Episode One: sex and the city (Pilot episode)
At first, you’d be tempted to think this is a show about said English journalist. It is not. Elizabeth, whose name was Charlotte in the book, never appears again, though she’s quite likable. A side note: Kim Catrall was born in Liverpool.
In the book, Charlotte/Elizabeth reads a little too much into her relationship. The bit about meeting his mum and him telling the realtor they don’t have kids…yet? That was all added into the show. In the book, the bastard is much less manipulative.
We go through the entire opening segment without seeing Carrie — just the back of her head as Elizabeth tells her story. Then Carrie stubs out her cigarette, signaling that this is not a show where women whine about the way men treat them.
But it is. That’s exactly what Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Carrie do the moment we first see them together, at Miranda’s drag queen birthday. And they will be doing that for six more years.
A word about appearances. Samantha’s hair is too long; that is promptly taken care of in the next episode. Charlotte is pretty much the same, and it seems to have taken the costume designers all season to figure out that the tie-wearing, severe hair cut Miranda was not a sympathetic character.
The main overhaul was Sarah Jessica Parker: she’s brunette, with short, frizzy hair and way too much eye makeup (although I have to say, they put glitter eye shadow on her for the rest of the season, and I’m not a big fan of that either. But it was 1998; I was probably wearing it too.)
The biggest mistake for costuming Pilot-Episode Carrie is that she wears leopard print not once, but twice in a single episode. I always thought Carrie had a some-what trashy look about her (“ghetto gold,” smoking, very visible dark roots), but the pilot episode really makes her look like a hooker. I still think leopard print can only be worn ironically.
Carrie also lives in a different apartment for the first episode. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to location this time around, mostly because the question I got wrong on the Sex and the City quiz was: What is Carrie’s apartment number? Still don’t know, but Charlotte lives somewhere near 4th and Bank.
There are also a lot of “interviews” in this episode, which is something that will become less and less frequent until it entirely drops out of the show. I will try to catch the point when it happens. Carrie is really in journalist-mode for this episode, and she says that she has really great sources for her columns: her friends. Not sure that’s very professional, but she does have a unique beat to cover.
Oh, and this episode is the origin of the “abso-fuckin-lutely” phrase.