And Just Like That?

And Just Like That? show

Warning: This has spoilers for And Just Like That. 

And Just Like That?

Gah, this show. Earlier in the week I had this whole post planned about how we needed to be patient, to give it a shot and see where it goes. A lot of people are mad, which I understand. (And understand even more after the third episode). But sometimes I feel like we have this collective need to be angry and pile on, without giving something a chance. My personal attitude has been, “well it’s just good to have these women together again, despite the depressing plot line(s).” I still kinda sorta feel this way but after watching the third episode last night I am losing hope while also just feeling like the writers have done the characters a little dirty.

I mean first we had THE death. I am conflicted on my feelings here. Big is the character I loved to hate. I found it incredibly frustrating that the writers had Carrie and Big end up together as it sent such a bad message to women – that the Mr. Big character will grow up and change and love you and be faithful, so just hold out hope. I can assure you – the Big/Carrie sitch is the exception and not the rule. It should have been Aiden!

Despite my feelings there, did they really need to kill him?

With all we’ve been through in 2020 onward, this is not the show we need! Couldn’t we just get a show where we have these amazing women in their 50s thriving, having great sex, living their lives, killing it in their careers? I thought it was really interesting that in this interview, Chris Noth said, “All things end, and it was time for him to go, unless we’re gonna be doing Scenes From a Marriage, Sex and the City style. There was nowhere to go with it but six feet under.

I guess I get it, but what a thing – to be so extremely excited for a show’s return only to spend the whole 45 minutes ugly crying. (And also: wondering why Carrie didn’t call 911?)

There has been absolutely no sex.

Sex has been replaced with loss, and we will continue to be so much loss in this show. Samantha. Big. And we know something bad is inevitable for Stanford’s storyline, as in real life the actor Willie Garson passed away this September in the middle of filming. I have heard that episode three was his last.

We also have to discuss Miranda. What’s become of her? I’m worried – she was always my favorite. The bumbling microagressions at school. The insensitivity about pronouns. I hate it? If any character on the show were going to mess up pronouns, she would have been my last pick. This article suggests that maybe her character is the only one that could handle it,  which makes sense when you think about it. Still. It’s been seventeen years since the original… couldn’t they have learned and grown during that time? Add to that a drinking problem (that no one seems to be paying attention to) and I hate it some more. I have hope though – it feels like maybe she will hit rock bottom and then they will take her character in a new direction… maybe she’s queer?

Of course there is the good.

I wish there were more shows about women in their fifties, proving that life doesn’t end in your thirties and that women can still be confident, happy, and desirable long after that. I love the friendships. The fashion is great. I am sad that Samantha isn’t there, but I think they handled her exit respectfully. I am glad they’ve made the show more diverse and less white-washed (and I really hope the new characters – especially Sara Ramirez’s character, the best part of the show IMO – get their own storylines and more air time).

Why couldn’t we get a happier show? My attitude is still, “I’ll take it.” I want to see where it goes, I love these women! But this isn’t the show I wanted.

How are you feeling about the reboot? Let’s talk about it!

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Comments

  1. Katie says 12.17.21

    Spot on! We’ve all had so much loss and grief these past 2 years. As someone who planned a funeral this year like so many, who needs a fave show to walk you through the process. I’ll watch to see where it goes, but really hoping the storyline is less depressing.

  2. Alicia says 12.17.21

    I’m also so disappointed. And as someone in her mid-40s, the death, hearing aids, and grey hair talk has me depressed about the future. I also saw an article that there are signs in the first three episodes that Carrie might have dementia. I feel like the writers confused 50s with 70s. This is not what I need this year.

    • grace at the stripe says 12.17.21

      Oh my gosh please no. That is horrible.

    • Wendy says 12.17.21

      yes to confusing 50s for 70s. Hell my parents are in their 70s and aren’t wandering around with hearing aids.

      • Lisa says 12.18.21

        My parents are 75 and have had hearing aids for 5 years. Oh and a friend in her early 50’s has them too – it does happen!

