Given how sex was so central to the theme of SATC, it’s also a given that a lack of sex would come up at some point. Unfortunately, this resulted in one of the dumbest storylines ever: Carrie farted in Big’s presence and then spent the next twenty minutes fretting about it. Equally lackluster were Miranda fretting over her three-month sexual dry spell, Charlotte dating a former sex addict whose Prozac leveled his sex drive to zero, and Samantha attempting to bed her yoga instructor. Overall, “The Drought” went down as one of the worst episodes on record, and the fashions were equally dull.
I can't bear to rehash this in order of the episode's events, so I'm doing it by character, instead. I hope that's ok with you.
Ms. Bradshaw's storyline began with her release of the unplanned gas attack in bed, followed by stealing out of the apartment dressed like a cat burglar who was missing her sweater. Also, there were mom jeans.
Had this show had the budget in 1998 that it was eventually given around 2001, and everyone would have seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by then, she would have been dressed in some appropriated cheongsam like Zhang Ziyi. Alas, she has to struggle with a tight black tank and high waisted jeans.
She tells Miranda all this (the fart, not the mom jeans), who is nonplussed in her approach (“So what?” being her only meaningful response) and whose outfit matched her sensibility.
Yes, we know it’s supposed to be serious and while it’s refreshing that they are dressed practically and not every single scene required something straight from Milan or a vintage shop in the West Village, in terms of this episode’s purpose for YKYLF, this is turning into a somewhat dull assignment.
[Ed note: Suck it up. There's at least 19 minutes left in the episode - Jen]
Eventually Carrie returns to Big, wearing what appears to be a pink top that has grown a beet-red fungal growth all over it:
I consider this a win. The fit is tasteful, even if Big’s counter cuts off the full length and we can’t really give the ensemble a full assessment.
Carrie makes things worse by attempting to jump Big in the sack when he’s watching a Knicks game. Speaking as someone with a Y chromosome, even though I don’t follow that many sports, I still know well enough that one does not try to jump a guy during ladies’ free skate Wimbledon finals/Stanley Cup season/March Madness. The ONLY time one should attempt this – as Samantha figured out in season two – is after the game, after they already won. Carrie enraged Big and sent him flying, perplexed. Let’s examine why. Reason 1: mentioned above. Reason 2:
She was wearing clown makeup, if the clown decided he wanted to be a drag queen for the day, and any self-respecting drag queen would know that what Carrie put on was the first layer before any lashes are placed and her outfit would require several numerous elaborations before it was completed. In other words, Carrie scared the hell out of Big, fart or not fart.
Enough of that. Onto the (usually) more pragmatic...
Her storyline consists entirely of moaning of her lack of sex and being propositioned by a construction worker. Of course she’s dressed like a lumberjack, and in overalls, and didn't make any effort. I'm not going to offend anyone here by showing her lack of effort here - if you want a glimpse scroll to the shot at the bottom of this post. Did Patricia Field hate Cynthia Nixon? Why else did she keep dressing her like she was on her way to Lollapalooza '94?
Oh, but I will show you her construction worker, who appears to be John Travolta circa 1975.
Now who wouldn’t want a piece of that, huh?
And then there’s our Mrs. Robinson. She’s off to a promising start as she attempted to seduce her yoga instructor Siddhartha (are you kidding me with that name?!?! His real name is probably Alastair and he’s from Sussex).
Keep in mind that in 1998, we didn’t have Lululemon yet, so Siddhartha isn’t dressed in downward dog pants with a tight chartreuse-colored muscle shirt. However, the all-white comfortable pants did frame his supreme hotness.
Until I saw this:
This is a question not often asked of male characters on our shows: WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING?!? I don’t even yell at my TV when Kurt from Glee turns occasional furniture into accessories. This jacket is so deeply offensive on so many levels that if I ever see it in person on the street I may corner the wearer and yell “hate crime!” because so-called “street wear” like this paved the way for Jersey Shore apparel.
Thankfully, Sam decided to elevate the tone by wearing what appears to be a Ralph Lauren Team USA Olympic jacket. It’s strictly off the rack and anyone can get it, but it’s why Team USA chooses Ralph Lauren. (Did you read our Olympic recap?) The aesthetic is timeless New England, but is sporty in nature and given a modern cut to make the wearer feel sleek and athletic even on days when the wearer skips the gym to have poutine instead. (Non-Canadian readers: please Google “poutine”, skip the gym to eat it if it’s served where you are, and thank me later.)
Siddhartha, meanwhile, continues to enrage me with his aesthetic choices. In this garb, he is clearly attempting to match the room.
He blends in so well he may as well be a floating head.
In keeping with the motif, Sam decided to make the temporary loss of sex literal by dressing in an outfit of flowers.
Eventually she gets it “plucked” by some random dude in her yoga class. Also, she seems to favour amber tones this episode. I’m guessing it symbolizes how she’s got some inner heat or burning desire deep within … or they just decided that was good for her skin tone.
So, Char is dating a man who Carrie once dumped for being a sex addict. When introducing Carrie to her new man at dinner, Charlotte stuck to what she knew well for a date:
She appears to have stolen the remnants of Joan Holloway’s cocktail dresses when she was just getting out of the “junior miss” section. This one-piece may have been labeled a scandalous slip dress given its rather modern cut in the Manhattan of 1962, but in 1998 it’s what one wears to the races, preferably with a fascinator, and not to an evening dinner at a hot spot on the Upper East Side. I think she was appalled by it, in the end:
As am I, Charlotte.
As usual, in the early days of SATC, they interview subjects on the street to get allegedly “real” folks’ view on the issue du jour. We happen upon the gleeful nail salon lady, who likes sex “once a day … and two times on very special day!”
Let’s not fault her, she works in a nail salon.
We can, however, fault this unfortunate bystander:
This is what happens when corporate people let chemicals ruin their hair. It usually happens when they peruse aging issues of Vanity Fair in their office lobby and decide to badly incorporate formerly fashionable hairstyles several seasons late. This workaholic may be getting her 2,000 billable hours in per year, but her hair looks as if she decided to combine a bad perm with “the Rachel”, only two years after Jennifer Aniston found a hair iron and Brad Pitt. I would like to give his lady a shave and a hug, but I’m afraid she would threaten to unload her then-highly-profitable-but-now-worthless stock options on me.
In fact, let’s end this episode with the look that we should all have when we normally watch SATC, which is what these ladies see when they decide to stop and watch Carrie’s neighbors have constant sex:
Thankfully, future episodes are more character-driven, and less issue-driven. In other words, less like a terrible senior thesis that any of my gender studies profs would have hurled back and me as if they were insulted, and more like the SATC of the later seasons and movies.
Oh, wait. Is that a good thing?