If you have read the earlier posts, you are familiar with my confession that I was a hipper psychotherapist when my go-to girlfriends -- Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were on the air, with fresh new material on everything from masturbation to marriage. Granted, their wardrobes and lifestyles were totally unrealistic, but the fashion and fabulousness worked well as a delivery platform for groundbreaking discussions about sex, commitment, friendship and love.
Since I specialize in relationships and intimacy, the show became an ideal co-therapist that I've brought into the therapy session whenever appropriate. A lot has changed since the show first aired in 1998 -- try to imagine a dating world void of blackberries, iphones, texting and Facebook! And yet, it is shocking to watch early episdoes and realize that the core issues remain the same. In honor of the show, I am taking a trip down Memory Lane that considers each first season episode, from a psychological perspective.
The classic SATC episode titled "Valley of the Twenty Something Guys" opens with a shot of Carrie's computer as she types "Once Upon a Time..." and the deep, dark vertical lines running down her white screen instantly place her in the technological dark ages. Remember those awful lines?
We soon learn that, while Carrie keeps running into Mr. Big everywhere she goes, he remains illusive and impossible to pin down. Carrie sums up her early, frustrating flirtation with Big by proclaiming:
Men in their forties are like the NYTimes crossword puzzle: tricky, complicated, and you're never really sure you got the right answer.
Miranda then laments:
There are no available men in their thirties in New York; Giuliani had them removed with the homeless.
For diversion, Carrie begins hanging out with twenty something Sam, the tongue-pierced "really good kisser guy" who helps Carrie to re-visit the long-lost thrill of making out for hours. Likewise, Miranda continues dating Carrie's twenty-something friend, Skipper, who is as earnest and eager as a lost puppy. And Samantha has lots of hot sex with the hottest chef in the City, twenty-something Jon. Jon is so quintessentially cool that he does not even have a last name.
While the passion and partying she experiences with Sam are thrilling, Carrie worries for herself and her friends. Is their recreational use of twenty-something guys dangerous? She asks with anxiety:
Are we getting into something we can't handle?
She equates the rush of hanging with a younger man to a new form of intoxication, and wonders:
Are men in their twenties the new designer drug?