Mr. Big

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Chris Noth (Mr. Big)

Mr. Big. The name says it all. From the moment he came onto the scene, he was larger than life, dashingly handsome, and oh-so unattainable. Like a gentleman, he helped Carrie pick up the spilled contents of her purse when they collided, but he kept no secrets about what was going on in his head when he handed the condoms back to her. For four seasons now, we've kept him in our sights and sighs. For years he has been in and out of Carrie's life. But what does she really know about Mr. Big? This man of mystery has tried to keep us at arm's length, but we've managed to figure out a few things.

Let's start with his undeniably positive traits. Big is the quintessential New Yorker, the man about town. He loves jazz music - it embodies the cool, suave attitude that he exudes. His irresistible smile and teasing eyebrows are appealing to be sure, but when he drives up on the most disappointing of birthdays with chilled champagne and a big bunch of balloons you can't help but fall for him all over again. In fact, his unpredictable behavior and passion constantly stirs the drama-seeking soul of our Carrie.

And of his "other" traits, the ones that make him harder to define? We know he's extremely successful (witness the chauffeur Raoul, the exquisite apartment, the Armani suits, and vintage Jag). What specifically is his lucrative profession? Something in finance, we presume. Moving on. He has an affinity for gorgeous women, models and actresses alike. His ex-wife Natasha the "stick figure with no soul," "Silent Y", starlet Willow, the list goes on. Ironically, it is meeting his first wife which gives us hope that he will come out of the modeliser trance that he's under and settle down with a real, flesh and blood woman. We know he goes to church with his mother on Sundays like a dutiful son. What girl wouldn't love that? Probably a girl whom he refuses to introduce to his mother.

With Big, though, it's the traits that frustrate us most that we are most drawn to. He does care, and he does love. We even think that deep down, he knows that Carrie is the one for him. At one point during their affair, he tells Carrie he will end things with Natasha so that they can be together, but Carrie knows it will never be that simple.

There is an elusiveness to Big that most women have encountered at some point in time. And just like the real-life Mr. Bigs, he makes Carrie believe she is the one who can get into his heart. She will be the one to break through, and capture his affection for eternity. But she never quite gets through. The potential for commitment is enough to sustain her for a while, but Carrie can only endure so much ambivalence and heartbreak.

Still, Carrie can't separate herself completely from Big. Big becomes a special friend and in spite of (or maybe because of) their complicated past, he manages to ground her when she's feeling scared or alone. When he tells Carrie he's moving to California, Carrie compares his leaving NY to the Chrysler building leaving NY. That's how big a part of Carrie's life Big has been. Since leaving the City, Big and Carrie have continued to talk on the phone, and have managed to cross paths a couple of times. An angioplasty caused Big to momentarily open his heart to Carrie, expressing his true feelings, but Carrie had already learned that waiting for Big to come around for good could be an impossible task.