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Tuesday
Feb252014

Tues Top Ten: Sex and the City Episodes

Jose here to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the end of Sex and the City. That's right, this weekend marked a whole decade since that last time we tuned in to HBO for a new episode. In the ten years since it went off the air, the show has inspired a myriad of copycats that ranged from the terrible (hello Lipstick Jungle) to the wonderful (hi Girls), as well as more think pieces than you can shake a stick at. And while the popularity of the Cosmopolitan as a drink of choice, has completely dwindled (what are successful women drinking nowadayas?), elements of the show's lingo and their bits of wisdom ("he's just not that into you") have become part of our daily life.

I am very aware that many people out there absolutely loathe the show but as a teenager I dreamt of nothing more than moving to NYC and pursuing a writing career like Carrie Bradshaw. I also dreamt of quitting cigarettes, finding a wonderful apartment and a great man to go with it. During the decade the show's been off the air I made some of those dreams come true and the following Top Ten is a celebration for those who, like me, found their inner "fabulous" because of this show.

READ THE TOP TEN SEX AND THE CITY  AFTER THE JUMP!

 

10. Episode: “Change of a Dress” S04E15
 

Why is it so good?: That Badgley Mischka strapless gown Carrie wears in the last scene as Aidan breaks up with her. The rest of the episode isn’t half bad either, with Samantha realizing she might’ve caught monogamy (“now it’s airborne”) and Charlotte having a breakdown during “Tea for Two”.
 

Best Line:

CARRIE: I am yours. There is no one else. I love you. But I can't marry you to make you trust me, Aidan.”

 


9. Episode: “Splat!” S06E18

Why is it so good?: After the sudden death of party girl Lexi Featherston (Kristen Johnston) Carrie realizes it might just be time to leave NYC for Paris. When Miranda confesses she doesn’t like Petrovsky all hell breaks loose in a way we wouldn’t see until their fight in the first movie four years later.

Best Line

LEXI: I’m so bored I could die” 

 

 

8. Episode: “The Agony and the “Ex”-tacy” S04E01

Why is it so good?: The last scene in the diner where the girls decide they will be each other’s soul mates. It sounds corny but it gets me every time and I’ve formed similar pacts with my friends in more than one occasion. Also...

Best Line:

SAMANTHA: I masturbated to my priest... Friar Fuck!
CHARLOTTE: You have a priest?

 

7. Episode: “Sex and the Country” S04E09

Why is it so good?: Samantha in overalls milks a cow and then proceeds to hit on the studly farmer (“Anything else around here need milking?”) only to realize he’s as clingy as men in the city.

Best Line:

Squirrels are just rats with cuter outfits”

 

6. Episode: “An American Girl in Paris Part Deux” S06E20

Why is it so good?: It’s the last one and despite it complying to all the clichés (Carrie returns from Paris and ends up with Big) it still feels like one of the all time great TV endings.

Best Line

CARRIE: I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love.”

 

5. Episode: "They Shoot Single People, Don't They?" S02E04

Why is it so good?:  This.

Best Line:

SAMANTHA: “Is he really that bad in bed?”
MIRANDA: “No, he's just, he's a guy. They can re-build a jet engine but when it comes to a woman, what's the big mystery? It's my clitoris, not the Sphinx”. 

4. Episode: “Escape from New York” S03E13

Why is it so good?: Leave it to Los Angeles to breathe new life into Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. With cameos by the Matthew McConaughey (who would go on to star with SJP in the rom-com classic Failure to Launch) and Buffy herself playing a PR overachiever, it’s probably the most star-studded ep in the show.

Best Line:

SAMANTHA: I'm not going to die in this tin can, I have a date with a dildo”.

 

3. Episode: “Cock a Doodle Doo!” S03E18

Why is it so good?: Samantha’s battle with the “Up My Ass” players, Carrie’s own battle with crowing cocks and Charlotte’s sad realization that she might not be “desirable” make for one of the show’s absolute funniest episodes.

