard." This scene reminds me of the first weekend I spent with my ex boyfriend. I got on a plane to come back to New York City. We had just had a wonderful, perfect weekend and yet I was on the verge of tears the entire flight home. I remember thinking to myself "I'm in serious trouble." But I knew there was no turning back.
4. Don't Ask Don't Tell
Season 3, Episode 12
Carrie confesses to her infidelity and Aidan breaks up with her. Beautiful piano music playing in the background. The pained look on his face. She is crying and she keeps touching his face, his hair, putting her head on his chest and looking at him with pleading eyes. Silently begging but still feeling and watching him slip away. He says "I just wish I didn’t know about this." And "I really loved you." Emphasis on the past tense. Finally he leaves her. She has to wipe her tears and smile through the pain. I thought it was key that he says "I just wish I didn't know about this." Seriously, why did she confess?
5. Attack of the Five Foot Ten Inch Woman
Season 3, Episode 3
Carrie discovers the Times announcement of Natasha and Big's marriage. She tries to pretend she is OK. Charlotte knows she is not. She follows Carrie back to her apartment knowing that Carrie will eventually read it and she may as well read it with a friend. The details are heartbreaking. Carrie breaks down. "She's shiny hair, style section, Vera Wang and I'm the sex column they run next to ads for penile implants."
6. Change of A Dress
Season 4, Episode 15
Aidan realizes Carrie doesn’t ever want to marry him. He confronts her by a water fountain. They look like the bride and groom on top of a wedding cake. He says "if you don’t want to marry me right now, you'll never want to marry me." She fights him but he knows. He says "I can't believe I'm back here again." Yikes. Don't I know it.
7. What's Sex Got To Do With It
Season 4, episode 4
Charlotte and Tray are sleeping together now that his equipment is working. She has been waiting for him to ask her to move back in but he hasn't because he doesn't want to disrupt the chemistry they are finally having. Charlotte gets angry and storms out on him. The next morning he pays her a visit and the below exchange ensues.
Trey: Morning Ma'am
Trey: You left something at my, the apt
He presents her with her wedding ring.
T: Charlotte I want you to move back in and get rid of this old apt and stay all night, every night and wake up next to me every morning and be my wife
C: You do?
T: Yea. I talked it over with my penis and we both agree
They both laugh
T: I don’t want to lose you again. Charlotte York MacDougal will u remarry me?
C: Yes Trey Macdougal I will remarry you
He places the ring on her finger, the camera closes in on them and they kiss. The scene is shadowy and there is some Scottish music playing in the background. So romantic and touching. I love that he comes to the realization that he can't lose her. It is also touching because he never proposed to her properly in the beginning. If you remember she said "I think we should get married" and he replied "all righty." This time he made the speech we all hope to hear one day.
8. 20 Something Girls vs. 30 Something Women
Season 3, episode 17
Carrie sees big and Natasha at a party in the Hampton's and runs to the ocean and throws up. I remember the first time I saw this episode, I couldn't believe a TV show could script such a realistic reaction. If I had broken up with my ex and it was something I was unprepared for and I ran into him with his new girlfriend and she was a bigger, better version of me, I would probably have thrown up too. I don't know how else to externalize that kind of pain.
Start at the 4:20 mark.
You might find it curious that most of my favorite scenes are the most painful ones or the scenes that foreshadow a great amount of hurt that is to befall on of our beloved characters. I don't know what it is about me but my favorite love songs are usually the saddest. I believe Love is Pain. It is exquisite agony. Or exquisite pain, la doleur exquise! Because the best things in life are usually the most costly. We only ever feel such hurt because we loved with abandon. Loving with abandon is where beauty lies. And I wouldn't have it any other way.