As an avid lover of Sex and the City, I’ll still be the first to admit that there are several flaws in the show - but, the rest of it is so good that I often ignore the flaws when I'm rewatching the series.
Even though it’s been off the air for more than ten years, it’s still very culturally relevant. Something about the show resonates in girls still, whether you watched it while it was on HBO or after the fact. Perhaps, it is because everyone can relate to one of the character (I'm obviously a Carrie) or because it spawned many female driven comedies that spoke about sex in a frank manner.
For whatever reason, the glittery portrayal of New York and a group of girlfriends is something that woman still watch today. I still watch it today. In fact, I’d be embarrassed to list how many times I’ve run through the series from start to finish in this year alone.
Now that I’ve explained what a super fan I am, let me say that there are some truly stupid plots in Sex and the City. In rewatching the show, some of the lesser plots become more and more obvious – like why is Miranda turned on by a sandwich and Charlotte obsessed with animals? Furthermore, some of the stupid plots are actually straight up offensive. The portrayal of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals are so stereotypical that they would not be accepted in a show today.
So, for reasons ranging from offensive to just being flat out dumb, these are the 15 stupidest Sex and the City plots.
Justin Theroux played two different characters, but like why? This was a well-written HBO show and they thought it would be okay to recast Justin Theroux as a completely different character and no one would notice? Women can recall what outfit Carrie wore in an episode off the top of their heads. Recycling Justin Theroux was not going to slip by womankind.
The fact that he played two different characters is so baffling because it is so easily written around. In season one, Theroux plays a cocky writer who is on a 30-Under-30 list. In season two, Theroux plays a short story writer who climaxes prematurely. The guy literally plays a writer in both episodes. Couldn’t Carrie just bump into the season one Theroux and rekindle her flame with him only to find out he climaxes prematurely? It could be the same exact storyline with a different origin.
Plus, Carrie is always bumping into people. In season four, Carrie can’t get a cab when, out of thin air, Mr. Big, with his glorious eyebrows and his smug grin, appears to offer her a ride. How about when she bumps into Aidan with a goddamn baby slung to his chest in season five? Bumping into people is like 85% of the plot points on Sex and the City.
By the way, her bumping into Aidan with a baby strapped to him was stupid too. He must have rebounded rather quickly to have gotten married, gotten his wife pregnant and had a baby all a season and a half after Carrie ended their engagement.
They always stuck Miranda with the super weird sex plots. They made her have a phone sex relationship with some dude who she realized was having phone sex with other girls – on the other line of all things. They had her give up sex in several seasons, only to replace it with renting movies and then chocolate. They made her date a catholic who showered after sex. They made her date a filmmaker, who would only have sex with her while watching his work. It was all really weird, but perhaps the oddest of all was Miranda and the guy in the sandwich costume.
He’s in a costume giving out flyers in the street and saying, “Eat me.” Miranda bumps into him and is, at first, annoyed by his sexual way of saying "Eat me" but then… she likes it. The plot ends with her asking him to lift up his costume so she can see his face but then they go their separate ways.
Of all of Miranda's weird sex plots, the guy in the sandwich costume may be the weirdest and they didn't even bone.
What even was this plot? In an episode that was otherwise really good, Charlotte sees a horse and stops dead in her tracks, like she is in friggin' love with this horse.
She then explains to Carrie that she used to ride a horse named Taddy and this horse reminded her of Taddy. Okay, so Charlotte is not in love with the horse in the episode but she was apparently in love with a horse when she was younger. It's like seeing a guy who looks a lot like some dude you used to date.
Charlotte’s odd, seemingly sexual arousal at the thought of her old horse is really weird. I’m not sure what kind of weird stuff Charlotte and her horse did in the past, but it all felt goofy. On top of that, it’s an episode about being friends with an ex and this is Charlotte’s plot line…? So weird.
Thankfully, they didn’t bring up Charlotte’s romantic obsession with horses in any other episodes and just stuck to their wheelhouse – shoes, brunch and men.
5 Carrie’s Financial Troubles
Ah, one of the best and worst plots. At first glance, it seems like a great plot because they finally addressed Carrie’s careless way of living. She spent $40,000 on shoes and uses her oven as sweater storage. She never cooks and only dines when eating out with dates and girlfriends.
While her whole life seems charming and fabulous, there is simply no way she would be able to afford to live that way by writing one article a week for a newspaper. Sure, this was before the recession, but unless she was getting paid like $1,000/week for her one article, it just seems unfathomable.
After Aidan leaves her, she’s left with the prospect of moving or buying her apartment, which forces her to take a good hard look at her finances - finally! - and what she sees is not good. The bank won't give her a loan and this way back when banks were handing out loans like they were party favors.
She accepts a freelance job at Vogue for $4/word, which is like pretty ridiculous money per word. Were people really paid that much to write a freelance article before the recession?
After having to reflect on the way she spends her money, Carrie buys her apartment with a down payment she has from selling Charlotte’s engagement ring. After that, we literally never hear about her money issues again. Ever. That’s why it is stupid. Bringing this up again or perhaps, having her adjust her lifestyle just a little bit would have been more believable. Instead, she's still brunchin' and shoe shopping.
