TV Eye

Why I'll miss 'Sex'

<i>Sex and the City</i> walks away.
Sex and the City walks away.

Unless you live under a rock, you've heard the hype surrounding the conclusion of two popular TV series: Friends (NBC) and Sex and the City (HBO). While I find it hard to be broken up over Friends, I find myself kind of misty over the departure of Sex and the City. The show, which returned for its final eight episodes last Sunday night, ends after six joyous seasons. Although it's readily available on DVD -- including a recent release of the first five seasons -- I still find myself mourning.

I cursed Carrie when she treated Aidan wrong and moaned when she went back to Big. I rolled my eyes at Miranda and Charlotte for being so uptight, each in their own way. I've giggled at Samantha's antics even as I told myself no one, and I mean no one, is having that much sex and not suffering the emotional repercussions. Ultimately, I don't care if Samantha is "real" or over the top; I'm just thrilled that she's so free and, um, easy.

When it comes right down to it, the character I'll miss most is not the fabulous foursome or any of the keen supporting players like Stanford or Anthony. I'll miss New York. Sure, it's a small slice of what New York is, but unlike Friends, where the city is merely a stated location, New York City is the fifth character in Sex, a character full of glitter and excitement, mystery and bald-faced self-adulation. Those of us who have lived there, even for a short while, also know it's a hard city. A gritty city, a city that can wear you down fast. Still, my fond memories far outweigh the not-so-great elements. I often dream of New York, and when I can't, I watch Sex.

One of my favorite episodes occurred after 9/11. Instead of an emotional valentine that the flurry of specials and documentaries often presented, "Anchors Away" (season 5) used the Navy's annual Fleet Week as a mask to offer tribute to the city. The great lady (mirroring Carrie, who was facing the aftermath of her messy affair with Big and her doggish treatment of Aidan) might have been pushed to the ground, but she rose to flit away on her own two, well-heeled feet into -- what? Not sure, but that's what fuels the thrill of living in the city.

How will Sex end? I have no idea. I've intentionally stayed away from spoilers. I have some pretty strong ideas of how I don't want it to end. Let Charlotte get pregnant already, and while they're at it, what would happen if Miranda got pregnant again, too? Just wondering.

It looks like Samantha is in for a major shift. She's thinking of getting a boob job. (Don't tell me you can't see what's coming.) While I don't want her to suffer, I want her to let someone into her life. Not Richard, and not necessarily Smith. But someone or something else.

As for dear Carrie -- please oh please -- don't bring Big back into her life, at least not for too long. And please don't marry her off to Aleksandr. I want to remember her, flitting away, down her exceptionally clean New York City neighborhood, to unseen adventures that I can dream of.


Many Happy Returns

Also returning to HBO is Real Time With Bill Maher. The curmudgeonly pundit comes back with roundtable panelists and other guests to dish and dis world events and contemporary issues. The 23-episode season will go on hiatus after the first 10 episodes, resuming just prior to the Democratic and Republican conventions. The second season of Real Time With Bill Maher premieres Friday (Jan. 16) at 7pm (new time) with an encore at 10:30pm.

Perplexing, absurd, and hilarious. That's Larry David, who returned in top form when Curb Your Enthusiasm kicked off its fourth season last Sunday on HBO. Guests for this season include Ben Stiller in a multi-episode story arc. No stranger to improv, Stiller should be a treat to watch in this depiction of David's life as the most neurotic man in Hollywood. I can't wait. Curb Your Enthusiasm airs Sundays at 8:30pm. By the way -- the complete first season of Curb is scheduled for a Jan. 13 release on DVD from Warner Home Video.

After inquiring what was up, only to receive a pithy "it's in production" response, I received an unceremonious announcement that The Chris Isaak Show (Showtime) was returning for its third and, alas, final season. The show about a regular guy (Isaak) who happens to be famous premiered last week. The droll and quirky series features Isaak and his bandmates as they go about their regular, but always amusing, lives. The Chris Isaak Show airs Thursdays at 9pm on Showtime.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Sex and the City, Real Time With Bill Mahler, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Chris Isaak Show, HBO, Showtime

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