They've experienced the pleasure of sex, the pain of heartbreak and the panacea of friendship. Now, Carrie Bradshaw and her three best friends-Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha- are headed into an exciting new chapter in their lives that's as unpredictable as the metropolis they live in. It's the last hurrah for Carrie and Co.
After a long wait--like the entire fifth season--Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is dating again. The sixth season of the popular HBO show starts with Carrie and her sparkly new potential, Berger (Ron Livingston), trying to leave past relationships and hit it off. The results are mixed (up to Berger's memorable exit), but the good news is Carrie is at it again, and a new love interest can be found in the member of a wedding party, an old high school flame (David Duchovny), or an über-famous painter (Mikhail Baryshnikov). As Carrie plays the field, her friends seem to be settling down, relatively speaking. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) decides that her affair with TiVo cannot compete when Mr. Perfect (Blair Underwood, at his most charming) moves into her building. Charlotte's (Kristin Davis) feelings for her "opposites attract" boyfriend (Evan Handler, perhaps fans' most-loved boyfriend) deepen, but they still have a few things to iron out. Most surprising is Samantha's (Kim Cattrall) hot relationship with waiter-actor-stud Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) taking on something resembling love, despite Samantha's best intentions.
Before the sixth season started in the summer of 2003, a bombshell hit: it was announced that this would be the finale. Fans, just getting over the truncated fifth season (due to half the cast getting pregnant), were beside themselves. But it would be a long season, and these 12 episodes plant the seeds for the final 8 airing the following winter. These dozen episodes illustrate the maturity of the show: there's not a bad one in the bunch, with things like old flames Mr. Big (Chris Noth), and Steve (David Eigenberg) popping in with deeper resiliency. And the show is still flat-out funny. Berger is the most intrinsically humorous of Carrie's beaus (his introduction to Prada is a classic), Jarrod's earnest streak on Samantha gets her flabbergasted in the giddiest ways, and Charlotte's attempt to convert to Judaism is right in character. The touchstone episode is "A Woman's Right to Shoes," in which Carrie loses her prized and expensive Manolo Blahniks at a party. The comedy blends serious points of how we perceive singles, couples, and parents (and the gifts we lavish on the latter two). Carrie's method of celebrating her singlehood is just another gem in this treasure of a series. --Doug Thomas