AND JUST LIKE THAT, Carrie and Big, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Harry, and Stanford and Anthony are back on the small screen in absolutely wild and often to-die-for fashion. The first two episodes of the SEX AND THE CITY limited series sequel dropped on HBO/HBOMax on Thursday to little fanfare outside hardcore SATC fans, but word of mouth seemed to pick up throughout the day about the good and the very very bad of the latest trip to nostalgia-land.
“Yeesh,” as Carrie might say when seeing a particular out-of-style fashion fad on the streets of New York, I felt myself cringing quite a bit throughout these first two episodes. Right off the bat, the show tries very hard to give itself an informal update to the language and times we live in 23 years after the premiere of the original series. The fabulous four (now three due to a particularly notable absence) are now in their mid-50s. If I’m doing my TV math correctly, Carrie should be around 53 since she was 40 in the 2008 SEX AND THE CITY movie. Demure print newspaper columns about cishet sex and relationships are out, and provocative podcasts about sexuality, gender identity, and sexual behavior are in!
The most cringe-worthy of all parts of each new episode centered around Miranda, who has recently gone back to grad school to use her years of legal experience to (hopefully) be a better social justice ally. The writers do a wonderful job making the audience feel VERY uncomfortable as Miranda tries to navigate being an older straight, rich, white woman among her young and diverse Columbia classmates. While I get that the discomfort and cringe-inducing dialogue was intentional, it also felt like they may have been selling Miranda short. Surely she’s smart enough to have educated herself before walking into this, right? Or perhaps her years of living among the upper class have completely sheltered her from the realities of present-day racial & socioeconomic justice. If any of our ladies felt that out of touch, I would have pegged Charlotte before Miranda, but we’re just getting this series started.
If you’re coming into the show for fashion, you won’t be disappointed. Each of our characters mentioned above (maybe save for Steve & Harry) rocks at least one fantastic outfit in EP 1 & 2. In addition, a new queer, non-binary, Latinx character, Che Diaz, is introduced, played by enby actress Sara Ramirez who steals every scene they’re in. The setting that introduces them to Carrie’s life feels like a natural progression as to where a once infamous sex columnist might go and work in the present day.
While EP 1 will catch you up, make you cringe, and perhaps even shock you, EP 2 steps back for a much more subdued and dramatic tone. While our characters may all live rich, extravagant lifestyles, we’re reminded that they’re still grounded in a reality where life isn’t always just cosmos and Manalo Blahniks. If you haven’t watched the original series, don’t start with AND JUST LIKE THAT. I accept that SATC feels dated to 2021 audiences because it is. It’s overly white & straight-focused for a show that bragged that its fifth main character was the most diverse city in the world. The limited series has tried to right many of those wrongs, but if you didn’t invest a portion of your life into what Carrie Bradshaw had to say or wear, you absolutely won’t care about her now.
For the rest of us who once took the “Which SEX AND THE CITY character are you?” quizzes, AND JUST LIKE THAT is now streaming on HBO/HBOMax.