Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Syndication and the City

Last night I was over at a friend's place watching "Sex and the City" on TBS, and we both commented that we had seen this particular episode before. It was the one where Charlotte meets some celebrity actor at the gallery and becomes part of his entourage for the night.

My friend and I watched as Charlotte and the actor made out in a car. Later we watched as they hung out at a lounge with a crew of obnoxious people. A few moments into that, we watched as the actor blew marijuana smoke into Charlotte's mouth and tried to get her to join in. And then we watched as Charlotte said, "No, I don't think so," then got up and left. And then, to my astonishment, we watched the scene end.

If you are any kind of "Sex and the City" fan at all, then you know that in the original version of this episode, Charlotte actually leaves because the actor asks her to do something much more obscene — this is a family blog, so I'll just say that it involves her going to the bathroom, doing something with her hand, then letting him smell her finger. But in the syndicated version, they made it some sort of weird after-school special where Charlotte overcame peer pressure and found the courage to say no to drugs. Hilarious!

The funniest part of this all is that it turns out my friend had never seen the original episode, just this version on cable. It makes me realize that there's a whole generation of people out there who will watch syndicated "Sex and the City" and get a completely skewed perspective of the show. Kind of like people who watch "Love, Actually" on a plane, perhaps never realizing that an entire storyline involving movie body doubles has been edited out.

To me, this raises some interesting questions. Can someone say they've seen a TV show episode (or a movie) only if they've seen the original, unedited version? Do the differences actually matter? Oh, well. No time to dwell on these issues. "The Hills" just finished recording on my DVR, and I must go watch it now. Jason's back!


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