If you’ve been reading our AND JUST LIKE THAT… reviews, you know that co-writer Esta and I have different opinions on the SEX AND THE CITY reboot series, but both of us are big fans of the original. And if you haven’t, follow these links, here, here, and here!
EP 5 & 6 together show an overall improvement to the story so far. Or perhaps we’re just more comfortable with the awkward moments that made the first four episodes a bit cringy. My personal biggest disappointment in the early episodes was the depiction of Miranda as this uptight middle-aged mom, when in the earlier series, she was much more easy-going, hip, and comfortable with herself. What’s great about EP 5 is that we FINALLY find out why she’s become like this and the revelation lands with a deeply emotional moment that even her best friend is not ready to face. I think for a lot of folks 40+, Miranda’s feelings about her life could really resonate, as they did with me. Like isn’t always hip and cool and comfortable; it’s often messy, emotional, and yes, cringy.
My favorite character from EP 1 & 2, Che, has unfortunately become somewhat of a caricature of themselves. Originally introduced as Carrie’s tell-it-like-it-is comedian boss, several months later (in-story), the character feels like they’re acting like someone far younger than they are. Actor Sara Ramirez, who depicts Che, is 46 years old – not even a decade younger than Carrie, and yet the character often feels like they’re supposed to be two decades younger. I love that a person in their 40s can still be cool, but life isn’t always joints, tequila, and mid-day sex. It’s disappointing as I was very much looking forward to having a Latinx, non-binary, pansexual lead on one of HBO’s biggest series. There’s still time for Che to become less immature, especially if the series goes into another season.
EP 6, directed by Cynthia Nixon (Miranda), places the burgeoning friendship between Carrie and realtor Seema at center stage. Sarita Choudhury as Seema is another welcome addition to the series, but unlike Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte, she never married, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian family. Thus far, Charlotte’s storylines have come mostly secondary, but the source of her family’s challenges has been bubbling up every episode. Amongst my social circle in Los Angeles, being gay, bi, pan, trans, or non-binary is welcomed, but we also realize that not everyone has it so well. To the ladies of AJLT, who are older Gen X-ers (not boomers, as I’ve seen others write), getting pronouns correct and accepting that your family member might not be cisgender doesn’t come as quickly. Carrie, being a former sex and love columnist, gets it right the most, as expected. If there was ever a moment that Samantha’s natural acceptance of everyone’s sexuality (and most likely their gender identity) was missed, it was in EP 6.
SEX AND THE CITY always presented its rich, white, straight, cisgender characters as mostly isolated from the realities of the world. AND JUST LIKE THAT… tries to correct some of that, but I fear, they may at times be trying too hard.
AND JUST LIKE THAT… continues streaming on HBOMax.