  3. Kristy says 12.17.21

    My husband of 20 years had a heart attack two weeks ago— just before the series rebooted. I a life long, diehard fan of SATC & still on team Aiden, as he reminded me of my husband. Watching the scene with Big absolutely tore my heart out. I’m 42 & my husband 44 & never imagined that a scene from a show could hit so hard. We watched it together, not knowing what was going to happen. Watched the second episode & was genuinely saddened by it all. Episode three we’ve not watched & I genuinely want this show to be fabulous— but I, like you, fear it’s lackluster representation of middle aged women is dusty & delusional.

    • grace at the stripe says 12.17.21

      Oh my gosh I am so sorry – I cannot even imagine how heart wrenching that would be. I hope your husband is recovering well… hugs.

      • Kristy says 12.17.21

        He is recovering & healing himself with the medicine & nutrition.

        I am truly hoping the series picks up the pace a bit. I know the original series inside & out & never imagined a reboot would spiral like this.

  4. Laura says 12.17.21

    I was feeling similar, but then I got home last night and just couldn’t bring myself to turn the third episode on. The first two were just so not fun or good (found the writing very awkward). Why spend my time watching something I feel an outdated, superficial obligation to rather something both fun, good AND sexy like The Great? I think, much like I wished these characters had, I have outgrown the world Michael Patrick King creates.

    • Marlene says 12.17.21

      The Great is sooooooo fun! I’ve been binge-watching this new season and will be sad when it’s over!

  5. mary says 12.17.21

    I’m hanging in there for the sheer refreshment of seeing women over 50 represented on screen, but I too had higher hopes for the stories on this show. I’m still having problems with the fashion–all those wild colors and accessories and 4″ stilettos! I wish just one of them would dress in luxurious, neutral fabrics with comfortable shoes a really great handbag. I think Natasha comes the closest. If anything, I’m glad this show is getting us talking and thinking about what happens to women as they get older, for better or worse.

  6. Jenn says 12.17.21

    I was super excited for this reboot. Partially for having older women on TV, which I expected would be living happy lives. But So far the show is just depressing. Carrie’s husband died. Miranda seems like she’s going to cheat on Steve, plus her other issues. And Charlotte just seems like she’s trying to present her perfect world as she views it. So far there seems to be little fun or happiness? And really I’m just watching out of obligation?

  7. Kathleen says 12.17.21

    I definitely found the first two episodes cringey, but also realize the story has to have an arc. If they were perfect and fully realized, happily married, free of conflict and flaws, there wouldn’t be anywhere for things to go. I found the third episode to be a bit better. Still holding out hope that the extremes in the beginning were created as a contrast to things heading somewhere better. Am definitely intrigued to see Carrie navigate single life as a woman in her 50s.

  8. Camille says 12.17.21

    I’ve watched all 3 episodes and I’m here for it. It’s different but life is different. Re: Miranda. I unfortunately think well- her character and the rambling microagressions are MANY white women in current day. So while I do think they’ll show her changes, as a biracial black woman- the way she is depicted is VERY real. And as far as Carrie and the Big death- I read something somewhere that her not calling 911 was a trauma response of the freeze stage. I find it all to be very interesting!

    • grace at the stripe says 12.17.21

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I guess I just wish it was a different character (Charlotte, for example). But I agree it’s very real and the world is very different.

      • Sarah says 12.17.21

        Ugh. So as a woman in my actual 50’s I’m really struggling with this show. It seems like the writers decided to “evolve” the characters is a really superficial way by throwing all kinds of shitty life events at them but not really demonstrating any positive growth. I also think the fashion is a little ridiculous. I can assure you, NO woman in her 50’s is still traipsing around Manhattan in stilettos on the reg. And they all still seem to be clinging to their lost youth rather than embracing where they are now (Miranda’s grey hair aside).

        Look, I don’t look or feel 50-something – it’s just a number – but there are things you let go of as you age. And that’s ok! I wish they had normalized aging in a way that feels realistic rather than sending this message that in order to remain attractive and viable you must try to look and act the way you did in your 30’s. I find it all a little jarring – like Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte fell into a time machine and fast-forwarded 20 years without learning a damn thing.

      • Camille says 12.17.21

        I think Charlotte is about to have her own thing with Rose…but they’re throwing all the major issues into what is probably a ten episode show. It’s a lot. I’ve already heard some other theories that well- I wasn’t thrilled with them. I’m very curious how it will all be tied up!

