Sunday, May 18, 2008

And while we're on the subject... Sex And The City significant male characters: Smith Jerrod

Writing the last post made me think about those wonderful Sex And The City men. You never see them on posters, nobody ever mentions them, except for Big. But they are sensational, and without them, there would have been no show.

The first I'm going to look at (and look is a good word here), is Smith Jerrod - played by Jason Lewis. His real on-screen name was something rather less striking, along the lines of Jerry Jerrod. The name change was instigated by Samantha Jones, PR consultant - Kim Cattrall - who at that time was no more than his casual sex partner.

When Samantha picked up Smith, he was an out-of-work actor waiting tables at a restaurant. True to her life-goal of 'having sex like a man', she wanted him for his body, not his mind. And since he was much younger than her, it seemed a plausible basis for a relationship. What surprised Samantha was that Smith wasn't happy to be a toy-boy. He liked Samantha, and he wanted her to be his girlfriend. He made demands on her time, insisted on holding her hand as they walked down the street. He set the terms at monogamy and didn't shirk when Samantha blatantly cheated on him with an old flame at a party. That moment was one of the series' most powerful.

Caught leaving the party with Richard, an ex-boyfriend who had repeatedly cheated on her, Samantha alleviated her conscience by breaking up with Smith. It was quickly and callously done, while Richard waited in the lift for her. Afterwards, Samantha rode the lift down, thoroughly humiliated and guilt-ridden. The sex had been demeaning and she was disgusted at her behaviour. When the doors opened, she saw Smith sitting in an armchair, waiting for her. Her apology was instant and heartfelt, and all he did was to put his arm around her and say something like, 'I just wanted to make sure you got home safe.'

That was the moment Samantha's life changed. From that point, the gains were small, but sure. Smith showed Samantha the commitment she'd never known. He was kind and tender, dependable and strong. He was his own man, feisty and independent to the last.

When Samantha was diagnosed with breast cancer, Smith was her rock. It was during this time that he spoke those elusive three words. Samantha listened and replied with the best she had to offer: 'You have meant more to me than any other man.'


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