But if it's self knowledge the characters are supposedly selling, Jessica Shaw isn't buying

By Jessica Shaw
Updated June 04, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Sarah Jessica Parker: Craig Blankenhorn

Sex and the City

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Carrie goes glam on ”Sex and the City”

Staler than a sweeps stunt wedding. More eyeroll inducing than a Very Special Episode. It’s the half hour comedy that enlists B-list ”names” playing all sorts of wacky characters. Welcome to the second installment of ”Sex and the City”’s fourth season, which featured Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming, Heidi Klum, Kevyn Aucoin, and Ed Koch as various participants in a fashion show.

In the episode, Carrie gets enlisted by a fashionista with a penchant for the F word (Cho) to strut her stuff as a ”real” New Yorker (as opposed to a model) down a charity show runway. The always brilliant Cumming plays Oscar (who only goes by ”O” now), the Dolce and Gabbana emissary, who fits Carrie. There’s a hottie photographer involved who insists Carrie is the most beautiful model of them all (Carrie is definitely a babe, but come on). And to top it off, we’re graced with a painfully predictable finale in which Carrie, decked out in sequined undies and a hideous early ’80s cobalt blue jacket, becomes what Stanford refers to as ”fashion roadkill.”

As I was watching Carrie pretend to be horrified in her new model status, I couldn’t help thinking: Are we watching Sarah Jessica Parker’s personal fantasy or what? I mean, how many Page Six pictures did we see last season of Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis fawning over FABULOUS fashions? Parker is now a style watcher’s icon. Why does her character, brilliant in observing others in that role, have to be the one getting made up by the excruciatingly bad actor (even when playing himself) Aucoin or high fiving actress wannabe Klum?

Equally irritating was the story line in which Miranda gets picked up by a gym hunk (memo to Miranda: Guys who work out at Crunch in tank tops either aren’t playing on your team or should be avoided for their sartorial crimes) who seems to be turned on by her ”real” woman personality. But she can’t handle the fact that he thinks she’s sexy (get thee to a therapist!!!) so she acts ridiculous and, shocker, he dumps her.

At least the other two gals kept me watching. Charlotte, who seems to be getting more naïve as the seasons go on, learns to love her privates while Samantha bares all (and hello! Britney Spears wishes she were that perky) for a nude photo. So to answer Carrie, who asks herself, ”Do we see ourselves clearly?” I can only answer, Not enough. I could have used a little more vision. And I suspect the writers agreed in hindsight because this episode would have been a real downer had it not been paired with the first one.

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