Sex and the City, the game-changing HBO series that followed the lives of four thirty-something best friends in New York City, premiered 20 years ago today. On the anniversary of the show's debut, we're remembering one very Canadian scene, when not one, but two, Canadian rock staples made guest appearances.
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones), Kristin Davis (Charlotte York) and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes), Sex and the City was one of the first television series to depict women candidly speaking about—and having plenty of—sex. At the time, the show was groundbreaking in its depiction of female sexuality; challenging gendered stereotypes and celebrating flawed, complicated women characters. However, when revisiting SATC in 2018, you're guaranteed to find no shortage of problematic and unrealistic storylines.
In the season four episode 'Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl' (2000), Carrie Bradshaw fumbles to come to terms with her new boyfriend Sean (played by Eddie Cahill) being bisexual. In a particularly tone-deaf moment, Bradshaw even exclaims to her faithul tribe over brunch, "I'm not even sure bisexuality exists! I think its just a layover on the way to Gaytown." When Bradshaw and her beau Sean end up at a party with his old boyfriend, his old boyfriend's new partner, and that new partner's ex-wife, a diehard Canadian music lover will be able to spot Stars' lead singer Torquil Campbell and rock goddess Alanis Morissette as part of the sexually-experimental group of friends who fascinate (and intimidate) Bradshaw.
While Campbell's character Joel has only one line, Morissette's character Dawn has a bigger role, including a lip-locking moment with Bradshaw in the center of a spin-the-bottle circle. But, according to a 2008 interview with the Daily Mail, Morissette wasn't that into the on-screen smooch with Sarah Jessica Parker.
"I played a lesbian in Sex and the City and I had to kiss her," Morissette said. "I have experimented with same-sex relationships in my life, but it wasn’t about enjoyment with Sarah Jessica. Her character was supposed to be reluctant about getting involved, so it wasn’t a passionate kiss – it was a reticent one, which is the reason I didn’t enjoy it. But I do believe in experimentation—otherwise, how do you really know what you like and don’t like in life?"
While not all parts of Sex and the City hold up in present day, this surprisingly Canadian scene still does.