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TV Preview: Life with 'Sex' just as lively in final season

Friday, June 20, 2003

By Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The ladies are still lunching, Samantha still brashly bedding the hot young men who cross her path -- or restaurant table -- but Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda are moving on. Sort of.

HBO's "Sex and the City' returns for its sixth and final season Sunday at 9 p.m., and the show acknowledges the rise of TiVo, restaurants specializing in raw food and the $20 hamburger, which is actually inexpensive by some New York standards.

In the two episodes HBO made available for review (some spoilers are ahead), we see that Samantha is back to her old tricks, while Carrie makes a date with witty writer Jack Berger, whom we met last season. Charlotte contemplates solidifying her relationship with the hairless-headed Harry, her former divorce attorney, and Miranda's heart is swinging like a pendulum once more when it comes to Steve, father of her baby.

The Samantha stuff, frankly, is getting old, even if she has the body fat of a teenager dieting to fit into her prom dress. However, the series nicely uses the theme of the stock exchange in Sunday's episode, which has Carrie advancing the theory: "The only thing a girl needs to get a date is another date." It also coins the word "simudate."

Even if you're on the verge of abandoning the show, which isn't as much of a reason to subscribe to HBO as the addictive hour-long dramas "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under," you need to watch Sunday for the closure involving John Corbett's popular character, Aidan. It's a small surprise in a TV universe that seems to promise few, although I could have lived without the diaper disaster involving Miranda, which leaves her with something far worse than egg on her face.

The leading actresses -- Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie, Kim Cattrall as Samantha, Kristin Davis as Charlotte and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda -- slip into their roles as comfortably as their now-familiar apartments. As Jack Berger, Ron Livingston is a welcome addition to the cast, and David Eigenberg continues to be one of the nicest guys to ever grace the series. As Harry, Evan Handler seems a mismatch for Charlotte, who seems to be flitting between airheaded and ardent, but his character opens a door to a potentially rich story line.

Carrie Bradshaw is no Tony Soprano, but she gives you a reason to keep paying that HBO freight. The show, by the way, will close with 20 new episodes. The first dozen will air through Sept. 14, with the final eight in January.


Barbara Vancheri can be reached at bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632.

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