  9. Lily says 12.17.21

    I haven’t watched yet (I actually haven’t even watched all of SATC, although it’s been on my list forever) but I was originally disappointed when I heard that they killed Big off – those spoilers were impossible to avoid! But now with the Hollywood Reporter story that just came out about Chris Noth being credibly accused of rape by two women, I actually think it’s really good that that happened early in the season. Hopefully the storyline will get happier from here. Thanks for opening up space for discussion!

    • grace at the stripe says 12.17.21

      I just saw that this morning – so I think you are right. Horrible to hear that, I’m so disappointed.

      I’m absolutely still going to keep watching – just hope it gets a bit happier.

    • Tina says 12.18.21

      This!! At first, I was unhappy with the decision to kill Big off for several reasons. I thought it would be good to have Carrie and friends exploring other facets of how life evolves in your 50’s. The marriage and Big could just remain in the background. Why do Carrie’s storylines have to revolve around men? I’m in my 50’s. And most of my friends and I are (somewhat :)) happily married. We still have ambitions, are looking at career pivots, we have adventures, we focus on family. I want to see those stories. Buuuuuttttt, with these allegations coming out, maybe it is just as well. But I hope they did not kill Big off just so that Carrie can have storylines involving new men that just repeat the tired old, Big, Aiden, Burger, etc. stories. Give Carrie a real life or focus on other characters.

  10. Marianne Buonopane says 12.17.21

    I agree with a lot of your sentiments here. I was pretty optimistic about the show until episode 3 last night. Good golly. That was ROUGH. I mean I love the overall “bones” & structure of the episode- struggling with identity, queerness, etc. BUT that being said- it seems so buzzwordy??? Like every other sentence has a “woke” buzzword that almost comes of pandering? And Miranda has always been my favorite but her character is pretty insufferable. Im highly disappointed in the writing of Miranda. I hope it can be redeemed but I just don’t feel optimistic. I will be watching of course.

  11. Valerie says 12.17.21

    I just don’t understand why they needed to make a second show where the central plotline is Carrie pining after Big & doesn’t trust him. At least this time he’s dead and not just emotionally unavailable, but really? The worst relationship on the show has to be the center point again? Also it seems like the women have had no personal growth in 17 years, and in Miranda’s case have regressed. It’s not really grown and matured versions of themselves, they are still portraying basically the same characters but just aged.
    After the third episode where Carrie still doesn’t trust Big & drags Natasha back in, I think I’m done.

    • Tiffany says 12.17.21

      I have a lot of the same critiques as you and everyone else (lol) but I’m curious to see where this thread of “Am I the only person who remembers [Big] was an asshole to her?” Goes. Episode 3 felt exhausting but the whole Big’s will/mystery dog/Natasha storyline felt like the reality of being wrapped up in an emotionally unavailable person in the long run, even if you do stay together. I know Sam Irby is a writer and she used to blog a lot about disappointing dudes on Bitches Gotta Eat, so I’m curious if she is driving that storyline and what happens.
      Also I absolutely did not need to see Brody having sex, ever, and yes everyone is acting 10-15 years older than their actual ages.

  12. Katie says 12.17.21

    Oh, it’s so interesting because I feel almost exactly the opposite! This show feels SO. TRUE. TO. LIFE. In your fifties and sixties, you probably had some friendship losses along the way, of course you don’t have the same group of friends you had 30 years ago (Samantha). It also isn’t unsual to for someone in the group to be a widow after the loss of a partner (Big). Experimenting with your sexuality later in life also happens! (Miranda). All in all, I feel like this show is trying to make up for some of the more insensitive, problematic, and vapid tendencies that it had in the 90s, and I have to say I’m all for it! But yes, there definitely could be more sex 🙂

  13. Diana says 12.17.21

    I’m actually really enjoying it! Yes, the death of Big is sad, but to me SATC was always much more about the friendships than the romantic relationships — the men were always secondary. So while I’m sad to see him go I’m also excited to see what Carrie’s next chapter looks like. While SATC wasn’t always realistic, I do think it did a good job of depicting human relationships and the situations that can arise out of them, and sadly this situation does happen in real life, especially for a woman who married an older man. (Big still died pretty young, but you get what I mean.) I’m excited to see her navigate it! I kind of feel the same about Miranda and Steve — I love them, but I feel like what’s happened to them is also something that definitely happens to couples IRL.

