It seems like everyone is picking their top Sex and the City episodes.  My friend the Missus recently wrote about her top five, and her are the top 10 from Yahoo! Canada and MSNBC’s top 5.  A few of them fall in line, but I’m surprised that so many of my favorites aren’t on the list.

Quick background:

  • I don’t have a favorite character (I love them all!) but I’m most like Carrie and Samantha.
  • I ADORE Harry.  Charlotte and Harry are my favorite couple on the show.
  • I hate Berger.  Mostly because I’ve dated two guys who had similar insecurity issues.
  • I love the later episodes best because you’re so invested in the characters by then.

First, let me say something about the finale: An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux.  I love it, and I think it ends the series well.  In particular, Miranda’s subplot of taking care of her dementia-afflicted mother-in-law is moving.

However, I’m not putting it in the top 10 because I feel like there are so many out-of-character moments.  Take Big’s reaction to Petrovsky slapping Carrie — it doesn’t look like him at all, and his lines are so forced, they’re painful.  Also, it didn’t seem natural that Charlotte was at peace and calm that she and Harry would be getting a baby, while Harry was freaking out, despite being duped by their potential baby’s birth parents.

And that slap from Petrovsky.  We didn’t need it.  He was enough of an asshole without the slap.

I do have to say, the finale has one of my favorite moments — Carrie running down the street and Big in the car next to her, unaware that she’s there — and I always tear up when Charlotte and Harry find out they’re getting their baby.

Anyway, I like the episode, but it’s not good enough for the top 10.

The 5 Best Episodes of Sex and the City:

I Love a Charade (Season 5) — The girls get invited to the Hamptons wedding of Bobby and Bitsy — the obviously gay piano bar legend (played by Nathan Lane) and his businesswoman.  Miranda sleeps with Steve, to her dismay.  Charlotte has Harry wax his back, starts dating him publicly, then finds herself falling in love with him — only to learn that he can only marry a Jew.  Samantha throws a party at Richard’s Hamptons house.  Carrie finds out Berger is now single and tries to hook him.

I love, love, love this episode, and it seems like nobody else does!  It’s entertaining, it has a great location in the Hamptons, all characters are in top form, there are so many fun lines and it introduces HARRY to the rest of the girls!

Details I love: Harry trying to coax Charlotte to dance with him and her friends encouraging her.  Miranda and Samantha dancing while Miranda holds Brady.  Harry joining in the witty one-liners during the vows.  Bobby mime-grating cheese across Marcus’s abs.

Best quotes:

Carrie: “He doesn’t need the money.  He was one of the original investors in A Chorus Line.”
Miranda: “Just when you think you’ll never hear a gayer sentence than Mr. Broadway has to go tinkle.”

Miranda: “I find the love part the most insulting part of all.  I don’t care what you do, just be straight with me.”
Carrie: “I think that’s how Bitsy proposed to Bobby.”

Miranda: “Not having sex was the only thing holding our relationship together.”
Carrie: “Well, you’re fleeing to the right wedding.”

Hop, Skip and a Week (Season Six, Part One) — After their tearful reunion at Jewish singles night, Harry proposes to Charlotte.  Samantha transforms Smith into the Absolut Hunk.  Miranda feels guilty about not spending enough time with Brady.  Carrie and Berger decide to take a break, then decide to work things out; hours later, he breaks up with her ON A POST-IT.

Really, this episode is about two things: the proposal and the Post-It.  The proposal is one of the most romantic TV proposals ever.  Charlotte’s tears while asking him if they can start dating again, and then gasping as he gets down on one knee…wow.  It’s perfect.

The Post-It breakup became a cultural phenomenon.  EVERY girl remembers this episode.  And this episode branded Berger as the ultimate asshole of Sex and the City.

Beyond that abomination, I think that the episode is great with depicting what it’s like when a relationship is disintegrating and everything about the other person is starting to bother you.  To be honest, this is one of the episodes that I found to be truest to life.  I hate when you’re in that time of a relationship when you’re constantly at odds with another person.

Splat! (Season Six, Part Two) — Carrie and Petrovsky throw a dinner party for Carrie’s friends.  Petrovsky invites Carrie to live with him in Paris.  Carrie and Miranda have a huge fight.  One of Carrie’s old party friends dies in a freak accident.

