Sex and the City

Season 1 Episode 1

Sex and the City

12
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 06, 1998 on HBO
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
204 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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At Miranda's thirty-something birthday party, Carrie, Samantha and Miranda decide to start having sex like men, without feelings, but Charlotte doesn't buy into it. Carrie steps up to the plate first and has sex with an ex-boyfriend, but to her surprise he's fine with being used as a sex object. As she leaves, she bumps into a mystery man whom she will later see again.
Miranda is set up with Carrie's friend Skipper and though she hates him, he really likes her. Charlotte thinks she's found a great guy in Capote Duncan until she tells him she has to be up early in the morning and he asks her to split a cab so he can go to Chaos and get laid. Samantha hits on Mr. Big relentlessly at Chaos and he shoots her down every time so she ends up hooking up with Charlotte's date for the evening, Capote Duncan. Carrie is left alone and can't catch a cab and is about to walk home when Mr. Big's car pulls up and he gives her a ride.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Sex real and the city

    2.0
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    and



    [ ]
  • At a thirty-something birthday party the girls decide to stop looking for Mr Perfect and start having sex like men. Carrie meets Mr. Big. Miranda starts dating Skipper. Charlotte has a date with Capote Duncan, who ends up going home with Samantha.moreless

    6.0
    As an episode by itself, this isn't the most fabulous piece of television I have ever seen. The thing is, since 1998, so many series have evolved that mirror the content of Sex and the City, so watching this episode, now thirteen years later, it seems somewhat dated. However, we must remember, at the time, that there was nothing else on television quite like it. What this episode does do well is that it sets the tone for the episodes to follow. A lot of the shows staple ingredients are already in place. The city itself looks fabulous from the opening credits to the final scene, we are treated to wonderful scenes of New York City. The four girls chatting is also featured in this episode and continued throughout the shows entire run. Of course the Carrie and Big relationship is introduced here too, which is one of the most exciting things about this episode. Of course there are many faults, this IS the pilot after all. The English Elizabeth, has an Australian accent. I hate the direct talking to the camera. I find it distracting, and it makes me feel like I'm an observer looking in. I don't want to be an observer, I want to be there, with the girls as part of the action. I am glad that the production team saw the light and gave up on this. I also feel at this stage the production team are making a feeble attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Those hideous 'interviews' with all those toxic bachelors, I just don't get it. Are they trying to show the male point of view? Or are they using the fact that all these men are such total idiots, to justify the derogatory comments? It's not clear this moment in time, it's slightly ambiguous and it leaves me with the feeling that they haven't been as brave as they could have been. The four women come across as somewhat watered down versions of themselves, and they seem quite stereotypical in their appearances and their attitudes. Samantha looks and sounds like a sex mad woman, Charlotte looks like Miss Perfect Park Avenue, and sounds like a romantic, Miranda is the angry one, who dresses like a man, and Carrie is the one who doesn't really know who she is yet. I don't just feel that SJP the actress is acting, I feel like Carrie the character is acting most of the time. That's why I love the scene in the restaurant with Stanford. Carrie chats to him about nothing significant, but I feel it's the first time that we get to see the real Carrie. Full credit here to Willie Carson, he has absolutely nailed Stanford straight (pardon the pun) away. He is cute, funny and utterly adorable. I find myself screaming at the television...I want one of those. I don't feel this lack of characterisation is anything to do with SJP's acting skills. I think that she also has nailed Carrie, pretty early on. The audience isn't meant to figure out who Carrie is right away because even Carrie doesn't know who she is yet. I think that we are meant to find Carrie slightly irritating at times, we are meant to see that she isn't the perfect woman, but we are supposed to love her anyway. Carrie has some great lines in the opening scene. I love it when she says "Welcome to the age of un-innocence. No-one has Breakfast at Tiffany's and no-one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfast at 7am and affairs we try to forget as soon as possible". It's real and honest, no gloss or frosting here. She is also quite brutal when she wonders if no-one had told Elizabeth about "the end of love in Manhattan." Ouch!! She then asks us (albeit in the irritating talking right to the camera way) "How did we get into this mess?" Right from this pilot episode Ms. Bradshaw is there, questioning everybody and everything. It's great. I love it. The danger of this is that Carrie could appear to some as cynical. Not an attractive quality. But real nonetheless. I don't think Carrie is cynical. I think she is the ultimate optimist. Hanging on to the notion that 'love' really may conquer all. I use the term 'love' in the commas, because I think that Ms. Bradshaw, like so many of us, has her own version of love. But she believes that anything is possible. I get that right from the start. I see how vulnerable Carrie is in this very first episode. Not that she can't defend herself against the mean streets, or the big bad city, kind of vulnerable, but emotionally. This is illustrated perfectly by Darren Star in this first episode. After sleeping with Kurt , described by Stanford as "The loathe of your life", Carrie leaves his apartment feeling potent, powerful and alive. She boasts to us whilst on the phone to Charlotte that her afternoon of cheap and easy sex felt good. However, when she runs into Kurt at 'Chaos' and he tells her how much he likes the 'new Carrie', she ends up confused and wondering, "Do all men secretly want their women promiscuous?" She also wonders, if she was having sex like a man , with no feelings, then why didn't she feel more in control? A question we best leave to Mr Big to answer on the way home I think.



