By Bianca Teixeira
After the season finale fatigue wore off and I was able to shake off the indignity of a man asking a woman in her mid-50s to wait FIVE FRIGGIN YEARS for him, I couldn’t help but wonder…who was And Just Like That kidding with that horrendous dinner party guest list?
With a veritable poo-poo platter of unbelievable guest stars from the original series to lean on, the reboot chose instead for Carrie Bradshaw to bid adieu to her iconic apartment with a table full of new and borderline not-even friends friends. Che Diaz? A person who had a podcast with Carrie for a minute and then publicly ripped apart her actual decades-long best friend? Pass. Lisa Todd Wexley? No disrespect to LTW and her husband who remain a glorious highlight in an otherwise dim assortment of characters, but she’s really just a school mom friend of Charlotte’s. Sorry, no. Lizette? The downstairs neighbour to whom Carrie sold the apartment? She doesn’t even go here!
If the show’s writers really wanted to close a chapter of Carrie’s life properly, they should have pulled from an impressive list of one-off characters from their coffers. And in ticking those names on my fingers, I couldn’t help but wonder (last one, I promise), who are some all-time “one episode characters” that I would seat around my dinner party table? Pull up a chair, won’t you?
Amalita Amalfi (Carole Raphaelle Davis)
Sex and the City: Season 1, Episode 5 (“The Power of Female Sex”)
Now this guest would have been cause for celebration had Carrie thought to include someone fun at her table. Appearing in the original series episode “The Power of Female Sex,” Amalita swoops into to save Carrie from embarrassment by buying a pair of Dolce & Gabbana shoes that nearly caused the writer’s credit card to be chopped up. Amalita is fun, loud, loves to spend money and would bring a gorgeous, rich expat to hang on your every word from drinks to dessert. Not to mention the most expensive bottle of champagne you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Amanda Buffamonteezi (Jennifer Coolidge)
Friends: Season 10, Episode 3 (“The One With Ross’ Tan”)
Having Amalita and Amanda, a delusional globe-trotting maniac frienemy of Monica and Phoebe’s from a season 10 episode of Friends, sitting side-by-side would be hilarious and the best part of the evening. Just imagine if you will, Amanda desperately trying to one-up every ostentatious statement made by Amalita while the Sex and the City alum laughs, takes a drag on her cigarette and delightedly asks just where Amanda’s accent is from. Bonus points awarded because we all know that Amanda would get the dancing started even if no one even asked.
Rosemary Howard (Carrie Fisher)
30 Rock: Season 2, Episode 4 (“Rosemary’s Baby”)
When you’re planning a dinner party you need to keep in mind the flow of conversation and who might be best at keeping topics fresh, fun and interesting. That’s when people with cool jobs and unbelievable life stories come into play. Rosemary, who appeared in “Rosemary’s Baby” on 30 Rock, was a comedy writer, author and 60s icon who wasn’t afraid to push the envelope. Sure, some of her jokes went right over Liz Lemon’s head, but at my dinner party we’d just laugh along with her and Google the references later…but would absolutely turn down any invitations back to her place after.
New Girl: Season 3, Episode 14 (“Prince”)
Is this guest spot just your run-of-the-mill huge celebrity playing themselves? Yes, it is. Is it cheating a bit to be able to invite Prince to a dinner party under this pretense? I think it just might be. Do I care in the least? Bitch, what do you think?? After personally asking to be on an episode of New Girl, The Artist Formally Known As showed up in season 3, episode 14 hosting a party at his home and eventually bringing Jess and Nick back together. His power. The only issue I foresee with having the musical icon at my dinner party is the all-out brawl sure to take place when it comes time to decide who will sit next to him.
Chef Terry (Olivia Colman)
The Bear: Season 2, Episode 7 (“Forks”)
Every dinner party needs a chef and there might not be a more soothing and delightful presence than Chef Terry. Appearing in season 2 of The Bear, she commands her Michelin starred restaurant Ever to operate at peak performance without even a whisper of her physically. She can be found peacefully peeling mushrooms and tenderly chatting about her father and the lessons gleaned from his diaries after his death. Your guests would leave this dinner forever changed. Just look at Cousin Richie…he’s a suit guy now.
Justine Campbell (Alfre Woodard)
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 8, Episode 8 (“Heart Shaped Box”)
On the surface, an icon like actress Alfre Woodard is a must at any get together for the bragging rights alone. At the imaginary dinner party of my dreams? Her one-off character is a must. On an episode of Grey’s Anatomy something like 37 seasons ago, Justine decided to hold off on a life-saving operation in order to finish writing her novel, a time-travelling romance, only to finally come out of said surgery with no fewer than the next three books in the series planned out. Sit. Next. To. Me.
Fannie Lieber (Glenn Close)
Will & Grace: Season 4, Episode 24 (“Hocus Focus”)
No event is worth having if there won’t be photos afterwards, so we need at least one photographer in our group. There wouldn’t be a better choice than this pseudo-Annie Leibovitz maniac. Showing up in a season four episode of Will & Grace, Fannie takes fabulous photos, humps her subjects, kisses them on the lips and talks at length about her three gay husbands. The coffee table book she eventually publishes with pics from the evening will be the dullest take away where she’s concerned.
The Soup Nazi (Larry Thomas)
Seinfeld: Season 7, Episode 6 (“The Soup Nazi”)
I know, I know. There’s the old “too many cooks” adage but hear me out: without her entire military-precise kitchen staff from her three Michelin starred restaurant at her fingertips, Chef Terry might find herself needing a bit of help. And who better to make sure that everything about the evening runs smoothly and without any *ahem* shenanigans, than the Soup Nazi? Look, here’s hoping that no one gets denied food because they’re joyously sharing some gossip and giggles, but no promises. Just keep it down when he comes around, okay?