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Test Pattern: End of ‘Sex’

Readers weigh in on how show should end
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End of ‘Sex’

No Five-link Friday today, instead we're going to talk about sex.

"Sex and the City" bows out Sunday night after six seasons and 10 closets full of Manolo Blahniks.  (Have you seen the ? You can even bid on -- ooh, la la.)

Three different writers gave us their opinions on how the HBO comedy should end.

MSNBC staffer Paige Newman says Carrie should , realizing the treasure she has in her friends.

Brian Bellmont says Carrie already when she let Aidan go.

And Kim Reed says that old boyfriend Big has matured, and that the only proper ending for the show is for the and end up together forever. (And recent episodes have hinted that Kim might be right. She says: "Man, who knew when I accepted this assignment that my ending would be so likely? Not me!")

We asked readers to weigh in with suggested endings, and here are some of your responses.

‘Big’ fat lie• “My stomach is in knots with the thought that Carrie will marry. This show is one of the few that actually reflects life as it is. If Carrie marries, the show will turn into everything else in the entertainment industry - a big fat lie of a fairytale.”  —Marlene

Ships that pass in the night• “Would like it to end with Mr. Big getting off the plane in Paris, as Carrie, at another terminal & gate at the same Paris airport, is boarding a plane to come back to New York. I would hate to think that even someone as independent as Carrie feels she has to have a man to be complete. If it ended in this manner, she would have chosen to leave Aleksandr and yet, would not have based her decision about returning to NYC because Mr. Big showed up. Please ...l et us leave Carrie with some dignity and independent thought that does not revolve around a man.”    —Kathy

What’s the ‘Big’ deal?•“Let’s face it —the majority wants Carrie with Big because he has the look of the Trendy Wall Street, sexy, ‘JFK Jr.’ type , that's it! They are not really looking at him as a person. . . . After 6 years of Big taking Carrie’s heart and throwing it to the gutter with his on-again and off- again charades . . . I hope Candace Bushnell stays true to real life in the season finale in her final assessment of BIG and has Carrie just go back to NYC writing her column and maybe finding herself and what she wants. I think Petrovsky and Big are equally no good for her in the long run. I agree that Aidan was her true love she walked away from. He had the looks, the morals, and was stable in what he wanted.”  —Rich

Unexpected meeting• “I believe that Mr. Big shouldn’t get it too easy. First Mr. Big goes to Paris for Carrie but the Russian puts up a fight for Carrie. Carrie needs time to think about going back with Mr. Big ,so she decides to stay in Paris. Ah, but the Russian is so sexy and she can’t resist so she is having her fun. But is having a hard time with all [Aleksandr’s] friends and social gatherings with his friends. Starts to realize that her heart is with Mr. Big. So she boards a plane back to New York only to realize that Mr. Big is behind her on the plane. He never left Paris—he stayed waiting for her but called the Russian and [was told] she was going back to New York. Carrie and Mr. Big live happily ever after.” —Kattgrl38

Big lets Carrie go• “Big goes to Paris to reclaim Carrie. Once there, he spots Carrie & Aleksandr at an outdoor bistro having drinks and laughing together. Carrie looks happy. Big decides not to pursue her and goes back to NY.  Carrie never knew he was here. Her happiness was fleeting. She comes back to NY where her friends want to know how it went with Big. She says he never came.  No one believes he was there.” Big goes to Paris to reclaim Carrie. Once there, he spots Carrie & Alexsandr at an outdoor bistro having drinks and laughing together. Carrie looks happy. Big decides not to pursue her and goes back to NY.  Carrie never knew he was there. Her happiness was fleeting. She comes back to NY where her friends want to know how it went with Big. She says he never came.  No one believes he was there. Carrie ends up in NY, single but happy.”—Donna

Big or single, either one is OK• “ I have watched from day one of the show.  I am a single female at the same age as Carrie. I have cried with her, laughed with her, pumped my fists at the growth of the characters;   yet, I am very unsure as to how I want the show to end. . . .

What can I say about Mr. Big? I love Chris Noth, but he has over the seasons ticked all of us off at one point in time with his character of Mr. Big. The tears we have cried for Carrie, her decision not to become Aidan’s wife because of her true feelings for Mr. Big. His on again/off again commitment to her.

