recycling shopworn ideas

Episode Two: politically erect

“I figured we made a good match: I was adept at fashion, he was adept at politics, and really, what’s the difference? They’re both about recycling shopworn ideas and making them seem fresh and inspiring.”

The whole “vintage Halston, spin on Jackie Kennedy” look for Carrie is just a little too predictable for the episode when she’s dating a politician. Plus, this is when they introduce “the flower,” that obnoxious accessory that supposedly everyone started wearing after SJP worked it on the show. Whatever.

Since I’ve opened the box, I’ll just go ahead and say this: when the girls are standing in line at the movies, and Carrie is telling them all about the politician asking for a golden shower, she makes three really corny, bad, unfunny jokes about pee in a row. Seriously, it’s like gunfire. I hate, hate, hate when they do this on the show, giving Carrie all these saucy little quips, and I’m not the only one: when the Simpsons spoofed SATC, Samantha says she’s dating a Wall Street guy, Charlotte asks “Broker?” and Carrie pipes up: “No, she’s just a little sore.”

Elizabeth Banks is in this episode, as the wife of the guy Charlotte’s drunkenly chatting up at the political fundraiser. I like her because she is JD’s baby momma on Scrubs, and it looks like she’s playing Laura Bush in the W. movie (imdb).

This episode dives into my main question about the show: what is column fodder and what is just Carrie’s own personal train of thought? The politician says he likes her column, that she keeps mentioning a handsome politico, and that she writes about her feelings for him. Then, when they break up, she writes about golden showers in her column, then the voiceover says she didn’t use his real name. Since the voiceover had said his name earlier in the episode (“the Single Ladies’ Coalition to Elect Bill Kelly”), apparently voiceover does not equal column.

It makes sense. I guess I just really wanted each episode to be structured around the column, like she takes what she learns each week and puts it in to print. What I’ve always liked about Carrie, in contrast to penchant for one-liners, was her job, and I guess I wanted that to be the main structural device. It seems kind of muddled to have a character that participates in the show, provides a voiceover, and writes a column about all the same subjects yet doesn’t share that column with the audience. That’s kind of the hook that makes Gossip Girl so intriguing, except we don’t know if GG is part of mayhem or just an onlooker.

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