    If anything makes me want to watch the next episode, it's this man. Chris Noth has perfected the art of playing Mr Big so early on that it scares me, I actually think he IS Big. I love the way the car pulls up and he says "Well get in for Christ's sake", with that saucy look on his face. He then asks Carrie what she does for work and the two of them begin this little conversation 'dance'. The trouble for Carrie here is that she knows the steps well enough, but she is dancing with a far superior partner. He not only outwits her, but he manages to see straight through her, right to her core. She starts to feel about two feet tall, with each response that Big gives her. I love the fact that Big sums up perfectly in one very short sentence, what would have taken Carrie three sides of A4 and 3 packs of Marlboro lights to figure out. He says to Carrie after hearing that she is writing an article about women who have sex like men: "But you're not like that". Of course what makes it even worse is that when Carrie asks him "well aren't you?", he replies, "Not a drop, not even half a drop". So not only has he read her perfectly, she has read him all wrong. She then digs herself even further by saying "Oh yeah!?" To which Big replies "Oh I get it, you've never been in love". Ouch...that's got to hurt a bit. Now don't get me wrong, I am not condoning men who talk down to women, or men who put women down, that would just be insane. However, there is something about the way Big makes these statements that makes me believe that they are absolutely true. Carrie herself acknowledges this by claiming to feel like she has had the wind knocked out of her. She says that she just wants to crawl right under the covers and go right to sleep. Can't say I blame her. If I was her I'd want to do exactly the same. Right from this moment we get the feeling that Carrie has met someone who is not only her equal, maybe even her 'better half', but possibly the next 'Big' thing in her life. Who wouldn't be seduced by a man who can look at you and see past all the questions, all the talking and right into your very soul?



    Of course the line of the episode has to go to Big. When Carrie gets out the car and thinks about it, she rushes back and asks Big the inevitable question: "Have you ever been in love?", and Big replies with that smoldering, sexy, cheeky little look on his face, "Abso-......-lutely" . One of the best last lines of an episode on television ever.moreless
  • Not blown away

    7.3
    I got the shoe box set of this series a long time ago and had to watch the pilot a few times before I was really motivated to continue watching the series.



    I am glad that I ended up watching the whole series but I feel that as a pilot to the series, this episode is not all that strong.



    I don't know if its just me but on the DVD the picture is really dark and its actually really hard to even see whats going on?!!?



    Anyway, as I said above, I wasn't blown away by the first episode of the show but the show does get amazing so stick with it!!moreless
  • Well it's nice for a pilot

    8.6
    For someone, i.e me, who's watching the series after they're already over, I know that the episodes are going to get much much better. But I don't think that the viewers who watched the episodes from the first time they aired were really enthralled by this episode. It hasn't obtained that trend-starting attitude yet. They all just seem a bit unwell-kept if I might say. Thank God I know what's going to happen (because of spoilers of course) or else I would have been already bored out of my mind... well I'm exaggerating, but still I still would have been bored. Looking forward to watching the next ep.moreless
  • Season 1, Episode 1.

    10
    This episode was an amazing premiere. The chemistry between Carrie and Mr. Big is amazing, and it's only the first episode. The show is shot in 16 mm, which isn't too great, but it is changed for season two. Carrie's friends, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha are incredible. Samantha hits on Mr. Big, but he isn't into her. Charlotte's date, Capote Duncan, goes to a club called Chaos so he can get laid, after Charlotte tells him she must wake up early the next morning. It was hilarious when Capote brought Samantha home with him. Miranda is set up with Skipper, and she is hilarious when they are on their date. This episode is just the beginning to an amazing, classic phenomenon.moreless
Bruce McCarty

Bruce McCarty

Peter Mason

Guest Star

Bill Sage

Bill Sage

Kurt Harrington

Guest Star

Scott Bryce

Scott Bryce

Tim

Guest Star

Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Mr. Big

Recurring Role

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

Stanford Blatch

Recurring Role

Ben Weber

Ben Weber

Skipper Johnston

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Trivia: If you look really closely (and hit pause at just the right time) when Carrie shows off her column to the camera, you will see that her article is the exact same thing she has been narrating up until this point (and it repeats itself).

