Friday, February 13, 2004


Now, with this episode of "Sex and the City," I must reverse myself. And spoilers abound.

There were some great moments in this episode, sadly overwhelmed by some awful clinkers. Most especially, the Demonization of the 80s Party Girl, who, after snorting coke, and lighting a cigarette, fell out a window to her death. Played by the Amazonian and seemingly unkillable Kristen Johnston, who used to be an alien on Third Rock from the Sun, and currently is playing the most terrifying and amazing character in contemporary American theatre, Wallace Shawn's Aunt Dan.

Not to mention, the Patheticification (I know, not a word, but I lost the spelling bee, okay?) of the 50something Career Woman, played by the glorious Candice Bergen (where have you gone, Murphy Brown?), who, as Carrie's former employer at Vogue, got to plead with Carrie to please please please bring her a date to her party because, you know, she's a dried up old hag who's watching younger women like Carrie poach from her age group's shallow dating pool. Carrie, with Aleks' help, scares up...Wallace Shawn. Who talks about raw cheese, clearly a libido-dasher.

Okay. Forget that I've had a brain crush on Wallace Shawn since I read "Marie and Bruce." Forget that in real life, Wallace Shawn just sort of...glows. Forget that I once heard the playwright Tina Howe, all six feet of her, say, "Oh, Wally's so cute, you just want to scoop him in your pocket and take him home."

But remember this rule: Real Life is Often Much More Interesting Than Television. For instance: in real life, Candice Bergen was married to director Louis Malle and was so European classy, she apparently invited Malle's mistress (past or present, I don't know) to Malle's funeral. And now Bergen, 58, is remarried to some classy rich guy with a New York apartment with a gorgeous view. That's some shallow romantic wading pool she's got there.

I know, I know. The dead party girl, the dried up Vogue editor---they aren't really characters, they're just part of what I call "the anxiety catalyst" to force Carrie to Make Her Big Decision: should she abandon New York and her column for Aleks and Paris? And I say to you, my sisters and brothers, life is just not that damn binary.


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