Spoiler alert – this blog post is my thoughts on the premiere of And Just Like That and will contain spoilers. If you’ve not watched yet then pop back to this when you have! So Sex and the City (SATC) ran from 1998-2004 (ignoring the films). Like many of you, I grew up with SATC. I was 15 when it began and 21, when we had that glorious season finale, of ‘John’ calling as it rounded out to Candi Staton’s You Got the Love. I remember us all crowded around our tiny TV in halls in first year of uni watching Friday night Friends and SATC – peak 90s lineup! So there is so much nostalgia in the show for me and I don’t know any women in their 30s who haven’t been nervously anticipating its return.
So let’s start with the bad…
We know, like most 90s and Y2K shows, they have not aged well under the 2020s ‘woke’ lense. SATC has been well criticised for this and And Just Like That commendably tries to address this in the opening two episodes. However, it addresses it like a sledgehammer in a way that comes across as a bit cringey at times and a bit inauthentic at others. It’s like that guy trying to chat you up by claiming he’s a feminist but they’ve learned what they are saying online rather than from actually listening to women. I appreciate them trying though but I’m not sure they’d be struggling to be politically correct quite as much as they are. For example, Miranda came off as a bumbling fool who had time travelled and landed in 2021 when we know her as an intelligent and feisty partner of a law firm. However, they are clearly intimating that she’s currently a functioning alcoholic so I’ll reserve my judgment for now I guess.
Was Charlotte always this deeply unlikable? Or am I just so much more politically aware now that she embodies everything I dislike about the 1%? If a friend badgered me that much to go to their kid’s piano recital I’d be fuming. I don’t even like going to my own kid’s school shows let alone other people’s kids. There was only Carrie out of the main characters who still felt like Carrie to me (though I found her squeamishness over not being able to say she masturbates bizarre – where did the raunch go?).
The attempt to address Samantha not being there was immediate but still gaping for me. It felt wrong and emotional for her not to be there. Their attempt at explaining that Carrie dropping her as her publicist and then Samantha moving to London in a huff is really at odds with Samantha’s personality. Like the Samatha, we knew understood business. Yes they might have fallen out but to cause the end of their friendships seems a stretch. Whilst the funeral flowers were a gorgeous gesture, the Samatha we knew would have been there. Also, I can’t imagine the Samantha we knew falling out with Miranda and Charlotte even if she did fall out with Carrie. I did wonder if they are setting up a spin off of Samantha in London though because I’d be down for that. She was a gaping hole in the premiere for me, she was my favourite character and I missed her. I guess it’s good they left it open for the possibility of her returning though I think Kim Cattrall has been pretty clear in her feelings on the matter. I was pleased that they introduced two new black characters and one Mexican character, hopefully they will go some way to improving both diversity that was lacking in SATC and filling the gap Samatha left.
Ok let’s talk about what was right…
Firstly I’m enjoying watching a show with female lead characters in their 50s. Are they representative? Probably not but it’s better than over 50s women barely being represented on TV in their own rights at all (ie not just the stuffy wife or grandma etc). Even Miranda talking about stepping on Brady’s used condom and talking about letting her hair go grey indicates that we are going to be seeing more of the trials and tribulations of these women in their 50s. I want to see that, that excites me. I really hope they address menopause too as that’s rarely covered in a real way on TV.
Killing off Mr Big in episode one was a seriously courageous move. For years and years fans have been invested in Carrie’s on-off romance with John James Preston and to ‘off’ him in episode one of the reunion is major. But it will probably benefit the series. A series with all of the main characters happily married would make for pretty dull (and unrealistic viewing given divorce rates/the pandemic) but now we get to watch Carrie overcome her grief and find her way as a single 50s widow in 2021. That’s going to make for more interesting viewing and more original SATC storylines. That said, it made for a savage introduction to the show. Kudos to the show for keeping it under wraps too as social media has been spoiler city with people filming the filming of the show but this surprised the shit out of me!
In the first episode watching them together in the flat I was bemused by how flirty they still were with each other after so many years of marriage. They had brand new relationship vibes. I thought to myself – is that how it is if you don’t have kids? However, I realise now they were using that as a tool to make his death all the more brutal, and boy did it.
The scene where he actually died was weird. I didn’t know if he had died or was still alive or was just doing a bad job of pretending to be dead. Still though, I blubbed. Then I blubbed throughout the entirety of the subsequent episode. I went into watching it expecting laughs and city scenes but I did not expect to cry and feel emotionally raw. Which is testament to the rich history we have with these characters. So whilst the show has a slightly new feel and new direction, its a continuation of the deep relationship we have with these characters and their friendships and that they tapped into that in the first episodes was pretty genius actually.
All of this being played out whilst the viewers know that after filming this, Willie Garson who played Stanford Blatch died from pancreatic cancer in real life aged 57 made it feel all the more poignant. I don’t know how the show is going to address that but it’s simultaneously lovely and heartbreaking seeing him play a character as vibrant as Stanford in what we now know were his final days. Watching this reincarnation of SATC as a 38 year old gave me a real sense of ‘live your life’ because you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.
And we don’t know what is going to happen next in the And Just Like That but one thing for sure is, despite the somewhat clumsy start, there is a lot of promise, and I’m hooked again and can’t wait for the next episode.
Now I’m dying to hear your thoughts on And Just Like That. Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Chat to me in the comments on here or on social media. I NEED to talk about this lol!
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