    I hear you on the “woke” Miranda stuff, but I actually think a lot of it IS pretty true to what someone like Miranda would do… don’t get me wrong, I’m cringing hardcore, but I do think a lot of white people have had a lot of learning to do over the past year and it’s been a process — not immediately getting everything right. I feel like Miranda’s heart is in the right place, but she’s making missteps — which to be frank, feels apt for a women in her mid-50s. (Not trying to be ageist, obviously there are people of all ages who are messing up and getting it right, but I think a lot of us have felt a bit of a generation gap here!) What felt off to me was her freaking out THAT much over Brady smoking weed — I’m choking it up to being in a weird emotional place during the funeral, but truly WTF? This is a woman who lets her 17 year old son have very loud sex in the room next to her, she would not freak out that much about weed.

    The big things I’m not loving are A. the Miranda alcoholic storyline. I feel like she’s got too much going on already, she doesn’t need this storyline and it’s depressing. B. The loss of Samantha. Like I said, to me friendship is the 100000% most important thing about this show, and I really feel her loss. When they saw Natasha through the window, I missed Samantha so much in that scene. That’s the biggest loss of the show for me but ultimately the one that the writers can’t fix!

    • Taylor says 12.17.21

      Thank you!!! 100% yes

  14. Liz says 12.17.21

    Come on, people, this is fiction, written to provide entertainment, turn in a hefty profit, and not ‘ethical and responsible film making as an educational map for the average person to making good life decisions’ . Watch at your own risk.

  15. Wendy says 12.17.21

    I haven’t watched episode 3 yet but Miranda’s character is so embarrassing. It feels like such a disservice to her earlier character. That said, her bumbling and Charlotte’s relentless perfection does also feel real for many white women. I was stunned that Carrie didn’t call 911 too but could also see totally freezing in panic.

    • Katelyn says 12.17.21

      Absolutely did Miranda a disservice, I hate that they feel they have to completely destroy her confidence just because she isn’t at a firm anymore. I also feel like Charlotte is a caricature of what a childless person thinks of a mom.

      SJP has been flawless though.

  16. Earth Mother says 12.17.21

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Grace. That said, I’m hanging in there and holding out hope. John Corbett is supposed to reprise his role in the reboot so a reunion between Carrie and Aiden is coming. Something to look forward to!

  17. Taylor says 12.17.21

    Oh wow, I’ve been so surprised by the feedback on And Just Like That. As a 24 yo super fan I love that the show is allowing older women to explore these modern and very Gen-Z type trends in a safe way. I don’t love that Miranda is seemingly an alcoholic but it seems much more realistic to watch them all struggle with pronouns and gender as older women who didn’t grow up around these concepts. There are so many well intentioned women out there who make mistakes simply because they do not understand – I’m glad this show is a safe place to see that through. As for the note that their lives are depressing – no, this is not the escape that the original show used to be but I feel like it actually creates a more realistic view of life as you get older for all audiences. You can be perfectly happy with your partner for years and still have boring and unfulfilling moments. Not everything is going to be perfect and after the last year I’m glad that they aren’t trying to make it seem like it is!!

  18. Mari says 12.17.21

    While I didn’t love that they killed off Big it was either that or divorce since he didn’t want to be on the show anymore. Although the divorce storyline would have been a little less shocking people still wouldn’t have liked it and said “why don’t they want Carrie to be happy” I’ve also seen a lot of people complain about the Samantha storyline as well and how she would have never just sent flowers that she would have actually been there at the funeral but again she’s another one that didn’t want to be on the show so they had to come up with something to explain her absence.

    While the show is different than what it was so are most reboots. You don’t have the same writers and even if you do have maybe 1 writer from then (if I’m not mistaken this show does) it’s so many years later that their writing style has probably changed and they don’t have the other previous writers to write with. Most reboots are not great.

    I liked episode 3. I’m a little annoyed that they are most likely going to turn Miranda into a lesbian, we already lost 1 husband, we don’t need to lose Steve too. And don’t get me started on Rose. I know we are living in a new world but I hope they don’t go to far with her “I don’t feel like a girl” storyline. But I’m excited to see them all together again and seeing some of the same mannerisms, quirks, things that they did back then still be part of their characters now. It feels nice. And I’m also excited for the new characters. I’m a fan of Nicole Ari Parker and she says her character has an actually storyline and that she’s not just the token black friend so I’m excited to see how these new characters blend in with the show.

