I didn't have HBO for the longest time. (I have it now because it's part of the cable package that's part of our condo fee/rent.) (NO, not Horrible Body Odor. Shuuut uuuuuuppppp.) I was aware of Sex and the City and I think I watched some of it somehow, but the way I remember it is that my friend Melanie lent me her DVDs, warned me that Season 1 was weird and Season 5 was unsatisfying, and that was that. I watched the series as a marathon and then I watched it again. Then I bought all the seasons - but unlike other TV shows I bought on DVD, I actually watched again and again and again...when I was sick.
A few weeks ago I got the sniffles and a slight fever and I found that my Tivo had thoughtfully grabbed me some very-edited SaTC episodes off of E!, where they run in random or not random order all day and all night. I started watching, got sucked in, grabbed my DVDs, and started again. (I skipped Season 1, I watched some of the episodes once without and then with commentary - MPK says "Our show is so unique, nobody else has ever done this, nobody else could ever do this" or some variation of that thought quite often.)
Each time I watch, I feel a bit more critical and I see more things. I notice that Carrie's Apple laptop has the apple upside down on the cover. (Wow...they used to be like that!) I notice that Carrie is way more self centered than I originally realized, particularly when she goes after Natasha to apologize - only to make herself feel better. SHE DRINKS NATASHA'S WATER. I never feel like it clicks for her in that moment, that she's there to absolve herself of guilt, even though Natasha gives that great speech about being "sorry" that does bring home the point. (Was it written so we'd get that? I'll never know.) And I get really annoyed - every single time - that in S1, Charlotte had her vagina painted by an artist and has it displayed on a giant wall and then in S4, Charlotte says she's never even LOOKED at her vagina - sloppy writing. There's a bunch of inconsistencies like that (there's another where at one point, if I remember right, Carrie says she hasn't smoked weed in years, but she smokes it in Hot Child in the City - an episode I love by the way) but for some reason that particular one always irritates me.
But each time I watch, I want to crawl into New York City in the late 90s and early 2000s. I want to live that single life that I never lived - I met my husband when I was 21, so I basically wasn't single in my 20s, and that's fine in reality, but it's not fine in that sparkly unreal TV series world. In this world, New York is full of promise and big apartments and expensive clothes and dancing, drinking, night clubs, cute men. Disappointments are brief. Heartbreak takes a few weeks before it vanishes. You can smoke and it's glamorous and won't kill you. It's delightful, trust me.
This time around, though, it hit me. I had forgotten that the characters ever talked about their ages. In my memory, they're ageless. Or at least, well, they're older than me or possibly they're my age. But no. Turns out that they're now younger than me. I am probably around Samantha's age at this point, possibly a bit younger, but at least when it's discussed in the show, Carrie is 34 and 35, Charlotte is 35, Miranda is 35 and 36. Samantha doesn't talk about it, but I think at one point she implies she's over 40, maybe.
I just turned 39.
Carrie says her "scary age" is 45, which isn't that far away.
Whoa. That's not right!
I'm now up to just starting season 6 in my rewatch, and I'll probably still be watching my DVDs (or whatever format I have) in 20 years. The girls in the show are going to stay 34 and 35 and 36 - an age that somehow seems much older to me, still, even as I age past them. I'm always going to want to crawl into that New York though. Always.
(We shall not speak of the movies. I watched both because I had to, but I don't count them as canon. I don't I don't I don't!)