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I’ve never been able to adequately explain my fascination with “Sex and the City.” I’ve seen every episode at least once, and at most, probably 17 times. Hell, I’ve watched more “Sex and the City” than a sassy girl who wears flowy pants with a short tank top every day, who critiques Carrie’s ridiculous clothing choices more than a flamboyant gay guy, coincidentally also wearing flowy pants with a short tank top. I’ve got “SATC” cred, but I’m not even sure I think it’s a good show. I mean, I enjoy it, but most of the storylines are just ridiculous and the main characters aren’t very likable. This is the point of my column. I’m going to rank the women of “Sex and the City” from best to worst, in terms of likability, how people ought to behave, and just general human morality.
This is a little difficult for me, because Miranda is actually my
least second least favorite character on this show. She annoys me, which I really blame more on Cynthia Nixon than anything else. She doesn’t treat Steve well for a good amount of the time they spend with each other, and she tends to whine a lot–although, really, all the main characters on this show whine a lot. Whining is actually the narrative engine of this show, so I guess that complaint is a wash. Miranda has some really good qualities, too, though. She’s the only one who has a job that she really takes seriously and works hard at. She busts her ass as a lawyer and makes a lot of money as a result. When she accidentally gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, she shoulders the responsibility and the financial burden, but still allows Steve a relationship with the kid. Then they get married, and we’re finally happy for them. By the way, I think we should all collectively refuse to buy into the storyline that Steve cheated on her in the movie. Impossible.
A lot of people, including myself, would be tempted to put Samantha at number one in terms of likeability. She’s “the one most like a dude,” a statement that I find to not only be false, but alarmingly not the point of what this show is supposed to be about. I already have enough shows in my life that are about dudes doing dude things, so I don’t need my one female-driven show to have a dude in disguise doing dude things. We’ll just say Samantha is the most sexually liberated person on the show, which guys admittedly think they’re attracted to. But Samantha is also conniving and selfish. She uses her position in her celebrity-adjacent job to get things for herself, most notably with the Birkin bag/Lucy Liu debacle. She’s also highly manipulative with men, plying their emotional attachment into sex–and sometimes the reverse, such as when she used Richard’s personal shopper to coerce monogamy out of him. However, she’s fiercely loyal to her friends, even to a fault (which is sort of the point of loyalty). She’s usually pretty upfront about what she wants, and she takes on cancer like a badass. She might be a little over-promiscuous and a lot crazy, but at least she’s honest about it.
The rankings of these last two was a highly controversial topic among my friends and some fellow writers. Many people are of the opinion that Carrie is actually the worst person on this show, and for good reason. She’s a serial adulterer, she shops like no writer could ever realistically shop, and she constantly chooses herself over her friends and significant others. It’s hard to even think of the worst thing she’s done in the series. Cheating on Aidan habitually? Spending $40,000 on shoes and then expecting her friends to help her pay for her apartment, even yelling at Charlotte when she doesn’t go along with the idea? Choosing Big over the clearly superior Aidan? Being insensitive to Berger’s struggles as a fellow writer? The fact she’s supposed to be the most fashion-forward character, but constantly looks like she fell into a dumpster behind a pop-up Halloween store? Hard to say.
But here’s the thing. Despite all of that, despite the lying, cheating, and general selfish behavior, Carrie is the most self-aware character on the show. Granted, she’s the only one with the luxury of sharing her personal thoughts and feelings via a column-presented-as-a-voiceover, but the point stands. Even when she’s at her worst, she acknowledges the things she’s doing wrong, and she questions her own motivations. Plus, she has a good personality, she’s legitimately smart, funny, and flirtatious, and it actually makes sense how she attracts the guys that she does.
Here we go, boys and (mostly) girls. Charlotte is not only the worst person on the show, but she’s one of the most reprehensible characters I’ve ever seen on screen who wasn’t written as an actual villain. Hell, I’d rather hang out with Hans Gruber before her. (Actually, that’s unfair. I’d rather hang out with Hans Gruber before most people.) Either way, Charlotte Fucking York is a terrible human being. She’s unfunny, judgmental, absurdly selfish, naïve, and bland, which is possibly the worst quality. She has no distinguishable personality other than being out of touch with the world.
The entire storyline of her relationship and subsequent divorce with Trey is one of the most infuriating story lines I’ve ever witnessed. We’re supposed to believe that she’s upset by the unusual amount of influence his mother wields over him, but that it’s okay for her when she uses Bunny’s patented manipulation techniques to get a proposal out of him, and then is somehow angry when the proposal didn’t feel natural? It only gets worse from there. She’s already decided that she doesn’t want to have sex before marriage, which is a legitimate decision to make–but if you make that choice, you have to accept the problems that scenario potentially presents, one of which being that your husband is impotent, which I hear can cause issues if, say, you want to have children. How does she react? By kissing the fucking gardener! This leads to a separation, followed by a reconciliation. Then they fix his problem only to find out that she has fertility problems. Oh, the humanity. Then we get to the real problem. Trey isn’t ready for kids. So they divorce. I understand that. She and Trey had irreconcilable differences. She wants kids, he can’t provide them.
But then the apartment happens. Trey leaves her the Manhattan apartment, which completely baffles me, but okay dude, it’s your call. Then Bunny tries to get it back for the family. Does Charlotte then ask herself, “Do I, a person who cheated on my husband and has no discernable career, personality, or general value to this world, truly deserve this apartment that I did nothing to earn?” Nope, she decides to “stand up for herself” to Bunny, who’s somehow the villain in this situation for trying to get a multi-million dollar property back from a shrew that her son made the mistake of falling in love with. Trey ends up sending a message from Scotland telling his mother to back off, so everything’s good, right? Wrong! Charlotte had no leg to stand on in this battle, and yet we’re somehow supposed to be happy that she not only wins, but also ends up marrying her divorce lawyer? Is that some sort of a joke?
You guys see why I’m conflicted about my true feelings for this show now, right?