I love seeing all five couples (including Stanford and Marcus) together.  It’s kind of odd, actually.  And that whole party scene, especially with the death of Lexi, oh, God.  She actually says, “I’m so bored, I could die,” before tripping and falling out the window.

Most of all, I think it’s easy to relate to this episode when you think about how you act when you’re with your boyfriend and when you’re with your friends, and how when the groups don’t seem to mesh at first, it feels like trouble.  It makes you question to whom you give your loyalty.  And in this episode, Carrie chooses her guy, who hasn’t even said that he loves her.

There are a lot of good quotes in this episode.  The best:

Steve: “That’s a nice piano.  Do you play?”
Petrovsky: “Yes, I play.”
Steve: “Do you know any Billy Joel?…No?  Uptown Girl?  She’s Always a Woman?”
Marcus: “Piano Man?”
(Petrovsky shrugs.)

Hours later:
Charlotte: “What are they doing down there?”
Miranda: “Not having a Billy Joel singalong, that’s for sure.”

And my favorite:

Carrie (after introducing Enid’s “date”): “He’s really sweet.  And smart.”
Enid: “He’s a hobbit!”

 

What Goes Around Comes Around (Season 3) — Carrie is robbed at gunpoint and thinks she has bad karma for her affair with Big.  Miranda starts dating a gorgeous detective, thinks she’s not good enough for him, and overcompensates by drinking heavily.  Samantha meets (and sleeps with) Sam Jones, a college student whose calls she keeps getting.  Charlotte and Trey decide to separate.  Carrie tracks down Natasha to apologize for the affair with Big, which ruined their marriage.

The Samantha plot has some of the funniest scenes in the series (“I LOVE YOU, SAM JONES!!!!”), and the rest of the episode is great, but what REALLY makes this episode stellar is the interaction between Carrie and Natasha.

When Carrie cheated on Aidan with the married Big, it was the ugliest her character had ever been.  She made tons of mistakes in her dating , but this one was by far the worst.  Still, her attempts to apologize seemed to almost redeem her…until we heard this painstaking conversation:

Carrie: “I heard about — your marriage.  And it’s — just so terrible.  I never, never meant for any of this to happen, and if there was something I could do to take it all away, I would.  So I came here today because I needed to say how sorry I am.  I am deeply sorry for what I did to you.  It was wrong.  And I’m sorry.”

Natasha: “Are you through?”

Carrie: “Yes.  Thank you for listening.”

Natasha: “Wait.  I’m sorry, too.”

Carrie: “You are?”

Natasha: “Yes.  I’m sorry about it all.  I’m sorry he moved to Paris and fell in love with me.  I’m sorry that we ever got married.  I’m sorry he cheated on me with you and I’m sorry that I pretended to ignore it for as long as I did.  I’m sorry I found you in my apartment, fell down the stairs and broke my tooth.  I’m very sorry that after much painful dental surgery, this tooth is still a different color than this truth.  Finally, I’m sorry that you felt the need to come down here.  Now not only have you ruined my marriage, you’ve ruined my lunch.”

That’s some of the best writing the series has ever had.  And that moment drives it home.  For a while, there, we thought the show was going to redeem Carrie — but it wasn’t even close.  That moment drove home that what Carrie did was much worse than even she thought it to be.

Perfect scene.

One (Season Six, Part One) — Charlotte and Harry finally conceive, but she miscarries less than a month into her pregnancy.  Samantha discovers a gray hair “down there.”  Carrie meets the intriguing Aleksandr Petrovsky.  Robert surprises Miranda with an “I Love You” cookie, which she promptly devours; she can’t say the words back to Robert…but she can to Steve.

It’s all about the moment: the moment when Miranda is putting candles on Brady’s cake, Steve brings out the giant 1 candle, and she looks at the candle, then him, and says, “I love you, Steve.”  Even though they’re both involved with other people — people who are in the next room! — Steve grins and tells Miranda that she’s the one.

Over time, I think a lot of us have rooted for Miranda more than any other character, and I think that all of us fans always had Steve in the back of our minds.  It was this moment that shows us that we were right all along — we knew Robert was perfect, but he wasn’t Steve.  Steve was who Miranda always needed, and she finally got her happy ending.

Details that I love: Harry comes to Brady’s birthday party alone.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the music when Carrie first meets Petrovsky and when Charlotte loses the baby.  I love Charlotte’s pink dress at the end, and I love that she tells Brady to make a wish while wishing for a baby herself.

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