Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.
I debated whether or not to write about And Just Like That… for many reasons. First of all, there has been so much discourse regarding the existence of the revival, nevermind the content, that I wasn’t sure I had anything new to add. At the same time it’s hard for me, a longtime fan, to ignore such a big (see what I did there) pop culture moment.
My friends Carly and Shaina got me into Sex and the City during our senior year of high school (we graduated in 2002) so I had some catching up to do because the show began in 1998. I remember being skeptical, but I can’t remember why. Anyway, as soon as I started watching, I was enamored. I was 18 years old but somehow related to women in their 30s – an age that sounded oldish then but here I am at 38 (remember the season 6 episode called “Catch-38”?) still talking about SATC. Go figure.
And here Carly, Shaina, and I are, 20 years later, talking about the SATC revival via our daily text chain. I love discussing all topics (work, kids, significant others, family, dogs, music, etc.) with Carly and Shaina because the three of us are very different and very alike in many ways. So of course our weekly discussions about this show over the last ten weeks have been fun.
A perfect example happened yesterday. I asked Carly and Shaina if they were planning to watch the AJLT documentary (more on that later) because I didn’t want to spoil anything. They both said “probably not” so I told them that in the documentary Sarah Jessica Parker claims she’s only seen each episode of the original SATC series once.
My reaction: What?! How is that even possible?
Carly: Because she’s so humble…haha.
Shaina: Maybe she’s self-conscious?
Because of these very different and “so us” reactions, the conversation made me wonder if I would watch the AJLT episodes again. I’ve seen the original seasons many times, but this revival is different. Obviously these women are now in their 50s rather than their 30s (or 40s in the movies) but AJLT is dark. I mean really dark. By now everyone who has been paying attention to the show knows that Big dies in the first episode and watching Carrie go through that kind of horrifying grief is awful. While each character experienced grief over the course of six seasons and two movies, this is next level. Although I (mostly) found myself at the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next (one exception is definitely the Miranda as an alcoholic storyline), I don’t necessarily need to watch the revival episodes again.
So now that the ten-episode season has come to an end, here are a few notes, observations, and questions:
- As I said before, AJLT is dark. SATC featured many serious and real moments, but those moments were appropriately punctuated with sharp, witty humor. I don’t remember anything exceedingly funny happening in the revival until Seema appears in episode 4.
- What I’m about to say next is another reason I was hesitant to write about this show. While I think it’s fantastic, necessary, important, among other positive adjectives, that AJLT integrated characters of all races and backgrounds, as well as nonbinary characters, some of it goes a little overboard. That being said, there is no question that Seema, Nya, and Lisa are the most refreshing characters and each of them absolutely save the show. I hope there is a second season of AJLT just to see more development regarding those three ladies.
- The way the writers wrote Stafford out of the show wasn’t enough. He deserved more.
- AJLT stayed true to New York City and the ladies’ fashion functioning as their own characters.
- There has been a lot of talk about Che Diaz. I love actress Sara Ramirez but I am not a fan of Che because everything about her is over the top all the time – to the point where she is more of a caricature than a character.
- The only Che scenes I like are the ones of her mixing it up on the podcast with Carrie and Jackie who also I wanted to see in more episodes!
- Anthony has the funniest lines in this series. Mario Cantone looks exactly the same and I absolutely wanted him to be the one sitting in Samantha’s spot at the table. Also, his speech to Rock about not having an understudy is epic.
- Samantha’s absence is handled extremely well from beginning to end.
- I’m sad for Miranda and Steve – they went through so much together and, as a longtime viewer, am having trouble reconciling their unhappy ending.
- And that brings me to another point. I loathe how Steve is reduced to a bumbling old man. I find it offensive and I don’t understand the point of treating his character and storyline with such disrespect.
- Speaking of being a longtime viewer, a perk of watching the OG episodes repeatedly over the years is that I caught most of the easter eggs (I hate that term but it’s perfect for this) that are included throughout AJLT. For example, when Carrie is inexplicably taking inventory of her closet, Charlotte’s daughter Lily puts on the poncho Carrie wore when she showed up hungover to a photoshoot in season two. Also, in the AJLT finale, the conversation between Carrie and Miranda about California is 100 percent the tables turning from the original series finale.
- That being said, what was the point of bringing Natasha back?
- Now let’s get to Miranda. Wow did the writers dismantle her into the exact personality she judged during the original show. When she says, “I’m in a rom-com” and is serious I wished I had more eyes to roll. It was frustrating to watch and don’t even get me started on her relationship with her son. It’s not until the final episode that they actually have a palatable mother/son interaction.
- Charlotte is the same person she was before but with two grown kids and way more Botox/filler in her face. I’m not judging but wow it is hard to watch those first few episodes. Also, it turns out that Kristin Davis learned how to play tennis for the one episode that features the sport. That little anecdote is revealed in the documentary and I am wondering if it was worth the time!
- I’m glad Charlotte and Harry’s marriage is going well. Harry is eligible for sainthood for dealing with Charlotte and her labels.
- Carrie’s smoking outfit is GOLD. By that I mean it’s so embarrassing that it’s amazing.
- I’m not sure why Carrie’s downstairs neighbor is featured in multiple episodes other than to function as a nostalgic look at how Carrie’s life used to be. But it was cool to see the foyer of Carrie’s building after all these years!
- I love documentaries but this one focused too much on the clothes and the people responsible for choosing the clothes. As I said earlier, the fashion is obviously a huge part of SATC, but there is too much conversation and details that fail to provide context regarding why the clothes mattered and continue to matter so much.
At this point there is no confirmation about whether or not there will be a second season of AJLT and I’m not even sure that it’s necessary. While watching the show was like seeing old friends again, it quickly became clear that these friends have changed and not necessarily for the better. I get that age is a huge theme but I feel like they hammered the “we’re older now” concept into the ground. What I’d like to see more of is Seema, Nya, and Lisa. Those three could have their own spinoff! Also, more Jackie and Anthony! It would also be interesting to find out how they flesh out the SATC podcast, whether or not Carrie’s memoir gets published, whether or not Miranda and Che stay together, and if Carrie actually starts dating her producer. If nothing else, AJLT got people talking and demonstrated that characters can span decades. Just ask The Golden Girls.