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A smart and savvy (albeit highly stylized) look at the single lives of four thirtysomething Manhattan women, Sex and the City: The Complete Second Season builds on the foundation of its first season with plot arcs that are both hilarious and heartfelt, taking the show from breakout hit to true pop-culture phenomenon. Relationship epiphanies coexist happily alongside farcical plots and zingy one-liners, resulting in emotionally satisfying episodes that feature the sharp kind of character-defining dialogue that seems to have disappeared from the rest of TV long ago. When last we left the NYC gals, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) had just broken up with a commitment-phobic Mr. Big (Chris Noth), but fans of Noth's seductive-yet-distant rake didn't have to wait long until he was back in the picture, as he and Carrie tried to make another go of it. Their relationship evolution, from reunion to second breakup, provides the core of the second season. The fittingly titled and keenly observed episode "Evolution" found Carrie trying to leave a few feminine belongings at Mr. Big's apartment with little success, charting the challenges and limits of intimacy. And the season's finale, "Ex and the City," was a melancholy goodbye for Carrie and Big that took its cue from The Way We Were. It wasn't all angst, though: among other adventures, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) puzzles over whether one of her beaus was "gay-straight" or "straight-gay"; Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) tries to date a guy who insists on having sex only in places where they might get caught; and Samantha (the exquisite Kim Cattrall) copes with dates who range from, um, not big enough to far too big--with numerous stops in between. Through it all, the four actresses cohered into a solid ensemble that played on their complex relationships among themselves as well as with men; in two short years, Parker and company became one of the best TV casts in over a decade. And to top it all off, the second season offers 18 episodes, six more than the first. Sometimes size really can make a difference!

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newVHS Sex and the City Season 2 VHS (1998) $7.99