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…..And Just Like That: The Review

…..And Just Like That: The Review

Read with caution, spoilers ahead…

Being a cult program, the follow-up to Sex and the City was always going to be difficult – borderline impossible, actually.

The girls were young, fashionable, sexy, and honest. They lived the life of dreams in what people call the best city in the world, all while dealing with everyday problems that we could relate to.

With the ladies now older, and (hopefully) wiser, it was always going to be tough to compete with the younger versions of themselves – especially being down a player.

If you don’t know, Kim Cattrall (who plays Samantha) is outspoken in her distaste of Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw, obviously) and chose not to continue on her SATC journey with the other girls. Devastating, considering that Samantha gave a lot of joie de vivre on the show (and perhaps most of the sexual content too!). They wrote her off to London, which seems a little out of character for her considering she said in an episode of SATC, “Where do people go when they don’t live in New York?” London, obviously. Appreciate the writers trying to keep a channel open for Kim Cattrall to return (fingers crossed…), but she clearly wasn’t that bothered about it, considering she was spotted out to dinner with her hubby on the night of the premiere, without a care in the world!

From the first two episodes, I wasn’t overly impressed. The writers have clearly tried to push the diversity and “wokeness” of the show, and that clearly comes from a good place. However, in the show it just comes off as contrived and cringeworthy. We know that the television industry hasn’t been the most diverse and welcoming to people of colour and queer, non-binary folk, and thankfully the industry is changing, but trying to jam every conceivable person into a storyline comes off as tokenistic, and them (the writers) trying to cover their asses – glaringly so. It’s got that “down with the cool kids” sorta vibe, which makes it feel more cringe considering yes, the girls are cool, but they’re no longer the cool kids, and trying to be like that is only detrimental to the well-being of everyone involved. Namely me, because I don’t deal with cringe well.

These women are successful, experienced, seasoned in their personalities and in New York – we shouldn’t try to change them (except for Miranda’s behaviour, but I’ll talk about that later…)! They are older, and hopefully wiser, and I want to see them like that. Not pretending to be 25 again and struggling to connect with other 25-year-olds. And that’s okay – people grow up, grow older… finally I want to see 50-something’s glorified on telly! Older women can be funny, can be glamourous, can be sexual, can be beautiful – your life and your worth doesn’t stop at 30.

As we all know, sex is kind of a pillar conversation topic in the show. However, the first real sexual moment we are shown is Miranda’s son and his girlfriend having extremely loud sex, which annoys Miranda as she finds it a bit gross and a bit uncomfortable. Frankly, I do too – I don’t watch the show so I can watch pimply and hormone-fuelled minors have cowboy vs. bucking bronco sex, I watch the show so I can look at fashion, while having a little giggle about grown-up sexcapades. Considering the characters we are supposed to relate to are parents, or of a parental age, it feels a bit icky seeing the character’s underage children in the throes of passion. If it was a show from the kid’s POV, sure! Gossip Girl 2.0 for example isn’t creepy to watch because we are supposed to relate to them, not watch them voyeuristically like an overbearing mother. Yuck!

Talking about the sexual aspect of the show, another cringe-worthy moment shows Carrie on her podcast, being forced to talk about masturbation when she clearly doesn’t want to, and is later chastised by her boss/lead podcaster for not being open enough. Surely, what comes with wokeness and being honest is knowing our boundaries and not pushing other people’s? 

Miranda’s first day of school was so distressing to me that I literally had to pause the T.V. and pace little circles around my couch. It took me about half an hour to watch a 7-minute scene. Why, Miranda, why? I thought you were supposed to be the most accepting of all the girlies (bar Samantha, my queen)! Honestly, if you want to make yourself feel extremely uncomfortable for whatever reason, watch this scene.

She comes in with total undeserved ownership of the room, after a fellow student told her that she couldn’t sit in a particular seat because that’s where the professor sits. She moves to the opposite side of the room with the only other available chair, and moments later when the professor comes in, Miranda leans over the whole room, and says – to the professor – “You can’t sit there, that’s where the professor sits!” conspiratorially. Don’t you realise she is the last person to arrive, and you know nothing. Sit down, shut up, and learn. Sheesh. Following that blunder, she goes on a rant about how she couldn’t possibly be a professor because she’s young (bad), and because she wears braids (extremely terrible, was watching through my hands).

I feel like it’s universally known that you shouldn’t comment on black woman’s hair. Actually make that everyone, but especially black women. Throughout history, and still today, black women (and men) are told their hair is not professional enough, as America and the white world generally conform to white beauty standards. It has literally been proven in a study that black women wearing their natural hairstyle affects their job prospects, and there are still court cases active today arguing over hair discrimination. I feel like as a lawyer herself, Miranda should not have been such a huge idiot. But here we are. Anyway, finger’s crossed Miranda learns throughout the season how to converse appropriately with people from different races, although generally you would hope that she would know how to do that already.

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A moment that made every single one of us watching ugly sob (do not read on if you haven’t watched – SPOILER SPOILER HUGE SPOILER) is how they killed off Big – with a Peloton. Can you imagine? The exercise company that has instructors motivate people by calling them “a big, steaming plate of fajitas in a packed Chili’s on Friday night,” kills one of the most important characters in the show, AND IN THE FIRST EPISODE. Can you imagine that Carrie literally ends the first episode, “And just like that, Big died.” I’m screaming.

Where’s the flavour? Where’s the glamour? Mr.Big, seen off by a spin bike in the comfort of his own home. Who would’ve thought? Emma Garland is right, he should’ve been seen off with a grand piano, Upper East Side style. Honestly, I’m still broken up about it. The worst part is that Carrie came home to find him still just alive (and didn’t call 911 or give him CPR to save him, but I digress) and collapses on the floor beside him in grief, and her beautiful blue marital Manolo’s are ruined by the running shower. Devastating. Honestly, it made me ugly sob. What’s the point of having all these beautiful shoes if the people you love are going to be murdered by a martini and a Peloton? (That was a genuine introspective thought I had, in my distress, and a valid thought too…) But why?

In the rest of the season, I’m excited to see how the characters unfold. Charlotte’s children have their own personalities (Lily, don’t you worry darling, you haven’t ruined Carrie’s life… Just a little bit) and they’re wildly different to each other; Miranda is a lowkey alcoholic and has a little growing up to do; and Carrie has a whole lot of healing ahead of her, and I guess opening up – about masturbation (considering she doesn’t have a partner anymore… Sorry! Too soon, too soon!). We’ve got plot lines, ladies! Woohoo!

Overall, I did feel a bit let down. Carrie just doesn’t have her whimsical nature that drew us to her back in Sex and the City. She now feels more real – which is not what we watch her for. We watch her for the grand pianos. So far, there’s only 2 episodes out, so perhaps it’s a bit unfair to judge the show when so far they’ve only really set the scene. It wasn’t a bad few episodes by any means, it was just a high bar to reach following 6 seasons of incredible (but problematic, in hindsight) television. Will I continue to watch it? Hell yes! I have full hope for the trio’s future, taking back Manhattan one (sob) Manolo at a time.