So, a large part of me doesn’t know how I want it to end. I know that I am not rooting for “the Russian”, so my choices have to be either Mr. Big or remain single. Either one, I guess, would be a fitting end. And with that being said, it is what Carrie is all about to begin with. “ —Jeri

Big and Carrie belong together• “Big made Carrie stay true to who she really is. This sometimes came at a cost to their relationship. Carrie belongs with Big, for better or worse as they say. I truly believe he has always loved her and she has never stopped loving him. I for one can relate to their tumultuous relationship. Whomever they were with or married [to] there would always be that underlying bond the have for one another. I’m desperately hoping that the ending they have chosen has Big and Carrie living happily ever after in their favorite city, New York.”  —Jeannette

Coming full circle• “As Big and Carrie met in the first episode I feel it is only symmetrical writing to have them end up together in the last.  Thus, the series becomes the story of a courtship.”  —Joyce

Carrie should grow up• “I think the show should end with Carrie realizing that a woman does not need a man to move on in life. Just like Big, Carrie should grow up herself and face her own destiny, no matter what it brings. Big was never truly there for Carrie; but was around when it was convenient for him. I believe that Carrie’s character deserves to be happy but ending up with Big would only send the message that women should be willing to accept anyone (like Big) who has really been there for her only at her man’s convenience.” –Anna

Best of the comics

Shows how much I know. When the word leaked that longtime single Cathy of the comic strips was going to be getting a proposal from the hapless Irving, I didn't think they'd end up getting engaged. It was my theory that getting engaged would be too much of a shock to a strip that had pretty much rerun the same plotlines over and over for decades, with Cathy's singlehood as one of the strip's core themes.

. Cathy accepted, and in today's strip, she and new-fiance Irving show up at Cathy's parents' house, ring and all. Who knows where Cathy Guisewite is going with this one?

I asked readers to share their favorite comic strips, and here's just a sampling of your feedback.

The big winner? And thanks to the wonders of the Web, even if your local paper doesn't carry it, you can read it and dozens of other strips daily.

•" 'Get Fuzzy' is the one comic strip I make a point to read every single day." -- Amy

•"If it weren't for I would veer away from them all. Although I don't mind a daily dose of and ... and, yes, chatty 'Cathy' has been too much of the same thing for a decade or so." -- Ron

• "I love and i make sure to read 'Get Fuzzy' every day." --Celeste

• "The best comic out there right now is 'Get Fuzzy' ... That cat and dog just crack me up. Close second would be ... And that's another one that should never age." -- Margaret

• "Patrick McDonnell's is the descendant of and '; Darby Conley's 'Get Fuzzy' is just damned funny. I confess, I read all the comics in the Washington Post. All of them. Even and since I couldn't justify reading and not reading those two."  --John

• "I feel that since has been brought into the 21st century it has gained a second wind. I still like 'Mary Worth' for the so-called drama and is my number one favorite. I really miss and my paper doesn't carry which I really think is funny. I have just discovered on the Web and find him totally in sync with the world. If 'Cathy' does marry I think it would be horrible - unless she decides she made a terrible mistake and then divorces him! That would be a great story line!" -- Cathy (not, we presume, the cartoon Cathy)

And now I have another question: There are, it seems, "joke strips" ("Frank and Earnest") and there are "story strips" ("Mary Worth") and many that do both ("For Better or For Worse").

The old-fashioned story strips are almost like printed soap operas -- "Mary Worth," "Rex Morgan M.D.," "Judge Parker," "Gil Thorp," "Prince Valiant." Are those strips dying out? Do you read those? I admit I am kind of fascinated by the old-fashioned, slow storytelling, but I wonder if the price of admission is too high -- if they make it tough for a new readers to understand what's going on without having followed the characters for years. Let me know what you think.

Also, a couple of fun comic-related links:

, links to dozens of undiscovered comics.

• The , in which Bill Bickel posts comics that don't seem in the least bit funny to him, and readers write in to try and decipher what was going on in the cartoonist's mind. Many times the reader feedback is funnier than the strip ever was.