Carrie, one writer to another, forgive me. It pains me to write this.
I am a “Sex and the City” super-fan. I have watched and re-watched every single episode of every season of the OG. I’ve watched and re-watched both films. I even devoured every episode of the “Carrie Diaries,” a sweet, if one-dimensional window into Carrie’s origin story.
So when my editors asked if I would review the miniseries “And Just Like That…,” I jumped at the opportunity. Paid to climb under the covers with Carrie and Big? What could be better?
It turns out almost anything. Shoving bamboo slits into my eyes. Swallowing hot coal. Running out of toilet paper after eating too much Indian food.
It was really that bad. Let me count the ways.
To start with the basics: “SATC” was a COMEDY. Not only did I not laugh even once in the 90 minutes I spent watching this train wreck so you don’t have to (you’re welcome, by the way), I cried real tears. Gone was the cheeky banter and clever back-and-forth. In its place was tragedy — SPOILER ALERT: Big dies! Via a Peloton!
What should have been a sexy, frothy, sparkly reunion was anything but. Even before Big’s fateful heart-attack-inducing Peloton ride, the chemistry between Noth and SJP was non-existent. Instead of sex in the city, we got one awkward masturbatory moment in the city. Definitively unsexy, but still not worth killing the guy over.
The other unforgivable character assassination was less literal but equally as frustrating. There have been myriad gossip columns about Kim Cattrall’s apparent off-screen drama with Sarah Jessica Parker and some of the other cast members. Whatever the reason, her decision not to join the reboot and revive Samantha is proving eminently wise.
But to explain her absence in the show, the first episode features an unbelievably clunky conversation between Charlotte and Carrie in which we learn that Samantha cut off her friendship with all three of the ladies because Carrie fires her as a publicist when publishing becomes less lucrative. Samantha might not have had any qualms about being the other woman and coming between a man and his wife, but she was fiercely loyal to the people she cared about. Her exit plotline is even less plausible than Noth’s death-by-Peloton incident, and it would have been better had she just died of Covid, or even chlamydia.
But neither Samantha’s absence nor Big’s death was the biggest problem with the reboot. Most offensive was the show’s propensity to get offended by everything.
The premier opens with Carrie having an updated media career. Instead of writing a column and reporting to an editor, she is a co-host on a podcast, where she reports to the moderator.
But the podcast is really just a vehicle to demonstrate how woke the reboot is. Carrie is introduced in its early moments not as Carrie Bradshaw, legendary sex columnist or author, but as Carrie Bradshaw, a cisgender woman. The one good moment comes when one of Carrie’s co-hosts asks her what Barney’s is and finally, FINALLY, with a microscopic nod to how absurd our culture has become, Carrie replies, “Now, that is offensive.”
Woke-ism is shoved into the plotline again through Miranda’s career change. Apparently tired of watching political issues from the sidelines, the once hugely ambitious and career-oriented lawyer quits her lucrative job to study human rights at Columbia University. Her first day of school is replete with microaggressions that the audience is, what, supposed to learn from? Try not to emulate? As if Americans needed more of a reminder of just how much we can’t say anymore.
The irony here is that the original show was never appropriate. It was never supposed to be appropriate. You wanted appropriate, you weren’t watching “Sex and the City.” There were explicit sex scenes, terrible language, and awful moral examples set by the characters.
But that was the point. It was absurd. It was outrageous. It was fun. It was what escapist entertainment is supposed to be about.
Instead, we now have a handbook on how to be anti-racist—and how to grapple with early widowhood! I couldn’t help but wonder: who the h-ll would watch that?