Of note…this was my first-ever column, inspired by SJP’s Carrie Bradshaw character…please, don’t send her hate mail, k?
Gaywatch: Sex and the City Edition
By Tim Parks
There was a time, before The Housewives moved in on the block, that signaled a death knell for Sunday night viewing pleasure. What were we going to do without our “girls” on “Sex and the City”? Where could we turn for our weekly dose of humor, and to find out if big flowers pinned to a dress were still in vogue? Worse yet, what was going to happen to these four women that we had grown to love, that we had seen through breakups, weddings, births, deaths, and Sarah Jessica Parker thinking her hair looked good short?
First, we need to separate the actresses from the characters they play – always a painful process.
Our minds shout, “I don’t want to do that!” Then we have the painful reminder that what we’re mentally expressing is a quote from Miranda, and her experience with “tucus lingus” from Season 4. There’s a rhythm that your despondency takes on. You only want comfort in the familiar, and you resist anything new. Your new mantra becomes “keep telling yourself, it’s only a show, only a show.”
Finally, solace is found in knowing that while the names might be different onscreen, the faces will remain the same.
So what career paths have those gals chosen for themselves, and have they chosen wisely?
Sarah Jessica Parker, widely recognized as the fashionista of the group, made a deal with The Gap to become its spokesperson. Wait a minute, backup… The Gap? No, not our Carrie Bradshaw! (She’s fashion road kill!) But in the fall of ’04, the first commercial was trotted out with SJP strutting her stuff alongside Lenny Kravitz? As if his commercials with Target, and wearing his hair in homage to his late mother, Roxie Roker of “The Jeffersons”, weren’t bad enough – now he’s mucking up the screen’s fleeting chance of that Rafaellean hair captured underneath a sporty fedora. Well, so much for that!
There’s a new Gap commercial in town, and it is out to give its predecessor a good name… or to make us forget it altogether. I am for the latter.
Apparently, Sarah Jessica Parker now enjoys being a Gap girl; as she sings her way through the new commercial, which is breezy and just this side of camp with its retro look and feel.
Welcome back, Sarah, welcome back. A bit short lived as Joss Stone is replacing Parker in upcoming spots.
Outside of commercial ventures, Mrs. Matthew Broderick has a few other projects up her sleeve. Two romantic comedies are in the works. Currently, she’s completing work on The Family Stone and she’s slated to begin filming Failure to Launch alongside Matthew McConaughey in April. These two projects seem right up her alley.
She’s practicing safe “Sex”, not walking too far away in Manolo Blahniks, from the roles we are used to seeing her in. Coming from out of left field is her role as grief counselor Peggy Callas in the Strangers with Candy movie. Anyone familiar with the show knows it for the off-base humor it exhibited with manic glee. And it will be no surprise to “Sex” fans that there is a connection to our dearly departed show. It’s in the guise of Amy Sedaris who plays Geri Blank in the movie and also played Carrie’s editor, Courtney, during Season 5 of “Sex and the City”. Most recently, SJP inked a two-year development deal with HBO to produce a series and other programming for the cable network.
Maybe she can resuscitate the flatlined Sex and the City movie. There are rumors that Kim Cattrall may budge after all, but she runs the greatest risk of being labeled this show’s Tina Louise.
But first you’d have to pull her from the West End. No, gutter minds, London’s West End! (Although it does sound like a sexual position Samantha was apt to try.) But for now, the former Mannequin is perfecting her craft on stage in Whose Life Is It Anyway. If you don’t want to hoof it all the way to Jolly Ole England, then you can pony up the requisite $9 at your local Cineplex to catch her in Ice Princess. Samantha in a Disney flick? Now this I’ve got to see.
Surprisingly, the one lady who gave it her all in the bedroom, always willing to experiment, is the one with the least amount of projects on her plate. Has our Samantha gotten finicky?
More on par with the folks behind the mouse ears is Kristin Davis. She is letting her movie career go to the dogs, literally. Her leap to the big screen comes in the form of a remake of a Disney perennial, The Shaggy Dog, which co-stars Tim Allen. An OK career move for the always-in-the-doghouse when it came time to be recognized awards-wise for her portrayal as Charlotte. It sounds more encouraging than the let’s-jump-on-the-Desperate-Housewives-bandwagon (a bandwagon that would be for naught, if it wasn’t for four certain Manhattanites) with “Soccer Moms”. It’s about two suburban housewives who team up to solve crimes as private investigators.
Only time will tell on this one, but I can’t help sensing an air of desperation around it. Keeping with the family-friendly fare, she’ll provide the voice of Mom in Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D. Then she scores some face time (no, not as the new spokesmodel for Maybelline, she already scored that gig) in Sellevision, based on the novel by Augusten Burroughs, as a home-shopping personality who has an on-air breakdown. Her selections seem to say, “I choose my choice!” A line that she once uttered as the eternally hopeful Charlotte, who seems to be steering her down a nice, straight path.
Veering slightly off the beaten path is Cynthia Nixon, who garnered a ton of press when she declared she had switched to our team. No one suspected a thing, what with the men’s suits she sported as corporate lawyer Miranda Hobbs in the first season of “Sex” – or the short haircut. Nope, not a clue… really.
But her career choices seem to resonate with her lifestyle choices; she’s going for a different tact. She’s opting for pathos, rather than belly laughs. She had a guest spot on “ER” as a stroke victim, and her inner monologues gave SJP’s a run for their money.
Little Manhattan, described as an adventure/comedy/romance about 11-year-olds who fall in love, seems very far removed from the emotionally off-guard Miranda. As does Warm Springs, which conjures up images of feminine hygiene products for some reason. But, I digress. It’s another drama. This time Nixon is portraying stalwart First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The ever-busy Nixon is also in pre-production on another drama called Lymelife. It seems that Nixon is practicing a new form of career intimacy.
Who knows if the Sex and the City movie will ever see the light of day. Only fate, scheduling and one holdout will assure if it gets made. Well, at least we get a mini reunion with the Diet 7-Up commercial with Davis and Nixon. So, in the meantime… let’s support these actresses in the new roles they have taken on in the post-coital afterglow of great “Sex”. Until next time, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.
This column was first printed in March 2005.