Picks and Pans Review: Sex and the City

updated 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

As Sex and the City begins its third season, nothing essential has changed. Columnist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her circle of New York City singles still want men but find them wanting. Gazing at the Manhattan skyline in the June 4 opener, lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) muses, "Who would've thought an island that tiny would be big enough to hold all our old boyfriends?" There may not be 8 million stories in the city of the often naked, but Sex is showing more creative staying power than I expected. It seems every eligible male New Yorker has a flaw or kink that disqualifies him as Mr. Right. Publicist Samantha (Kim Cat-trail), who'll happily accept Mr. Hot-For-Tonight, gambles on a short-term gain with the vertically challenged manager of a "very successful hedge fund." The contrast between his stallion-like performance and jockey-like appearance is the comic highlight of the June 11 episode. The best laughs of June 4 come when art dealer Charlotte (Kristin Davis), yearning for a romantic rescuer, finds a white knight whose code calls for punching out less mannerly men. As for Carrie, she meets a divorced politician (John Slattery) in the season premiere and raises hopes for an adult relationship that might even last the summer. But on June 11 the candidate sullies his image as the show indulges an unfortunate tendency to dive too low in the taste department.

Bottom Line: Still a pretty hot date

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