Best Line:

SAMANTHA: “I'm paying a fortune to live in a neighbourhood that's trendy by day and trannie by night”

 


2. Episode: “Ex and the City” S02E18

Why is it so good? If this had been Mr. Big’s last appearance in the show, it would’ve been one of the most beautiful sendoffs ever. It obviously wasn’t, but having the girls pay tribute to Babs and Bob was worth it.

Best Line:

CARRIE: “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell”.
MR BIG: “I don't get it”
CARRIE: “And you never did.”

 

1. Episode: “The Real Me” S04E02

Why is it so good?: Sometimes everyone’s standard favorite is their favorite for a reason...from hilarious cameos by Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho, to Heidi Klum and Kevyn Aucoin, to Samantha’s flawless nude pictures and Charlotte’s depressed vagina, this is the show’s version of “comfort food”. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this episode by now...and each and every time I feel like it's the very first time.

Best Line:

STANFORD: Oh my god, she’s fashion roadkill”

 

It's your turn dear reader. Do you miss this show as much as I do? If so, what would you rank as your own favorite episodes? 

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Reader Comments (22)

I resent Michael Patrick King for being vapid. What pains me the most is that the show celebrates Carrie ending up with Big as if it's a good thing. It isn't. Men should never be rewarded for years of misbehavior and insensitivity. Fuck him. Makes Carrie look like a needy/dumb female. Antihero she is for making women look pathetic.

Samantha never got to become a real person on the show. Everything was about keeping her a whore till the end. Even when she was in a serious relationship. It was merely about having Cancer and needing the companionship. Bitch please.

Miranda is the best character on the show and has had some of the meanest things on the series happen to her. The one that sticks out is from the episode where she thinks her neighbor across the way is flirting with her. Only to find out in an awkward grocery scene that he's gay and wasn't flirting with her at all. Horrible.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Wow...your No. 1 episode is the same as mine...and the song to end it all - Got to be Real! I can watch this episode time and again....

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJans

jose -- your top 3 are sublime choices... but i really wish the final episode wasn't on here. i thought it was a mess.

p.s. also love SPLAT!

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

The one where the girls went to the Tantric Sex demo and Miranda got cum in her hair.

Also loved Miranda's mother's funeral and the fashion roadkill ep you list above.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

henry -- oh yeah. that was a great one "my motherboard myself" or something like that

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I liked the one where Carrie realised she could've bought an apartment with all the money she spent on shoes over the years. For 20 seconds the show's grotesque materialism felt like it had been driving towards a point.

Otherwise all of the best episodes were in the first couple of (landmark) seasons before things got too cloying and forced.

I also found the very retrograde he-abuses-me-emotionally-for-years-but-deep-down-i-know-he-loves-me final reunion not just tasteless and lacking in credibility, but downright tasteless. Also the fact that all four of them ended up coupled off bothered me to no end.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I find this show to be my comfort. In terms of chemistry, some of the wittiest writing in modern day television, the direction was always inspired, the acting always on point. The show turned into a fantasy more so towards the 3rd to 6th seasons, but the characters occupations led to why, which kept it, for me anyway, believable. I rather enjoyed the topics discussed more towards the beginning of the series (1st and 2nd seasons). This show ushered in a sexual revolution for modern women, and so many other people in general. I'm a sucker for sweet corny moments, as well as the heartbreaking scene in the last episode where we see Miranda (played by such amazing versatility in Cynthia Nixon) where she is washing her mother-in-law in the tub. Or that awesome moment Carrie (where no one else in the world could have portrayed her better than Sarah Jessica Parker) where she repeats the line "You have to forgive me Aidan." The uproarious humor of Samantha (played by the fearless and scene stealing Kim Cattral). So much of what Samantha said was classic and rang so true, and I appreciated how fun they kept her till the end. Samantha made me feel comfortable in my sexual wants and desires. And then to have the careful opposition in Charlotte (played with such curious wonder by Kristen Davis) added a type of archaic mindset to off set the other women. I don't care how people will typically speak on Sex and the City, those people usually just look at the surface or the "fun" of it. I appreciate the intricate work this show executed wonderfully. It has gone down as one of my favorite shows of all time. :-)

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTory Smith

I remember scenes more than I remember full episodes, so I can't rank, but I loved this post!

