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Caroline Marie "Carrie" Bradshaw Preston is the fictional narrator and the main protagonist of the HBO drama series Sex and the City and And Just Like That.... A different version of the character is also seen in The Carrie Diaries.

Overview[]

Carrie is a semi-autobiographical character created by Candace Bushnell, who published the book "Sex and the City", based on her own columns in the "New York Observer".

On the HBO series, Bradshaw is a New York City newspaper columnist, party girl, fashionista, and later, freelance writer for Vogue. Her weekly column, "Sex and the City", provides the title, storylines, and narration for each episode.

In 2005, Carrie Bradshaw was listed as number 11 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters.

Biography[]

Little is known about Carrie Bradshaw's life before the events of "Sex and the City." Her father left her and her mother when she was five years old, and no siblings are mentioned; she does not seem to have been from a particularly wealthy family. Carrie confides to her friend Charlotte that she lost her virginity in eleventh grade on a ping pong table in Seth Bateman's rec room. In Season 6, Carrie reconnects with another high school boyfriend named Jeremy. She mentions that they never had sex because they were young and wanted to wait.

She arrived in Manhattan on Wednesday, June 11, 1986, when she was approximately 21 years old, based on references to her age throughout the series. In the movie, she states that she has lived in Manhattan for 20 years, although she mentions at age 35 that she had been living there for a decade. In Season 4, Carrie tells a photographer that she was so poor when she first moved to New York that she would purchase Vogue instead of dinner. It is also revealed that Carrie had an abortion in 1988 following a one-night stand with a waiter when she was 22. She seemed to embrace the popular 1980s Madonna look and met Charlotte in 1986, followed by meeting Miranda and Samantha the next year.

Carrie had an on-and-off relationship with Kurt Harrington at the ages of 26, 29, and 31. Over time, she ceased to feel any affection for him. After many years, she finally recognized him as a self-centered and withholding individual, despite him being the best sexual partner she had ever experienced.

Sex and the City[]

Carrie writes a weekly column called "Sex and the City" for the fictional newspaper, The New York Star. The column focuses on Carrie's sexual escapades and those of her close friends, as well as musings about the relationships between men and women, dating, and New York. It provides Carrie with a certain amount of recognition in the city. People who read her column occasionally describe her as their icon. In the third season, her column is optioned for a film starring a fictionalized Matthew McConaughey. In the fifth season, some of her columns are compiled into a book.

At the end of season four, Carrie begins to write freelance articles for "Vogue". Although she initially has trouble dealing with Enid, her abrasive editor at Vogue, she does find her feet and ends up befriending her.

She is an on-again, off-again smoker, and she enjoys cocktails (particularly the Cosmopolitan, her character's fondness for them helped to popularize the drink), but she is, at heart, an old-fashioned girl, and is deeply romantic, but also is promiscuous, but is the least promiscuous, out of all the girls. She is on an endless search for true love, and refuses to settle for, as she puts it, "anything less than butterflies." Despite this, she repeatedly expresses doubts that she is the type to get married and raise a family.

Carrie is a resident of Manhattan, New York. She lives in a brownstone on the Upper East Side at the fictional house number of 245, on East 73rd Street, between Park and Madison. She lives in this apartment throughout the series and buys it in the fourth season. In the initial episodes of the first season, Carrie's apartment is seen to be above a coffee shop somewhere near the vicinity of Madison Avenue. By approximately the fourth episode, the usual facade of a series of brownstones adjacent to hers is adopted, and remains that way throughout the series. The first episode also features a different apartment from the one used for the next 95 episodes, and the movie.

And Just Like That...[]

Season 1[]

Carrie lives a happy married life with Mr. Big until he unexpectedly suffers from a heart attack in the first episode of And Just Like That..., while she is at Lily Goldenblatt's piano recital. Carrie is devastated and tries to move forward in life with the support of her best friends, Miranda and Charlotte.

Throughout the first season, Carrie struggles to move on. She invests herself more in work and more in her new friendship with Seema Patel. Carrie, at the request of her editor, goes on a date after one year. They proceed to go on a few disastrous dates (because Carrie wasn't ready) but end on good terms. At the end of the season, Carrie gets her very own podcast. She ends up kissing the man who funds the podcast.

Season 2[]

Carrie settles into a consistent hook-up routine with her producer, Franklyn. She's invited to an uncomfortable social event by Franklyn, which prompts her to reflect on the nature of their relationship. Eventually she breaks it off.

Carrie still grapples with deeper emotions. The memory of her late partner, John, resurfaces as she records her book, leading her to feign having COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) to avoid reading a chapter about his death. Later, she's asked to contribute to an online publication for retired women, leading her to reflect on her age and her aspirations.

Carrie reconnects with Aidan after reaching out. He's delighted to hear from her and they quickly fall back into their old ways. They're in love and Carrie wonders if she did make a mistake breaking up with him so many years ago.

At the end of the season, Carrie buys a new apartment with Aidan and his sons in mind. However, Aidan tells her he needs to hit the pause button for five years until his son Wyatt is grown up because he needs to be there for his kids. Carrie understands and agrees. She bids farewell to her old New York apartment and then sets off to Greece with Seema.

