I tried with Sex. We both did. The first season, Billy and I would tune in and stare at the TV and then to one another. “Was that funny?” I’d ask and Billy would shrug, and then the next week, we’d tune in again. After the first four episodes, though, we decided it was more harmful watching Sarah Jessica Parker trying to wring out a laugh from Michael Patrick King’s scripts than it was to, say, play chicken on the freeway. I went back though, season after season, to see what I was missing and I always came back with the same answer. Nothing.
It all starts on the page, they say, and Sex In The City’s certainly no exception. The leaden narration by SJP weaves together a common tale of four gay men outfitted as real women, each one costumed and ready for the parade. Except for poor Kristin Davis, the cast is a grim collection. Sarah looks like a Pez dispenser with its little candy pill ready to come right out of her throat if she tilted back far enough. The mealy-mouthed Cynthia Nixon has less sex appeal than her surname. And Kim Cattrell. Yes, Kim, we stipulate women over 40 are beautiful and sexy. Okay? Good luck finding your next job.
I’m annoyed at myself for not liking this show. I’m a gay man, after all, and I should find any mention of rimming to be funny, right? It doesn’t even matter the context, does it? Just having Kim say it gives America a collective spit take. And what’s not to like about Chris Noth?
I hate being the contrarian. It doesn’t suit me. I embrace popular culture in ways some feel unnatural. But Sex In The City? Can someone please, and I have a twenty dollar bill ready to be sent to you, point to one single funny moment on that show that wasn’t telegraphed with a bullhorn or didn’t have the underbelly of titillation or was just plain clever? Anyone?
The best part about the show going off the air, however, is there will only be one more award season where we have to endure Jessica’s manufactured breathlessness as she grasps her statuette in mock surprise. That really isn’t funny.