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Carrie Bradshaw is a bad friend here's why

Why Carrie Bradshaw was the worst type of friend

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We couldn’t help but wonder, why did no one call Carrie Bradshaw out on her terrible behaviour as a friend?

Last year saw the 25th anniversary of the much-loved HBO series Sex and The City. And, with the highly anticipated third season of the series spin-off, And Just Like That, set to return next year, as well as the original series move to Netflix this April, it’s clear that the hype for the cult series isn’t going to die down anytime soon.

In fact, some might say that the series, created by Darren Star, is one of the most culturally important shows of our time — The Telegraph even went as far to call it the most important TV show ever made. The discourse surrounding the show is still ongoing today, with people sharing their opinions on platforms such as Twitter and TikTok.

Central to the story, along with the romantic portrayal of living out your early thirties in New York and the various love interests we’re introduced to throughout the show, were the four female characters that we all know and love. The series is narrated by the lead star Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker — though some may argue that Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall, was the real star — myself included.

Throughout the show’s six-season run, from 1998 to 2004, we fell in love with the women (and their wardrobes) on our screens, becoming ever more enamoured with their personal lives. Though, as the years since the show have progressed, and we look back at the characters through various rewatches, one opinion reigns supreme: that Carrie Bradshaw was, actually, a terrible friend.

Sure, her outfits are fantastic and, as a journalist myself, when I was younger, I would have traded my life for that of our Carrie’s in an instant. Yet, over the course of several rewatches, I couldn’t help but wonder, if Carrie was in my friendship group would I be willing to put up with her (for lack of a better word) bullshit?





The opinion that Ms Bradshaw is a terrible friend is by no means a new one. “I can say this purely because she’s a fictional character but Carrie Bradshaw is TRASH. Full on narcissist. Can’t cope with her. Terrible friend. Terrible partner. I think she is a bad (fictional) person. Samantha is a KING & HOW are they doing a reboot without her?!,” writes user @toriallenmartin on X/Twitter.

Another, @becauseimbilly, writes, “I’d just like to point out that Carrie Bradshaw was a bad friend, an annoying person and a narcissistic girlfriend. Miranda was the superior character in SATC. She was the perfect balance of realism, being focussed and intelligence.”

The time when…

There are several points throughout the series that Carrie displays severe main character syndrome. One of those being season four, episode seven, where an injured Miranda calls Carrie for help. In this episode, we see Carrie send her at-the-time love interest, Aidan Shaw, over to Miranda’s house in her place.

An injured Miranda, lying naked on the floor, is startled by the presence of Aidan in her bathroom, who then picks her up (naked) off the bathroom floor, before presumably dressing her and accompanying her to the doctor. Sure, in the moments leading up to this scene, we see Carrie explaining to Aidan that it’s probably too late to cancel a meeting with her editor (this is where Aidan steps in to help, God bless his heart), but if I were lying naked on the bathroom floor, awaiting help from a friend, only to be met with their significant other, would I be happy about it? Absolutely not.





 

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When she…

Carrie tends to display narcissistic behaviour throughout each of the series, constantly putting her problems above that of her friends. This behaviour can be traced back all the way to season two, more specifically, season two, episode eight. I have a love-hate relationship with this episode, as it’s the one where we meet Steve Brady, perhaps the only sane love interest in the whole series — aside from Harry Goldenblatt, who Charlotte weds in season six.

In this episode, we see Carrie ditch plans to have drinks with Miranda, opting instead to have dinner cooked for her by her central love interest in the show, Mr Big (aka John James Preston). In typical Carrie fashion she leaves a hurried message notifying Miranda of the change of plans on her answering machine. Has Carrie not heard of girl code, or never putting a (decidedly awful) man before her friends? It would seem so.

Read more: Michelle Elman reveals how to date in 2024

 

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She’s often …

It’s not just Miranda who she treats horribly, though we do pass some judgement on her by putting up with Carrie’s nonsense for so long. There are a number of times throughout the series where the question begs to be asked: how can Carrie possibly be a sex columnist?

Like any popular sitcom made in the Nineties/Noughties (Friends, we’re looking at you), the series was, at times, problematic. Instances include when Carrie described bisexuality as a mere ‘layover to Gaytown’, in an episode that’s exceedingly painful to watch. Yet, this wasn’t the only instance; we see her pass judgement on Samantha for engaging in sexual relations with a delivery guy (post painful break-up, we might add), in season five, episode four. Being slut-shamed by your best friend is a no in our book.

Read more: The importance of female friendship in our adult lives

 

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Not forgetting when…

And finally, in my least favourite episode of all time, season four, episode 16, Carrie storms over to Charlotte’s house to demand to know why Charlotte didn’t offer her the down payment for her apartment, post her break-up with Aidan (where she wasn’t just a terrible friend, but a terrible girlfriend, too). Note that Charlotte does, eventually, give Carrie the down payment in the form of her engagement ring from Trey, but not before Carrie yells at her in her own home and judges her for still wearing her engagement ring, seemingly only weeks after the divorce itself.

 

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Yet, despite all her pitfalls, for some reason you can’t help but not love Carrie (or maybe that’s just me). There are some instances where she does show the capabilities of being a friend you can count on, most noticeably in season six, episode seven, where Charlotte feels that she couldn’t celebrate her engagement properly, as it was her second one. Carrie very sweetly proclaims that this isn’t true at all and announces Charlotte’s engagement to another bridal party at the dive bar they’re at, before snapping pictures of Charlotte with the group, while she’s dressed in a bridal veil.

And then there’s the incredible moment in the Sex and The City movie (the first one, as I can’t bring myself to speak about the awfulness of the second), where Carrie — in true Carrie fashion —rushes over to Miranda’s house (in a glittery beret, pearl necklace, fur coat and heels, of course), so that she won’t be alone on New Year’s Eve. Will we ever get over that god-awful cover of Auld Lang Syne though? Not likely.

Whether you love or hate Carrie Bradshaw (or even hate to love her, like me), there’s no denying the character has become a cultural icon. But would I want her as my own best friend? It’s a no from me.

 

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