**Warning: there are massive spoilers in this post. If you have not yet watched And Just Like That… then don’t read any further (but come back when you have!).
When it was first announced that a reboot of Sex and the City would be going ahead, I was not shy in sharing my opposition to it, which you can read all about here.
Despite my protestations, I still watched the first two episodes of And Just Like That…because of course I did and I found the series to be as elitist and racist as ever because of course, it is.
The tv phenom has long been criticised for its lack of diversity in its original run, its portrayal of toxic relationships as being the pinnacle of romantic success and several storylines that were out of touch, offensive or just plain cringe. And Just Like That knows all too well that it was in the dog house for these reasons and attempts to correct the error of its ways…by slapping you in the face with its “wokeness” the way Carrie slapped Big with her wedding bouquet when he neglected to show up to their nuptials.
Speaking of Big, the reboot, as you likely already know, sees Bradshaw back to the single life after he dies from a heart attack in the very first episode. Over the course of the next nine episodes, the show will explore issues such as sexual and gender identity, addiction, grief, starting over and, of course, friendship. While I am all for television taking on these topics, I sure wish And Just Like That wouldn’t because they just always get it wrong.
So, because I am apparently some type of Grinch equivalent who likes to destroy highly anticipated reboots instead of Christmas, here are all the reasons Sex and the City is still the worst.
Charlotte Is Still Way too Concerned With Shit That Does Not Matter
Look, Charlotte has always been a little insipid. She has always been a bit too focused on status and things looking perfect, even if they are anything but behind closed doors (Trey and your malfunctioning willy, I am looking at you). The moment this character quit her coveted job at a SoHo art gallery to redecorate an apartment that was not hers and prepare for a baby she was not yet pregnant with, she was as dead to me as Big actually is now.
Bafflingly, despite her two children now being in school, she still hasn’t returned to work, preferring instead to be a Park Avenue trophy wife.
This really is a shame because, perhaps if she had gainful employment, she would have less time for chastising Miranda for allowing her hair to go grey and less energy for planning how she can become besties with “LTW” (Lisa Todd Wexley, played by Nicole Ari Parker) so that she can be the most envied of all of the Manhattan elite. And she would, hopefully, have less time to berate her youngest daughter (who is by far the coolest person on this show) into wearing a floral monstrosity from Oscar de la Renta when she clearly doesn’t want to.
Honestly Charlotte, I miss the days of you having one too many martinis and telling your former sorority sisters that you just “wanted to be f**ked hard”. Okay, that only happened once but it was a mood and you should bring it back.
The Reasoning for Samantha Not Being Around Feels Cheap
This reboot was never going to be the same without Samantha, but the character deserved a better write-out than it being said that she threw a tanty when Carrie no longer needed her publicist services and stopped speaking to her as a result of it.
Everything we know about the character tells us that she would have been disappointed, sure, but would have taken it on the chin like the business decision that it was and moved on — not away. To have their 30-year friendship be simply over because of this one thing makes no sense and almost feels like a middle finger to Kim Cattrall for not returning.
A more realistic reason for Sam and Carrie no longer being friends would surely be that Samantha finally got sick of Carrie’s self-indulgence and decided to move to the UK where everyone just keeps their feelings to themselves until they die.
I Don’t Know Who That Lady Is, But It’s Not Miranda Hobbes
Of course, the scene in which Miranda attends her first Columbia University masters lecture is not going to get off easy in this post, of course it’s not.
We are expected to believe that the woman who walks into said lecture, spouting the type of verbal diarrhea usually reserved for street prophets rhapsodising about why we’re all going to hell, is the same Harvard Law graduate we came to know and love in the original series?
Are we honestly being told to just accept that the same woman who is progressive enough to let her 17-year-old son have loud, obnoxious sex in the bedroom next to hers and who educated her ignorant friends about why it was disrespectful to show skin in Abu Dubai in the abhorrent second film, didn’t do her research on how to not commit about a thousand microaggressions as soon as she enters a class in HUMAN RIGHTS?
Furthermore, for a woman who later tells her professor that she quit her corporate job after seeing the Muslim ban protests at JFK, we’re supposed to believe she wouldn’t have read any of the recommended reading about how to be a true anti-racist ally that was promoted at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement?
Maybe it was all because of that single glass of Chablis she ordered at 10:45 am on a school day.
It (Still) Leans into Offensive Stereotypes
I really hate that they have turned Stanford Blatch into a hyper hysterical, accusatory drama queen in this reboot — especially as the beautiful Willie Garson is now deceased so he’ll never have a chance to redeem Stanford’s arc.
I get that Stanny and Anthony were a weird match to begin with, given their historical hatred of one another, but would it have killed the series to show a gay couple in a loving if not occasionally tumultuous marriage, like everyone else? Why did they have to write Stanford as petty, insecure and quick to incite drama and package it up as typical?
Stanny, and Willie, deserve better.
Carrie Is a Funeral Snob
And Just Like That references the former COVID-19 restrictions in the very first line of the very first episode — it would be strange not to when the series takes place in what was once the epicentre of the pandemic.
While we can safely assume that the three women were not victims of the great socio-economic divide that came more clearly to light as the virus ravaged the city (I mean, Charlotte didn’t have a job to lose in the first place and Miranda apparently quit hers already) except for maybe a dip in their stocks portfolio, they are surely not completely ignorant to the suffering of so many others who lost jobs, homes and loved ones to the disease.
So, when Carrie turns her nose up at the funeral home and instead decides to throw something that looks more like one of those wanky art installations her former Russian lover might have produced, it just seemed very tone-deaf to me.
Sure, the deceased have the right to be farewelled in a way they would approve of and that is symbolic of who they were as a person (in Big’s case, I can only assume the stark, white conceptual space represented the fact that he was emotionally unavailable and dead inside long before he mounted that Pelton) it would have been better for the show to just get to the funeral scene without Carrie’s snobbery in the lead-up.
The fact that, at the height of the pandemic, bodies were being stored in freezer trucks outside of hospitals and interred in pine caskets in mass graves (after dying alone) due to lack of space, made Carrie’s insistence that Big’s send-off look like it was lifted from the pages of an obscure Scandinavian design magazine feel very tone-deaf to me.
They Now Brunch in Midtown
As a New Yorker of 12 years, I am here to tell you that the absolute saddest part of the first two episodes is the fact that the women have swapped their downtown brunch dates….for Midtown. It’s way more tragic than any exercise bike-related death could ever be.
Sure, it’s close to Carrie’s podcast studio and they probably can’t stomach the sea of selfie-taking, lip-pouting, Instagram influencers that have infiltrated SoHo like some sort of Botoxed army swarming the shores of Normandy, but Midtown? Come on ladies, Hudson Yards is a $10 Uber ride away from Carrie’s studio!
Even more annoying? The restaurant they are shown eating in is not even IN Midtown in real life — it’s at The Whitney Museum of American Art which is about 40 blocks south in the Meatpacking District.
Just one more transgression in a long line from a series that perhaps shouldn’t have come back, but at least should have known better when it did.
And Just Like That… is now streaming on BINGE.