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

tory - well put. It really is a great show. a tv classic. it'll get its due some day with reconsiderations i hope. I would easily list it among the ten best series of my lifetime.

February 26, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel, I would pay to see THAT list!

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNic Meyers

No episode featuring Bunny McDougal? Her presence alone should propel any episode to a top 10 list. Charlotte and Trey was one of my favorite story arcs of the entire series.

I love Samantha's lesbian explorations with the GREAT Sónia Braga, as well as pretty much everything that had Miranda, my perennial favorite, at the centre of it.

I thought the show was outstanding in Season 3 and 4, good in Season 2 and way too messy in the 1st and final seasons. Not a fan of the sappinness and ultimate cheesiness of Season 6. It was kinda embarrassing watching the show take itself way too fucking serious.

I do agree it's a television classic, probably the biggest (worldwide) pop culture touchstone in television so far? I think so, with Friends and Seinfeld as close seconds. The show was HUGE back here in Europe and sitcoms aren't nearly as popular as they are in the US.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZV

Nathaniel -- Yes! I feel the same about the finale.

I desperately miss this show especially Samantha. Before the movies debacle, I secretly hoped there would be a spin-off just about her.

So far, I've only managed to quit cigarrettes but, anyway I look fabulous and I'm totally enjoying Girls. Can't we stop for a minute and praise that wonderful beach house episode?

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Brady's birthday, Miranda and Steve in the pantry with the 1 candle and Charlotte recovering from her miscarriage. One of my favourites.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMustafa

I love the Carrie/Miranda phone conversation in The Real Me.

"You are a model?".
"You attract people with your personality".

Friends truth telling = the best kind of friends.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I'm with James T - I remember scenes and plotlines more than I remember individual episodes. That said - this is a great list. I love ALL of these episodes (although I'd replace the finale with "My Motherboard, Myself"), and your #1 is absolutely the best #1 choice - I would throw out any SATC Top 10 list that didn't include it.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I enjoyed the one where they took a trip to Atlantic City...

Fat guy in casino: "Hey Red, move your fat ass"
Samantha: "What did you just say?!? She just had a baby!"
Carrie: "Yeah what's your excuse... Ya havin' triplets?!!!"

hahah I died.
Exatly how real friends have each others back :-)

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGilda

okay my top ten

10 The Post it Always Sticks Twice (NOT ON THIS LIST)
09 Was it Good For You? (NOT ON THIS LIST)
08 Luck Be an Old Lady (NOT ON THIS LIST)
07 Splat!
06 Ring a Ding Ding (NOT ON THIS LIST)
05 They Shoot Single People Don't They?
04 Ex and the City
03 My Motherboard, My Self (NOT ON THIS LIST)
02 Cock-a-Doodle Do
01 The Real Me

I think the 4th season is the best.

February 26, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I adore "My Motherboard, My Self". In fact I've been spending a week urging one of my co-workers to watch it after his laptop died. Now I'm sad I left it out but I'm very happy "The Real Me" is still so beloved <3

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJose

That's my favorite episode too, when Margaret Cho says 'Fuck Me Hard' , I always die of laughter.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Oh I loved this show so much. I was too young to watch it when it was on but I got the dvds when I was in my late teens and it taught me a lot, heh. I love Ex and the City and both An American Girl in Paris; and Plus One Is The Loneliest Number and One.

My friends and I often say "I'm dating a guy with the funkiest tasting spunk." in inappropriate moments for the lolz.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Was such a great show. Was great to have a show at the time that featured women who loved, supported, and stuck together like friends should have.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKai Lor

Gilda - Yes! I forgot about Atlantic City. I loved that episode too.

But yes, I was gonna say the sticky note episode (when Burger breaks up with her via a post-it note). I always thought the way the episode before it ends is one of the most dramatic moments on the show, when she wakes up and he's gone. She sees the vase of flowers he left and reads the post-it note and she just knocks the flowers over and the water trickles down. Idk, I always thought it was powerful. :p And then the sticky note episode is great, getting high and almost arrested.

I love this series tho. So many good moments. I agree with a lot of the choices already.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

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