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Eulogy: Sex and the City
February 10, 2004
by Rondi Adamson

I am happy to bring you this report on the death of insipid drivel. Not all insipid drivel, sadly. But the insipid drivel brought to you by Candace Bushnell and HBO and that same insipid drivel which is oft mistaken for intelligent commentary. Sex and the City is mercifully, after far too long, heading for the funeral parlor, though it has been experiencing death rattles, even rigormortis, for years.

To hear the talk these days the upcoming end of Sex and the City is a tragedy. To hear some of my acquaintances, rivers will be cried. I have to remind them that these characters are imaginary. Fictitious. Get over it. Meet in a church basement somewhere and work through the pain. I have to remind them that it is good these women aren't real, since who, in their right mind, would want friends like Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha?The Far-From-Fab-Four are unlikable and highly objectionable on the few levels they possess. They are at once superficial, greedy, self-absorbed and dumb as the list of Samantha's lovers is long.

Barely the revolutionary portrayals of women so many claim, they are nothing more than throwbacks and if they do represent "real" single women of today, happily, they do not represent any of my single women friends. Or me. I wouldn't be able to stand it. Or myself. Why this show is so popular is beyond me, though I suspect it has to do with women needing to feel less alone in their loneliness and less desperate in their desperation.

It is probably not fair to call Carrie et al "throwbacks" since I rather doubt women of my mother's generation could find nothing more to talk about than shoes and men. I remember my mother being passionate about politics -- she still is. I remember my mother looking outside of herself, and I suspect she did before she met my father. I suspect her life as a single woman was not spent in a coffee shop talking trash, and I suspect she was not an exception. The right to vote was not wasted on my mother's generation. But I think the suffragettes may have wasted their energy if we judge by Carrie and her friends. Do they even vote? Do they know there's an election this year?

When was the last time Samantha or Carrie offered any indication they were aware of a world away from their G-spots or their stuffed closets? It is not by suddenly giving one of them a horrible disease that they will acquire depth. And it is telling that the only two characters on the show who appear to have three-digit IQs, and who are even remotely sympathetic, are the two who will end the series domesticated. So much for the "single women are not pathetic" message. Ladies, it seems we are pathetic. What could have been a positive shout-out to singletons is nothing more than confirmation of our sorry state -- unfortunate, because some women enjoy being single.

Carrie, the woman around whom the show revolves, is allegedly the most balanced of the four. Miranda is too cynical, Samantha too slutty and Charlotte too parochial. But Carrie is a stupid girl. Most of the men she picks treat her badly, or are sulky and uncommunicative. She seems to have learned sweet nothing through the course of the series, despite her endless (and annoying) voice-over analyses and pointless, rambling questions. Do the latter not make you want to reach into your television set and smash the curly-haired sex columnist over the head with her laptop?

When Carrie finally found someone decent and altogether hunky -- Aidan -- what did she do? She cheated on him with an emotional quadriplegic. When he forgave her the humiliation and possible STDs, she pitched a hissy-fit when he wanted some space in her closet. Jimmy Choo forbid she should ever part with some of her tasteless garb, most of which she is far too old to wear. Britney Spears she is not. And even Ms. Britney has a better excuse --her age -- for her lousy relationship choices than the rapidly aging though none-the-wiser-for-it Carrie Bradshaw.

When Aidan proposed marriage, after the bellyaching about the clothes and the infidelity, what did Sister Carrie do? She whined about the ring. It wasn't right. How could she marry a man who would choose such a ring? Yes girls, it's what's on the outside that matters.

There have been revolutionary women on tv. There was Agent 99, Maxwell Smart's fellow CONTROL agent who everyone, including Max, knew was the far more able of the two. She outshined him while looking sleek and sexy. And even on that slapstick show she managed to come across as more multi-faceted than any of Our Girls of Sex and the City. There was Mary Richards -- single without despair. Single without morphing into caricature.

So it is with no sadness that I give this eulogy, except for the tiny bit I feel for those who will miss the Mindless Quartet once February 22nd rolls around and Sex and the City is -- Jesus be praised -- over. To paraphrase George Bush, the world will be a better place without you, Misses Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. Good riddance.

Rondi Adamson is a writer in Toronto. She can be reached at queenvalemon@aol.com

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