I first realized I had a problem when I sat down with a professor who asked me how I planned to start my career. I didn’t really know what to say. I sat silently on her couch and eyed the box of Kleenex on her table. She asked me to name a person whose job I wanted. Then she told me to research how they got started.
That was when I realized something. The night before, I had done something eerily similar. I googled how Carrie Bradshaw started her career and attempted to use that as a guide.
It’s probably a good idea to look at a non-fictional character for career planning — but for every other problem I face, I find it easiest to consult my friends Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda from “Sex and the City.”
These four navigate love, life and friendship. They aren’t PG. They aren’t always good people, either. A lot of the jokes or plots have aged poorly, but the characters are still smart, witty and entertaining.
Here are the “Sex and the City” episodes I find myself rewatching.
“They Shoot Single People, Don’t They?” Season 2, Episode 4
All of the girls are single in this episode. Carrie landed the cover of The New Yorker. However, they used an unflattering photo with the headline “Single and Fabulous?” Carrie and her friends then feel single-shamed, which scares them into bad relationships for the rest of the episode. They discovered that they were happier being single. The episode is funny, lighthearted and eases a common source of insecurity — societal pressure to be in a relationship.
“My Motherboard, My Self” Season 4, Episode 8
Anyone who has lost a loved one knows how severely it can impact other friendships or relationships. This episode conveys that well. Miranda’s mom passes away, but the girls support her in unique ways. Charlotte becomes the “Martha Stewartt of funerals.” Miranda — who refuses to show feelings — experiences a wave of emotions before realizing she is grieving. The best part is that it’s not so sad that it’s unfunny.
“Frenemies” Season 3, Episode 16
Everyone has had friend problems, so feuds between the four girls are obviously inevitable. Samantha and Charlotte get into a fight, while Miranda dates one of Carrie’s ex-boyfriends. Everyone steps out of their characters for a bit, which I personally enjoyed. This episode is chaotic but really well done.
“Running With Scissors” Season 3, Episode 11
This episode was hard to watch because you see Carrie act selfishly. She hurts a lot of people — including herself. I am not condoning cheating or excusing any of her actions, but everyone has done something they aren’t proud of, and that hurts other people. That’s why Carrie’s actions are comforting in a way. It’s nice to watch her character development, and the episode is interesting overall. Kind of like watching a train crash.
“What Goes Around Comes Around” Season 3, Episode 17
Carrie decides that her karmic balance is severely off. She questions how to handle all the guilt from her affair with Mr. Big. Anyone who has felt guilt can relate to Carrie, who eventually makes the hard decision to apologize to Natasha. Like “Running with Scissors,” it’s hard to watch this episode without being angry at Carrie, but she certainly has character development. Plus, Carrie getting robbed is really funny.
“Coulda Woulda Shoulda” Season 4, Episode 11
This is a really memorable episode. It tackles abortion and motherhood in a really tactful manner. Miranda must decide if she should keep her baby — which upsets Charlotte — who is trying to conceive. Carrie starts to doubt her choice to get an abortion years prior. There are a lot of different perspectives on motherhood in this episode. Each character ended with a better sense of self.
It’s shocking to compare the accessability of abortion in this episode — which aired more than 20 years ago — to today’s post-Roe world.