It was Leonardo Di Caprio, ex machina

Episode Five: four women and a funeral

Okay, one: the title of this episode is misleading because Miranda isn’t at the funeral, and two: there weren’t any notable quotes for this episode so I used that little rinky-dink one, but for good reason.

The original airing of this episode called for John Kennedy Jr. to rescue Samantha the social pariah, but he died shortly after. So in all reruns and on the DVD of the show, the voiceover says “it was Leonardo Di Caprio.” It works because it was never really either, since you can’t see the guy’s face, so they just had to pick a socially-responsible celebrity name to plug in. Since John-John appears to be the Perfect Man for that generation, they used him, but I wonder if they legally had to change it after he died or if it was just the right thing to do. Or it kept the show au currant. The other two references are in the first season, and they have more to do with JFK Jr. being off the market: bridezilla tells Carrie that “we all think we’re Carolyn Bassett,” and Charlotte has a picture of John-John in her box o’ dreams. So either those references could stay because they still applied even if he was dead, or they had already released the DVD and couldn’t change it. I’m too lazy to try to work out the timeline.*

Lots of space to devote to one line, but it just fascinates me that they would make that change. There is another such change in a later season, but I’ll save that one.

Otherwise, this episode has a character who is modeled on Donatella Versace (takes over her brother’s fashion line after his untimely death), but then they come right out and say (through the voiceover) “Josephina had become Donatella Versace.”

Miranda has a panic attack, and they use cinematography to show us what that looks like through her eyes, and then she describes it to Carrie as feeling like she was “drowning and dying at the same time.” If this is accurate, then I’ve never had a panic attack. Hooray! The trick is to just breathe, right? Also, her cat doesn’t have a name yet, so maybe she started calling him “Fatty” because, after this episode, she kept over-feeding him so he wouldn’t eat her face.

And Mr. Big is a gigantic dork in this episode.

*EDIT: A helpful commenter pointed out the SJP and JFK Jr. dated IRL.

6 thoughts on “It was Leonardo Di Caprio, ex machina

  1. I came across your weblog looking for this very explanation (after binge-watching 3 seasons while down with sinusitis): we the hell did they change this?! I am not from NY (or America, for that matter), so I had no idea it was about somebody dying. Di Caprio, what a weird choice… What would he have to do with a bunch of upper-class middle aged ladies?Anyway, I started reading the remaining post. It has been a pleasure to watch the episodes with you, with your comments, insights and interpretations. Much better than the 'Kiss and Tell' book. BTW, mine is missing the last episodes, what a strange decision to publish at that stage. Good job!

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  2. Same as ynka, I came here having googled this very question. How ridiculous to change it (unless of course they had to legally, in which case whoever made them do it was ridiculous – JFKjr didn't cease to exist in memory because he died!).

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  3. They used John John cause Sarah Jessica Parker had a relationship with him. All the references to him in the previous season were topical at the time with his marriage to Bassett after breaking up with S.J.P. Personally I think s.j.p. Had it taken out over respect for him and her own sadness after his death. Also the line was still in the original DVD release, all others after have changed the line as well as putting fake bras and panties on the leading ladies.

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  4. ynka, I dearly wish I had seen this sooner–I hope you've fully recovered from sinusitis! I came here to shut down this forgotten blog, but your comment made me smile. If you see this, I'd love to connect on Twitter (@mandyjoshelton). And I agree, the Kiss and Tell book was a rush job! Thanks for commenting…

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  5. I wish I had seen this in time to engage with you guys! Thanks for commenting, smoke…and if you've seen the reboot, now we have a character with your screen name! Please reach out on Twitter (@mandyjoshelton) if you see this, and Happy SJP Birthday! Take care…

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  6. Oh…my…gosh! I can't believe I never knew this, and I only saw your comment five years later!! Thanks for the intel, Unknown–it really was news to me but makes so much sense. I love that 90s cultural intrigue, so thank you so much for commenting. I am deeply sorry I did not see this in time. I'm shutting down this blog, but please connect with me on Twitter if you see this (@mandyjoshelton). Take care, and again, thanks for the info!!!

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