At times, Sex and the City wasn’t very sensitive when it came touchy subjects and often made real issues into a punchline.
For example, Carrie sleeps with a jazz player, with whom she has mind blowing sex. That’s all well and good but then she discovers that he has ADD and it seems like his ADD correlates to his sexual prowess somehow. If you're wondering, yes I did sleep with a ton of dudes with ADD after seeing this episode and no, it does not correlate to sexual prowess. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
Then, Carrie sleeps with a guy in AA, who basically replaces alcohol with her and gets addicted to their sex. Oh, then she dates her high school sweetheart who is in a mental institution. What are these plots? It's weird to take issues that people actually struggle with and turn them into a sitcom plot. Charlotte being in love with her horse was better than these.
They tried to have some lesbian plots, but they really just failed. In season 2, Charlotte meets a group of "power lesbians," who are lesbians with impeccable taste, disposable income and fun lives. She wants to be part of their crew and she basically is, until the HBIC asks her if she eats p***y. Then, she’s kicked out of the tribe because she doesn't get down with the dish.
In season 4, Samantha gets into a relationship with a lesbian and this falls flat as well. When it starts, it seems good. Samantha is going to open herself up to the possibility of a relationship (yay) with a woman (yay). The relationship lasts a whopping three episodes and the arc goes something like this - Episode 1: They meet. Lesbian likes Samantha. At first, Samantha says no, but then she’s like, "Let's give it a go, hot artsy lesbian." Episode 2: Samantha likes her so much that they haven’t even had sex yet, then they have sex and Samantha likes the lesbian sex. Episode 3: Samantha is tired of taking baths and talking all the time, which is apparently what their relationship has become in one episode. Bore. Relationship ends.
The portrayal of what it is like to be in a lesbian relationship is very flat. We appreciate the effort but to have the relationship be so lame is not great.
It’s also very insignificant. This happens, Samantha shrugs and goes right back to banging every dude in Manhattan.
4 Miranda With Braces
I’m sorry, but no way in hell does Miranda get braces. This is a New York dwelling, high-powered lawyer. She makes more money than any of the other characters. She owns her apartment. She wears designer labels. You’re telling me that this woman, in her 30s, is going to get metal braces put on her teeth? No way.
I could have maybe settled for a story about her getting Invisalign, but this just seems too out there. It’s all for plot in which she’s insecure about said braces, breaks up with a guy and then has a meltdown in a meeting. In the end, she gets the braces removed, but it honestly just seems unbelievable that she would have braces to begin with.
Oh, more weird Charlotte plots with animals. This time, it’s about dogs.
In season 2, Charlotte gets a dog to replace having a boyfriend – no, for real. It’s not even really like a subconscious choice either. She straight up says that she got the dog because she was tired of men. There’s also a scene in which she comes home from work, turns the bedroom light on and talks to her dog in a seductive tone, like a super sexy tone. It’s all really weird.
In season six, Harry and her are having trouble conceiving, so distraught Charlotte takes to running. While on her trail, she meets a cute little dog and the owner ends up giving Charlotte the dog. This whole plot in the most normal of Charlotte’s animal plots but coupled with the other dog plot and the horse plot, it seems like Charlotte has a weird obsession with animals.
Carrie not understanding her computer is kind of quirky, but the degree to which she doesn’t understand technology is actually alarming. Why doesn’t she know anything… at all? I understand that new technology is confusing and weird to people, but as someone who literally writes on her computer in every single episode, why didn’t she understand more about her computer?
In season four, she gets the internet so she can get Aidan back and she has no idea what the hell to do with it. At one point, he IMs her and she ducks down, asking Miranda if he can see her, like through the screen.
After she does get Aidan back, her computer crashes and Carrie has a meltdown. When everyone asks if she backed up her work, she’s stunned. She apparently didn’t know people backed things up, even though her entire career is on that computer. Seriously, Carrie?
For a college educated woman who writes for a newspaper, you’d think she wouldn’t be so helpless with everything concerning her computer. The plots didn't come off as cutesy as one would think the writers intended. Instead, they are just dumb and make Carrie look dumb.
3 The Roosters
Again with the animals. Maybe the animal plots just feel so obviously weird because they don’t really belong in this world. The girls wear designer clothing and go to galas and club openings. They are the epitome of cool and so throwing in animals to this world is goofy but alas, animals show up time and time again.
In the finale of season 3, Carrie is woken up by roosters crowing. Apparently, she lives close to an animal shelter and they were rescued. In the course of the episode, the fact that she calls them chickens becomes an ongoing joke, as everyone else corrects her and tells her that they are roosters and that chickens don’t crow. I use the term "ongoing joke" lightly, as there wasn't that much funny about said joke.
She eventually calls the shelter and tells them to move them indoors because she can’t take the crowing. The episode is otherwise about her hesitation to catch up with Big and the rooster plot doesn’t really connect to much else in the episode.
2 That Anyone Would Break Up With Blair Underwood
Blair Underwood, you god among men. Blair plays the dreamy doctor, who works for the Knicks and lives in Miranda’s apartment building.
