TV Rewind: ‘Sex and the City,’ Season 3, Episode 5: ‘No Ifs, Ands, or Butts’
Welcome to TV Rewind, in which we look back at iconic episodes of beloved shows and try to determine if they still hold up today. This week, we look at the episode of "Sex and the City" in which Carrie meets Aidan, Charlotte dates a guy who licks her face, Miranda refuses to support her boyfriend's dreams, and Samantha goes out with a guy whose sister doesn't approve. Put those oversized flower pins on, and let's do this!
Show: "Sex and the City"
Episode: "No Ifs, Ands, or Butts," Season 3, Episode 5
Plot summary: Ugh, do we have to? Yes, absolutely, because there are jokes to be made and over-the-top eye rolls to be administered. Frankly, there's no time to waste.
Fresh off her second breakup with Mr. Big, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) moseys into a furniture store where she is promptly accosted by a dog (reminding us cat lovers why our choices are superior). This humping dog, evidently, belongs to a man named Aidan (John Corbett), who owns said furniture store and is "adorable" because he "brings his poorly-trained dog to work." Obviously, Carrie is interested. Be it the overgrown shag cut or beaded necklace, Aidan is now the perfect man -- except for one thing: he doesn't like that she smokes. (Oh, and also: she buys an enormous chair from him just to get his number. Smooth.)
So instead of saying to Aidan, "Hey Aidan, I have an addiction, so it's going to take a while to quit" or "Hey Aidan I don't judge your long hair and humping dog, so don't judge my decision to inhale nicotine," Carrie decides to play "social smoker" and the two go out on a date. This date is terrible because Aidan believes he's out with somebody who's interested in him, and Carrie believes the faster she speaks, the sooner she'll get to have a cigarette outside, so finally, she runs out and Aidan follows, prompting Carrie to make a choice: Aidan or cigarettes.
Carrie chooses cigarettes -- at first. Then, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) remind Carrie that smoking is gross, and she agrees: Aidan is worth quitting for. Besides, with all that money she'll save not smoking, she'll be able to pay for that enormous chair she didn't need!
Meanwhile, Miranda's boyfriend Steve (David Eigenberg) wins a chance at making the half-court shot at a Nicks game, and instead of supporting him, she reminds him how unrealistic his chances are of succeeding, and how big of an idiot he is for having fun in any way, whatsoever. Finally, she concedes, and shows up for the game and the contest, and although Steve doesn't make the shot, he's happy Miranda was there for him.
On the flip side, Charlotte dates a bad kisser who, likely having been raised in a cave, believes "kissing" means "licking a person's face." (Seriously, did this guy never see a movie before? Or a television show? Or read a book? Or see any other humans interact?) They don't work out, shockingly.
Samantha begins dating an African-American record executive named Chivon (Asio Highsmith) whose sister, Adeena (Sundra Oakley), is friends with Samantha. However, his Adeena isn't happy with this new union, and because logical communication doesn't exist within the walls of this program, Samantha and Adeena get into a fight at a nightclub. Chivon takes his sister's side and dumps Samantha.
In the final scene, we see Aidan putting a nicotine patch on Carrie's arm.
What still works: Dogs and nicotine patches are still things that exist. As does New York City. So... those things still work. That's about it.
What doesn't work: Oh man. Put on Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" and we'll speed through the numerous things that are ridiculous in 2013:
Carrie meets Aidan while wearing an enormous oversized flower pin, while Aidan opts to look like an older version of Luke from "The O.C."
Carrie buys a chair she doesn't need. (She is also a writer, so we can safely assume there is no way she can afford that chair)
Carrie changes her lifestyle to keep a guy around (and yes, smoking is unhealthy, but she should want to quit for her -- otherwise she'll always resent him)
Charlotte continues to date a man who licks her face, and instead of respecting Charlotte's request that he does not lick her face, the man continues to lick Charlotte's face. (Then she screams at him -- so technically, that does work)
Samantha and Adeena are grown-up adult women, yet come to blows in a night club like teenagers.
Miranda straight up crushes Steve's dreams.
Aidan continues bringing his dog to work despite the dog's history of assaulting strangers.
And damn it, Carrie would be a true poor if she relied financially on only a single column. The only furniture she'd be buying would be at Ikea -- with the rest of us.
The verdict: In the words of this very episode, Carrie hadn't had a crush like she did on Aidan since Big. And like her relationship with Big, this episode wasn't a crush -- it was a crash. We may have loved "Sex and the City" while it was on, but wow, does this show age badly.