They are hooked -- and loving it

Viewers of 'SATC' share some of their favorite memories

January 04, 2004|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,Sun Staff

Tonight is the beginning of the end. No more giant flower pins. No more jeweled handbags. No more pink "rabbit" vibrators.

Tonight HBO will air the first of the -- gasp! -- final eight episodes of Sex and the City. Then our window into high fashion and fast living will be slammed shut. The show's been on since 1998, and is a cultural phenomenon akin to professional wrestling -- a guilty pleasure for which its fans live.

The show, in case you've been living in a spider hole, features four single, gorgeous, thirtysomething women with wardrobes that outstrip their salaries and who routinely rub elbows with celebrities while on romps to Manhattan's fanciest parties.

The girls hold regular dish sessions in which they speak frankly about everything -- and we do mean everything -- that happens in their friendships, relationships and bedrooms. Along the way, the show lets us know what's hot and what's not in the Big Apple. When it ends in late February, how will we know which new Manhattan restaurant to frequent? The highlights from Dolce and Gabbana's summer line? The latest exercise craze?

With the end near, we asked readers to share their viewing experiences and memories of the show. Responses ranged from a synopsis (which we can't print here) of a night with a new lover to an e-mail from a "very unhip, middle-aged divorcee Mom" who regularly watches the show with her "Upper East Side daughter."

"It is the reason I subscribe to HBO," says fan Kelly Sheridan, a 37-year-old Towson resident. "It tacks on an extra $20 a month to your bill. But it's like, 'OK, I've been exposed, I can't live without it.' "

Soon, we'll all have to. For now, here are a few of the best stories we received.

*

Before there was Sex and the City, Susan Boone of Monkton had Chic Chat, an Internet talk show she and two friends played host for. The Web broadcast highlighted the friendships among the three very different hosts. When Sex and the City started, Boone saw a parallel. "It's about the friendships between very different women," she says.

She was an instant fan, as was one of her co-hosts, Justine Mangione of Phoenix, Md. So when Mangione successfully bid on a chance to take a friend to a taping of Sex and the City, she immediately thought of Boone. The day was tough to arrange. Boone was being treated for breast cancer, and her oncologist didn't want her to skip a day of radiation therapy. In the end, she had her therapy at dawn, then took the train to New York.

After several hours on the set, the two women became fast friends with star Kim Cattrall (the show's sexually adventurous Samantha Jones). The trio lunched for hours at a little New York cafe, where "we yakked and yakked -- about boys and men," Mangione recalls.

Then, in a moment it seems could only happen on television, Cattrall invited the pair to a party for Tommy Hilfiger's newest underwear line. That evening, she picked them up in a limo. When they stepped out at the SoHo party, "there was a red carpet, lights, cameras, reporters asking questions," says Mangione. "It was like the Academy Awards."

Boone has since recovered from breast cancer. And their day in New York still stands out as one of her best. "At my age [one she refuses to specify], there aren't that many things that are fun or exciting."

*

Hanging out with celebrities is nothing new for Diane Macklin, 38, of Pikesville. As radio station WQSR's entertainment reporter, she does it for a living. And she uses Sex and the City as her personal guide to celebrity hangouts.

"Whenever I go to New York, I go to one of the places they eat in the show ... to see if I see celebrities," she says. She often does.

But Macklin isn't satisfied with just seeing celebrities out on the town. At a charity auction a few years ago, she shelled out enough to win four pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes -- and a day on the Sex and the City set. Once there, Macklin got a chance to lie down on Carrie Bradshaw's bed. Far more exciting, though, was the time she spent rooting though Carrie's famous closet.

"There were a lot of funky, crazy things ... ponchos, tons of shoes that were all Manolo Blahnik, there were tons of Manolo Blahnik shopping bags."

Her Cinderella story ended in a small surprise. "I tried a pair of shoes on," Macklin says, "but her shoe size is much bigger than mine."

*

Nine o'clock on Sunday night is sacrosanct in the Garron household. It's Sex and the City time. Doreen Garron, 76, has seen every episode -- and then some. "I watch all the reruns," she says. She watches with her husband, Larry Garron, 75.

"It is very upbeat, and extremely entertaining, and even though we are senior citizens, we are able to relate to these women, to their love affairs, their sexual exploits."

And their heartache.

For Garron, the most powerful moment in the show came in the third season, when Carrie revealed that she'd cheated on her boyfriend, Aidan Shaw (played by John Corbett). Aidan yelled: "Carrie, you broke my heart!"

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