He was handsome, smart and really into Miranda. He liked her despite the fact that he saw her covered in chicken pox. He liked her despite the fact that Knicks cheerleaders were throwing themselves at him. He really, really liked her. He even made her a huge cookie with chocolate chips spelling out "I love you." This was all probably the writers making up for the whole sandwich dude plot that they stuck her character with.
Then, Miranda dumps him for Steve… for Steve! Listen, I love Steve just as much as the next girl and he was definitely the love of Miranda’s life but, guys, it's Blair Underwood. No woman would ever willingly break up with him. He’s a dream
Of course, Sex and the City did pay him well with a nice send off. The last time we saw Blair Underwood's character, he was having a three-way because that’s totally what Blair Underwood would be doing on a Wednesday night.
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a plot, but what is actually up with Carrie in her bra all the friggin' time? For the love of all that is good. This is HBO, after all. What is up with all the bra sex?
In the course of the show, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon were topless a lot. I mean, Cattrall was topless in nearly every episode but she did portray Samantha so that was to be expected. Even Kristin Davis appears topless and she plays Charlotte, the prude of the group. Sarah Jessica Parker, however, never appears topless because she had a no nudity clause in her contract.
Carrie is seen with her bra on during sex and when she is going to sleep, but it just feels so out of place in show that is otherwise pretty honest in their portrayal of women and their sexuality. Even in Carrie’s hot, hot affair with Mr. Big, she’s wearing a bra. Couldn’t they have, like, shot the scene topless but just not shown SJP’s breasts? It just seems so obvious that she’s wearing her bra when in real life, she wouldn't be.
1 Everything Berger
The fact that fans had to endure 8 episodes of Ron Livingston’s unbearable character Berger means that fans of the show were very, very committed.
Of all of Carrie’s men, he was without a doubt the worst. Sure, in season 6, we also had to endure The Russian but at least The Russian had some winning qualities. I could, maybe, understand why Carrie was with The Russian, even if I couldn't understand why she constantly called him "The Russian."
But, what the hell did Berger bring to the table? Not only was he a struggling writer, but he was insecure about that and took it out on Carrie. He made Carrie feel bad about her success. He had a tormented relationship with his ex. He broke up with Carrie on a freaking Post It. Honestly, of the whole Berger plot, the best part was the Post It break up, which made for a great episode.
If we didn’t have to sit through Carrie and Berger, that would have been great. For someone who refused to settle throughout the series, she was settling when she dated Berger.
For a show all about sexual freedom, it certainly judged a lot of people for their sexual preferences. What was that all about? Discussing what they felt comfortable with was one thing, but many of the plots involved a lot of sexual judgment from the girls, who claimed to be sexually advanced.
When Carrie dated a bisexual, she was shocked and claimed that bisexuality was a "layover to gaytown." Whatever that means, Carrie. She then declares that she’s too old for bisexuality, as if it’s a thing that young people do. The girls also mock Samantha for being a lesbian. They declare that they would never give a guy a rim job, which surprisingly, Charlotte has apparently done to Trey - one of my personal favorite jokes in the show because you do you, Charlotte.
For a show all about sex and sexuality, the limited view of sexuality is odd. It’s brought up in only one episode, when Carrie sees Samantha giving a blow job to her FedEx guy, who she apparently blows weekly. Carrie judges Samantha and, in return, Sam calls her out on it, which is great. But, also, someone should have been blowing the judgment whistle way back.
Tar and feather me for saying this, but one of the worst plots is that Carrie ended up with Mr. Big. I’m not alone in this opinion, as Darren Star, creator of the show, has even said, "I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don't ultimately find happiness from marriage."
Star also stated that once he stepped back and allowed others to be more involved in the show, he had to let them fulfill their vision. That being said, the ending turns the show into a romantic comedy, as opposed to what it was about in the earlier seasons of the show. Carrie was somebody who was looking for a big kind of love, something earth shaking. She wanted it all – the luxurious life, the designer clothes, the successful career and the soul mate. It’s a lot to ask for, so we watched her search for all of it during six seasons.
There’s two major issues with her ending up with Big. The first is that it really dented her character arc. All of the women, except Carrie, went through radical arcs. Samantha went from the sexually active woman who never allowed herself to be vulnerable in a relationship, to finally letting a man in. Cynical Miranda learned how to compromise and care for others. Idealistic Charlotte let go of her shallow fantasizes about who she would marry and ended up getting it all with Harry, who surprisingly was a man and not an animal.
Carrie, on the other hand, ended up with the guy who treated her poorly throughout much of the series, the guy she broke up at the end of season one because he couldn't say she was the one. Of course, Mr. Big does tell Carrie that she's the one at the end of the series but his telling her that is more a reflection of his character arc as opposed to hers.
The second issue is the way in which they ended up together. He goes to Paris and rescues her from another man. What even is that? I could have gotten down with her maybe rescuing herself and ending up with Big after having her shit together on her own but this just felt so wrong on so many levels.
For a show all about fabulous, independent woman, it was disappointing to see it end in this manner. But whatever, because I still love Sex and the City for all it’s glittery, sparkly greatness and despite its handful of really weird plots.
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