SATC Reboot Defines Awkward
If you’ve seen the first two publicly-available episodes of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, you had to cringe. Right from the top, the show opens with a choreographed scene where it looks like everyone was told to count to three and then start moving, but somebody forgot to splice out those first seconds.
These days the squad (minus Samantha) is having a lot of trouble with pronouns: Charlotte with her daughter, Miranda at Columbia, and Carrie, who’s found herself on a podcast that specifically explores the gender narrative.
In other words, cringe is what they’re going for. By putting a bunch of mistaken-identity Karens (and by that I mean they bend over backwards to make the characters well-intentioned, just wrong-footed), they’re taking on the Important Issues. The effort just feels, well, like effort.
Compared to the first run, these explorations of shifting norms felt somewhat more of the moment. But this is why I didn’t watch it when it first came out, despite that I was a single dating columnist for an alt newsweekly at the time. One problem, of course, was that as an actual journalist, I couldn’t afford HBO.
When I finally did catch an episode while visiting my parents, I was massively disappointed. Other than some jealousy, I had no problem with the ludicrously luxe wardrobes and apartments. But the supposedly revolutionary idea that had everyone talking about the show — that WOMEN had sexual appetites TOO— went right over my head.
Didn’t Mary McCarthy write that book in 1963? Having read The Group in high school—a chronicle of the sex, love, and class struggles among Vassar’s class of 1933—it never occurred to me that women didn’t have a healthy interest in sex that they talked about with their friends.
When I relented—because of the sheer boredom of living alone in Qatar—and started watching the show in its last season, I found the B and C stories compelling enough to return to the earlier episodes. Such a disappointment; there was much fast-forwarding.
Why give Carrie’s life all the trappings of an urban fantasy but stick her with a bog standard…