Sex and the City: From Carrie to Miranda

I love sex and the city. I own the collector’s edition of the series. Loved the first movie. Let’s not talk about the second one right now.

I’ve always identified with the Carrie character. Carrie was a fabulous writer who lived in a cute little apartment in New York City, had great love affairs, and wore dreamy shoes. I loved everything about her when I was in my twenties.

Did you know there are two YA novels about Carrie’s life before NYC and a second book about her first year in NYC? I didn’t either so even though I don’t read YA I had to check it out.

Prequels are not always a good thing. They sound good on paper but there is something about letting the reader live in their own bubble of ignorance. Because once that bubble is burst, they become aware. Aware like the robots in the eventual robot revolution.  You can’t go back. The writer has now unlocked doors that can’t be closed, shined the light in the face of the reader, thus pointing out all the annoying traits which were unseen in the euphoria of a thousand shoes and hilarious sex talk. My bubble bursting knowledge surprised me.

I hate Carrie Bradshaw.

E! channel and the style network show the series on a regular basis. And even though I’ve seen the episodes a billion times, I watch them.  At first my Carrie hatred started off small.

“Wow, she’s a little needy in this episode.” I thought followed by a head tilt.

Then Mr. Big started to look like the good guy. He started to look like the level headed one in their on/off again relationship.  Carrie often threw childish fits for no good reason, constantly talked about herself when it was clear the other girls needed advice, and was so passive aggressive it was ridiculous.

Was Carrie a sixteen year old girl in a thirty somethings body?  Carrie’s teenage behavior in the YA novels were pretty on par with the show. Did Candace Bushnell do it on purpose? And if so, why?

This revelation did answer one major question. I now could say beyond a shadow of a doubt why I hated Sex and the City two. Besides the embarrassing cultural insensitivity, it was that Carrie was still the same person. She decided to kiss Aiden because Big never took her out to dinner? She’s forty by the second movie. GROW UP.

Her childishness was everywhere now. Every episode I watched made me want to smack sense into her. But on my Carrie spiral, Miranda helped me back up.

Miranda wasn’t the cynical one, she was the most adult of the group. Don’t get me wrong, Miranda is not without her faults but her character changes the most. If we use the YA novels, she goes from hardcore feminist to lawyer to wife and mother. She has her baggage, but she doesn’t let it weigh her down. She doesn’t get lost in it like Carrie does.

One of the best example of Miranda’s growth is in the two-part series finale episodes. Steve’s mother is suffering health and mental problems. The mother wanders out of the house causing Miranda to go look for her. After she finds her, Miranda gives the mother a bath. If it had been Carrie, she would’ve expected a big dinner as a reward, contemplated if she’s ready to care for an old woman, and then try and talk Big into putting her in a home.  Miranda makes no mention of the events to Steve. She did out of love. She wants no rewards for doing the humane thing.

I loved Carrie in my twenties because I used to think and act like her. I was once an immature and selfish. I am by no means perfect but I’ve grown. But if there are any more movies or books about her, how about she grow up a little bit. I don’t want to see a fifty year old Carrie yelling at Big to stop using his cane to walk because it’s not fashionable.

Has an author ever ruined a character for you? Want to defend Carrie? Please comment below.

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4 Comments

  1. I'm so glad I didn't read those prequels. And glad that I can pretend the second movie never happened. (Seriously, what movie?) Because I absolutely flipping LOVE Carrie Bradshaw as a character. Of course she is deeply, deeply flawed, but that’s part of why I love her so much. Second movie aside – because truly, I did believe her choices in that movie were ENTIRELY out of character for her – Carrie’s mistakes are so painful to watch because they feel so real. She’s super smart, funny, deeply devoted to her friends, and desperate to find and believe in “true love.” Not to mention that she’s stylish and confident in spite of looking like an actual person instead of a super model. And so she’s a little neurotic, often selfish, and overly materialistic. Who can’t relate to that? I think Carrie shows us our own flaws, and lets us love her anyway. But I love all four of the women. I think they show a great range of flawed but loveable female personalities. Cynical but level-headed Miranda has always been my second favorite, after Carrie.

  2. I went to see Candace Bushnell read from the Carrie prequel (I forgot what it's called now…) at a B&N in LA last year. How funny that you find her to be childish, I never thought about it that way. I can see where you are coming from, but as Annie commented below, I have always loved her flawed ways and most of all I love that she's a good, loyal devoted friend. They all are, though I think Charlotte shouting at Big after he jilted Carrie wins the Best Friend moment award for me 🙂 Great topic choice Febe!

  3. Maybe once the residue of the prequels wear off, maybe I'll come around again but I wanted some kind of growth for her character. I mean it's almost tragic that she basically the same person from the beginning of the show til the end. 

  4. Wow that's pretty awesome Laura!It's such a weird feeling disliking carrie right now. I used to love her to no end, I saw myself in her. Maybe I'm just in a phase right now. YES! I agree that was an awesome scene in the movie. Looved that scene!

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