    • Trivia: This is the first time we are introduced to Mr. Big, and throughout the entire series, until the final episode, we never learn his "real" name.

    • Carrie's apartment is different in this episode then in all of the other episodes.

    • During the opening credits a bus is seen twice, the first time you see the bus there are people on it, the second time, 3 seconds later they have disappeared.

    • Mr. Big's car windows aren't tinted when he offers Carrie a ride. When she gets out and asks him a question, they are tinted.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (After Carrie gets off Mr. Big's car)
      Carrie: Wait! Have you ever been in love?
      Mr. Big: Abso-fucking-lutely.

    • Carrie: It's like the riddle of the Sphinx. Why are there so many great unmarried women, and no great unmarried men?

    • Carrie (voiceover): I didn't understand. Did all men secretly want their women promiscuous and emotionally detatched? And if I was really having sex like a man, why didn't I feel more in control?

    • Mr. Big: So what have you been doing lately?
      Carrie: You mean besides going out every night?
      Mr. Big: Yeah. I mean, what do you do for work?
      Carrie: Well, this is my work. I'm sort of a sexual anthropologist.
      Mr. Big: You mean like a hooker?
      Carrie: No. I write a column called 'Sex and the City.' Right now I'm researching an article about women who have sex like men. You know, they have sex and then afterwards they feel nothing.
      Mr. Big: But you're not like that?
      Carrie: Well, aren't you?
      Mr. Big: Not a drop. Not even a half of a drop.
      Carrie: Wow! What's wrong with you?

    • (After Carrie had sex with Kurt and she left him 'hanging')
      Carrie (voiceover): After I began to get dressed, I'd realized that I'd done it. I'd just had sex like a man. I left feeling powerful, potent and incredibly alive. I felt like I owned this city. Nothing and noone could get in my way.

    • (After someone bumped Carrie and she dropped her purse, all its contents falling out. Mr Big helps her get her stuff)
      Carrie (voiceover): Number one, he's very handsome. Number two, he's not wearing a wedding ring. Number three, he knows I carry a personal supply of ultra-textured Trojans with a reservoir tip.

    • Carrie: So what're you doing later?
      Kurt: I thought you weren't talking to me for the rest of your life.
      Carrie: Who said anything about talking?

    • Mr. Big: Oh, I get it... You've never been in love.
      Carrie: Oh yeah?

    • Carrie: Welcome to the age of un-innocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany's and no one has affairs to remember.

    • Samantha: You see that guy? He's the next Donald Trump. Except he's younger and much better looking.

    • Skipper: I'm a romantic. I just have so much feeling.
      Carrie: Are you sure you're not gay?
      Skipper: No!

    • Elizabeth: He never did call, of course. Bastard! I don't understand. In England, looking at houses together would've meant something.

    • Miranda: (at the transvestite restaurant for her birthday) It's like that guy Jeremiah, the poet. I mean the sex was incredible but then he wanted to read me his poetry and go out to dinner and the whole chat bit and I'm like 'Let's not even go there.'

    • Peter Mason, Toxic Bachelor: There's not one woman in New York who hasn't turned down ten wonderful guys because they were too short or too fat or too poor. Why don't these women just marry a fat guy? Why don't they just marry a big fat tub of lard?

    • Carrie: Cupid has flown the co-op!

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • In Carrie's first article, she says "Welcome to the age of Un-innocence.  No one has Breakfast at Tiffany's, and no one has Affairs to Remember".  These are allusions to the popular movies Breakfast at Tiffany's (a movie about a young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.) and An Affair to Remember (a movie about a couple who falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building).

    • In the opening credits, Carrie's ad on the side of the bus says, "Carrie Bradshaw knows sex* (*and isn't afraid to ask)."

      This is an allusion to the 1972 Woody Allen film, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* *But Were Afraid to Ask."

    • The Last Seduction

      Samantha makes reference to the movie Last Seduction which is about a woman who steals her husband's drug money and she use her beauty to entrap men.

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