Sex and the City Essentials: Lust
is one of a set of themed "best of" episodes from the
acclaimed HBO series, Sex and the City. It's clearly not aimed
at the existing, devoted fan base, who will already have bought the
full-season sets. Instead, I see the Essentials DVDs as a way to
reach out to viewers who haven't seen the series, or haven't seen
enough of it to warrant springing for a full season set.
Lust contains three episodes,
for a total of 90 minutes of content. Oddly, the episodes are out of
sequence, and there's no indication of what season any of the
episodes are from. That's information that I think is important, as
I'd rather watch the episodes in the order that they were originally
shown in, even if I'm only seeing a few from each season. I'll
discuss them here in their real order:
The Turtle and the Hare:
Season 1, Episode 9. This is a truly great episode, with a lot of
energy. Miranda introduces the group to "the Rabbit," the
ultimate vibrator, and Charlotte ends up getting addicted to it.
Meanwhile, Carrie is dealing with Mr. Big's reluctance to marry again
at the same time that her friend Stanford suggests they get married
as a "cover." Yep, all that in one snappy episode!
The Fuck Buddy: Season 2,
Episode 14. Yes, that's the real title, though the DVD cover chastely
censors it to "F**k Buddy," as if we didn't know what the
asterisks stand for. The friends all agree that it's a great thing to
have a sexy ex-boyfriend on call for restless evenings, no strings
attached. Carrie's feeling lonely after a Mr. Big rebound, though,
and she decides to take on a project: turn her fuck buddy into a
genuine boyfriend. Meanwhile, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha all
decide to break out of their usual habits a little bit... with
varying results. This is another energetic and highly entertaining
Running with Scissors: Season
3, Episode 11. This episode is the weak link in an otherwise very
lively collection. Here, Carrie agonizes over doing the wrong thing
in her affair with a now-remarried Mr. Big, while preparations for
Charlotte's wedding proceed. This episode is much slower paced, with
a more soap-opera feel and a lack of the energy that characterizes
the two other episodes on the disc.
is straightforward: three episodes, one disc in a plastic keepcase,
and a nicely simple menu. The episode selection screen provides a
text summary of the episode that arguably contains spoilers, but it's
easy to avoid looking at it. One thing that's annoying is that
there's no way to skip the opening credits sequence; each episode is
a single giant chapter.
The three Sex and the City
episodes included on the Lust DVD are presented in the show's
original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The image quality is
satisfactory; at times it's a little soft, but overall it has a
bright, clean appearance that's free of flaws.
Two soundtrack options are provided:
Dolby 5.1 and Dolby 2.0. There's not a lot of difference between the
two, as this is a mainly dialogue-centered show. Overall, the sound
quality is quite good, with dialogue always crisp and clean. A
Spanish Dolby 2.0 track is also included, along with English, French,
and Spanish subtitles.
There are no special features here.
Taken as a whole, the Lust
collection is a very effective invitation to viewers to enjoy the
first two seasons of Sex and the City. Arguably, some fans who
aren't interested in owning full season sets may also see Lust,
and the other the Essentials DVDs, as a way to have some favorite
episodes on hand. I don't think this would really satisfy those
viewers, though, mainly because the number of episodes included is so
small. Where Lust wins is as a low-cost way to sample the