Physical Appearance[]

Carrie is a extremely stunning and ravishing blonde woman in her 30s, of average height with a slim yet toned figure. She has blue eyes usually accentuated by eyeliner, light makeup, a prominent nose, and a beauty mark on the right side of her chin. Her blonde, curly hair has undergone various transformations, ranging from shoulder length to waist-long, and has been styled in everything from a curly bob to medium length, sometimes straight and other times wavy.

Known for her vibrant and sometimes flamboyant fashion sense, Carrie adores wearing colorful, girly outfits complemented by her collection of designer high heels. She is particularly fond of Manolo Blahniks, but also treasures pieces from Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, with her footwear expenses surpassing $40,000. Carrie enjoys mixing unique vintage finds with high-end couture and frequently shops at exclusive stores like Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her eclectic wardrobe includes pieces from luxury designers such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Betsey Johnson, Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Fendi, Gianni Versace, Givenchy, Gucci, Heatherette, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Missoni, Miu Miu, Moschino, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Sonia Rykiel, Vera Wang, and Vivienne Westwood.

Relationships[]

Mr. Big[]

"Mr. Big" (Chris Noth) appears in the first episode as a wealthy man who accidentally meets Carrie on the streets of Manhattan. Their relationship is a story arc running the length of the series. It should also be noted that her relationship with Big evolved throughout the length of the show. At the start, she was intimidated and awed by him. However, eventually Carrie and Big share a friendly and often passionate intimacy, yet Mr. Big remains (in producer Michael Patrick King's words), "always slightly out of reach." Mr. Big's name is never mentioned until the last episode of the 6th season, where it is revealed his name is John.

His full name is given as John James Preston in the movie. Carrie and Big, in a business fashion, decide to marry. However, just before the ceremony, Big becomes overwhelmed by the media attention and the number of guests and changes his mind. Later, he comes to terms with his feelings and wants to marry after all, but Carrie, hurt and betrayed, blocks all communication with him, and unknowingly ignores his love letters and apologetic emails. Finally, after certain events in the movie, they unintentionally meet, come to terms with each other, reaffirm their feelings, and privately marry (the way Carrie originally envisioned). 

They live a happy life together until Big unexpectedly suffers from a heart attack and dies. Carrie is left a widow.

Aidan Shaw[]

Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) is one of Carrie's long-term boyfriends. He is a sweet, good-natured furniture designer and Mr. Big's emotional opposite. At first, Carrie questions their seemingly perfect relationship, but over time accepts his sincerity. However, Aidan ends their relationship after her confession of an affair with Big. They get back together six months later at Carrie's urging, eventually moving in together. When her apartment building goes co-op, he buys the apartment and proposes. Despite her initial misgivings, she accepts his marriage proposal but then becomes panicked and feels suffocated by the relationship, and realizes he still does not fully trust her, given her past affair with Big, and they break up for good. It is later revealed that Aidan marries and has three sons with his wife Kathy: Homer, Wyatt, and Tate. Carrie then meets Aidan again during her visit to Abu Dhabi. They kiss during dinner and things get complicated.

Jack Berger[]

Jack Berger (Ron Livingston) is Carrie's intellectual counterpart, a sardonic humorist writer. Theirs is a relationship of witty banter and common thoughts, and honesty. Berger's advice to Miranda when she questions the lack of a phone call after a first date, "He's just not that into you," became a pop culture catchphrase. Berger's and Carrie's relationship is then strained by their career issues; a book deal of his falls through just as her columns are being published as such. He memorably breaks up with her on a Post-It note: "I'm sorry, I can't, don't hate me."

Aleksandr Petrovsky[]

Next, Carrie meets and begins a relationship with Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov), in the sixth season. He is a rich, successful, and older Russian artist. Carrie enjoys the relationship, but problems arise when she discovers that he already has a daughter in her twenties, and he doesn't want to have any more children. Carrie feels forced to choose between a long-term relationship with Petrovsky, and the possibility of having children. She decides to stay in the relationship, despite mounting evidence that he will never be able to fully commit to her emotionally, as he is very self-involved, and even at one point claims that Carrie is "not his friend, she is his lover."

He asks Carrie to leave her job and life in New York and move with him to Paris. After some degree of convincing, she accepts but is disappointed and confused upon her arrival. She doesn't speak French fluently, and Petrovsky often leaves her alone in order to tend to his own career. In the An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux, Carrie leaves Aleksandr for "Mr. Big," and returns with Mr. Big to New York.

Books[]

  • A Single Life
  • I Do! Do I?
  • Love Letters
  • MEN-hattan
  • Sex and the City (a collection of her columns)

Quotes[]

  • "So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. So many mistakes."
  • "Shopping is my cardio."

Trivia[]

  • Carrie is left-handed.
  • Carrie is a smoker and quit smoking around season 4.
  • Carrie has an addiction to shoe shopping.
  • A TV series was made after the production of Sex and the City, called The Carrie Diaries which featured Carrie's life as a teenager. It focused mainly on Carrie who lived with her father and younger sister, Dorrit. She had a few relationships, the main one being her on and off relationship with Sebastian Kydd. She started working at Interview, a magazine firm, juggling between her school and work life. This version of Carrie, however, is supposed to be based on Carrie's original character created by Candice Bushnell for her newspaper column, and does not follow the HBO series' canon.

Gallery[]

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