  19. CS says 12.17.21

    Another perspective: I always like the show best when it went dark (Miranda’s mom dies, Aidan moves out). At its best it was a show about it being okay to be on your own, that it doesn’t make you less than. I imagine they were trying to get back to that message. That you can have the worst happen, lose your person and still end up okay. Also, with Charlotte being so control and image obsessed with her kids and Miranda being so unaware of her privilege — I have to imagine there is some growth coming in future episodes.

  20. Teresa says 12.17.21

    I didn’t enjoy the first two episodes. Maybe they released them together to get all of the bad out of the way. I did see #3 and thought it was pretty good. At least it reminded me of the old Carrie running all around NYC and perseverating about everything. The original series was so iconic and such a cultural phenomenon, and there is no way to duplicate that of course. But I’m going to see where it goes. I am so sad about Willie/Stanford, and did read he would not be featured after #3. I am wondering if he and Anthony will break up and that’s how he would get written out. I don’t know – I mean, he is Carrie’s best guy friend. Such a tough and heartbreaking situation because of his real life death. I read that Michael Patrick King and Chris Noth both agreed 100% on the final scene when Big dies. King was quoted as saying they wanted a Bonnie and Clyde moment…there had to be that final “look” between Carrie and Big. And that’s why the ending was shot the way it was, with no 911 call, no nitroglycerine, etc. Thank you for this post, Grace. Fun to see everyone’s comments.

    • grace at the stripe says 12.17.21

      I read that too – the Bonnie and Clyde moment. I still thought it was dumb. 😉 It has to have been really hard for the writers, with Kim and Chris not wanting to do the show and Willie passing away. Oof.

  21. Sara says 12.17.21

    Echoing a lot of what’s already been said here re: Miranda. However, I have to say I am very disappointed in the insinuation that she’s going to come out as queer. There has been literally no sign that she was through the entire show, and I always liked that she wasn’t as feminine as some of the others but that didn’t make her gay (breaking down stereotypes!). She and Steve have broken up and chosen each other so many times now, I feel like if this was a thing, there would’ve been SOME sign by now. It feels forced into the story because it’sa prominent conversation in society now. Why can’t they just bring other characters into the show to fill these roles and have the women learn and grow from knowing them? That feels more genuine than fundamentally changing her character at 55 years old. I get that people come out later in life, and fully support people on that journey. But this just doesn’t fit for me and feels forced. Women can be powerful, successful, and not be overly girly without having to be queer.

  22. Shirley Dachille says 12.17.21

    You haven’t lived through your fifties. Period.

  23. Jennifer says 12.17.21

    I’m surprised about the direction of the show, but as I think about it 3 episodes in, I think it’s a necessary change. Some of the scenes are cringy and I think that they are taking on too may issues at the same time, but I’m glad that it’s not all happy and every one is fine.

    “Couldn’t we just get a show where we have these amazing women in their 50s thriving, having great sex, living their lives, killing it in their careers? ”

    The more I reflect on this season, I’m glad that they aren’t going in this direction. As a woman in my 50’s, this to me is more fantasy than real life.

  24. Heather says 12.17.21

    I kind of disagree that Miranda’s behavior is out of character. I remember her embarrassing herself a lot and kind of fumbling in social situations. Didn’t she date a woman in the first series too? They were pretending to be a couple for professional reasons but there was this hint of could she be queer..
    What I don’t like is that it feels like the characters went to sleep when the last series ended and woke up Rip Van Winkle style in 2021 and are running right into current issues all at once. Trying to hard I think and kind of insulting to viewers. I wonder who they think is their audience and I guess I don’t really know who is watching. I watched the first series in my early 20s and just turned 40. I certainly can’t relate to how clueless and confused they are all about the world. It certainly didn’t all happen “just like that.”

  25. Rachel says 12.17.21

    You might enjoy the Vanity Fair article with Candace Bushnell where she reflects on the show: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/12/candace-bushnell-on-whether-or-not-new-york-was-ever-back-to-begin-with

  26. Anna says 12.17.21

    Agree 100%. I was so looking forward to seeing what these women would be like in their 50s and am so disappointed so far. The Big death gutted me and I don’t recognize or like this Miranda. It doesn’t make sense at all for her character. And the show is trying so hard to be “woke” it all seems forced and cringe-y at times. Like you, I will continue to watch but sadly I’m beginning to feel we would have been better off without this reboot.

  27. Bridget says 12.17.21

    It’s horrible. Very fake “ woke”— I’m so saddened by all of it! Everything you’ve said about Miranda, & as if they’ve all been living under a rock and haven’t progressed with the times?? Carrie seems constantly annoyed by and not even friends w Charlotte, the show is treating them like they are all ancient, and yes marriage can get tedious and hard, but it doesn’t mean all marriages end in sadness, lack of sex, and death. Shame on these writers — the comedic timing is OFF, awkward pauses, and the only good thing is the fashion. Ugh I wanted to like it more!

  28. Brandi says 12.17.21

    I love that you wrote about this Grace! I am hanging in too! Not my fav story line but I am excited to see where this goes. SJP just amazes me stepping right back into the mannerisms and characteristics of Carrie! Her body language is just exactly the same. I LOVE Che’s character! LOVE! I am SO glad that diversity is being so well represented but I do have to say that alot of it is seeming very forced in the dialogue areas of the show. I guess the world needs awareness right now more than it needs seamless, natural, award winning dialogue writing. For me scenes like Che’s taping stand up, the conversation with Rose, Miranda’s first day and professor interactions are so good but mentioning pronouns and race in every single conversation seems a little forced. I hope this story line with Rose is handled well. I think it could be really good. I actually really like Charlotte this go round and she has never been my fav character. I don’t know what this Brady storyline is. It is just weird and cringy with the teen sex. I think Mirandas character was given the story line with all the social bumbling and mistakes because Cynthia as a “real person” can just handle it better. In today’s world I think playing a character like that could bleed into an actor’s real life. Cancel culture is real but Cynthia’s real life sexuality, politics, etc stand up to her playing a character making these mistakes. Kristin Davis probably not so much. Also, in reflection Miranda was always awkward at getting her real heart out there and did sometimes bumble in the original series. I’m all in and will be waiting for next Thurs.

  29. Brita says 12.17.21

    Regarding Miranda, YES! I am so frustrated they took this intelligent, high powered attorney and made her someone who…fumbles basic introductions? Like, are we pretending she doesn’t literally talk with high stakes for a living? Also, while I’m happy to have more queer representation on the show, having it (potentially) be Miranda just feels a little lazy. People were always giving her a hard time for not being as straightforwardly femme as the other girls, and now it’s like, that’s the one who has a sexual awakening? I don’t know. I think it might have been more powerful to see another character experience that, instead of her. I’m still watching, but I’m not loving it 🙁

  30. Emily says 12.18.21

    I disagree that the show is depressing or that it’s unkind to the characters. Life has very painful seasons. I appreciate that the show is looking at grief- so seldom do we go there with main characters. Normalizing bereavement is important. Maybe it will make people more aware and likely to show up for others in the dark times instead of disappearing. I appreciate that the show is acknowledging addiction. The characters still live in fantastical homes and glorious clothes. I can appreciate the combination of loss and glamour.

  31. Heather says 12.19.21

    Just focusing on Miranda as an example, her storyline is the worst and hardest to watch. She’s too smart to be so tone deaf, especially having the experience of working in the legal profession where she would’ve surely had to speak to a Black women in a position of power. Also, her son is such a loser—maybe he is supposed to be the contrast to Charlotte’s daughter? I think Miranda may seek out a queer relationship but why is she still with Steve? Why not have the show start with her newly divorced and searching, rather than breaking up a family so she can “try it out.” I’m tired of that type of irresponsible storyline.

  32. I think you are spot-on. The first real inkling that maaaaybe the writers will be able to shepherd the show into something that resonates w/real, actual life was the final bit, where Sara Ramirez’s character had that amazing monologue. But other than that, things feel…stale. And ugh, now that Chris Noth is being exposed as (an alleged) predator, I fear that this whole widow storyline for Carrie is going to be even harder to swallow than it was before. Sigh. At least the fashion is great and we can pretend that NYC is post-pandemic.