…and just like that: Carrie and her pals have finished their latest run on the small screen.
It’s been almost 2 weeks since the latest installment of the SATC franchise drew to a close, so you may argue I’m a bit late to the party in terms of sharing what I thought about it. Not so. I’ve merely decided to sit back, think about what I saw for a bit first rather than just react.
What I liked
- Fashion moments: Of course fashion was going to be on here; it’s part of the franchise’s charactet! I use the term ‘moments’ because there were a lot of looks I didn’t care for. But hey, fashion is subjective! My personal fashion highlight wpuld be that UNREAL orange moment on the Paris bridge – it was a quintessential Carrie Bradshaw look for finally saying goodbye to Big and reclaiming her sense of self as single woman.
- Big’s early departure: For me, this hit the same way that Scream did when they killed off Drew Barrymore’s character in the first scene – unexpected twist that grips you into thinking “jeez, wtf else could happen after that? Better keep watching”. And, to be honest, there hasn’t been a single part of the SATC yet where Carried and Big have sailed through without something, has there? It took 6 series of making up and breaking up, the first film where he jilted her and she cut him out until then very end, the second film where she had insecurities and ended up kissing Aiden in Abu Dabi. Did we we really predict that they’d make it through this part of the story unscathed?
What didn’t work for me
- Lack of development for the secondary friendships: for really the first time in the franchise, we saw main characters pursue and develop friendships outside of the group. But, for the majority of time at keast, those relationships didn’t really progress or be pivotal to the overall series. Dare I say that they appeared to be present merely to tick a few more boxes in helping to make the show more well-rounded? Not simply because of any ethnic representation, but to enhance the traits of those they were attached to. Seema was single in her 50s and struggling with it like Carrie. Lisa/LTW feeds into Charlotte’s image of being a ‘have it all and look effortless’ aspiration whilst still be human and having some wobbles behind the scenes. Nya represents the side of Miranda that’s studious and questioning over their life choices (in this case, having a child).
- Miranda flip flopping her opinions: She was against pot, then it was fine providing she didn’t directly smoke it. She cheated on her husband when she used to find infidelity deplorable. She didn’t want to be in a conventional relationship but then tried to put herself in one. She wanted to study and help people with her legal knowledge but gave it up to support Che’s career ambitions in LA. She let her hair go grey (which I thought looked great, by the way) and was sticking 2 fingers up at societal pressure for women to “age gracefully”, but dies it back red at the end. I have some more thoughts and theories in the next section that help me rationalise some of her behaviour, but as a passive viewer wanting some light entertainment, it was kinda frustrating.
- Brady’s sex scene: no, No, NO! Firstly, teenagers don’t have the knowledge or skill to be that gymnastic in the bedroom. I was a teenager once, I knew other teenagers, not a single one of us knew a male our age who had the sexual prowess of young Brady. It was also highly unnecessary – the show isn’t called sex and the city so sex wasn’t implied.
What I feel came under undue criticism
- Miranda leaving Steve: As an OG SATC fan, this kind of didn’t surprise me, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone really. Throughout their relationship Miranda has had bouts of uncertainty about subscribing to the traditional paradigms of marriage and family life – she didn’t want to have children, have her child baptised, get married or buy a house outside of Manhattan. After submitting to all of those thing eventually, at some point she was always likely to swing back round and have some kind of self crisis about what her life had become. I read another article that described Miranda as Steve’s Mr Big in that he was always chasing after her as the not quite attainable figure to fit his ideal of the perfect life, and I can get on board with that. With regards to the cheating, a lot of people have levied claims of hypocrisy at Miranda as she got upset when Steve did it to her in the first film. Reading into this like the English/American Studies grad that I am; it could be argued that Steve’s prior indiscretion had altered her previous attitudes on fidelity and she now feels it can be justified if your relationship is unfulfilled. Steve wasn’t getting enough sex so he boinked a random, she felt unfulfilled and banged Carrie’s boss in the kitchen.
- The main characters not having a firm grasp of modern day protocol: as hard as a lot of people try to be respectful of pronouns, sexuality and religion, we’re human and sometimes we get it wrong. It’s perfectly feasible that women in their mid-50s who haven’t had exposure to that kind of diversity before aren’t going to get it on the first go. But we saw the maim characters try to educate themselves in the best manner they knew how. I personally found this aspect of the show relatable; even though I’m 20 years younger I’ve shared a lot of the same thoughts and experiences. If the main characters would have had everything spot on throughout series, writers/producers would’ve been criticised for not portraying an authentic experience of that generation.
Overall, I liked the series. Yes there were some bumps along the way (as many a good series have experienced before it) but be fair – its the first season of a show based on another show from the nineties trying to be relevant in the modern day whilst trying to stay true to the original heart and sole of the brand. Its a tough sell, one that was always going to disappoint someone.
So I couldn’t help but wonder: what’s next for ‘…And just like that’?
I think the show will ‘carrie’ on to a second series. I think we may start to see one of those secondary character’s come into the fold more as a main character to bring back more of a foursome dynamic (I’m liking Seema for this as she has a Samantha Jones energy about her).
I think we’ll see more of Carrie as she really starts to navigate her way through the dating scene again in her 50s (I don’t know if I see her staying with the hot producer guy but I would love it if she did) and how she combines her current experiences with her new podcast which I think will become more like her column and start to gain traction amongst some of her OG readers as well as younger new listeners.
I think that Miranda could have another crisis of confidence after returning from LA with Che; having put her goals on pause for somebody she loves and now questioning ‘what about me?’. I don’t think there’ll be anything groundbreaking happening for Charlotte, I think we’ll just see more of her going about her business and being Charlotte.
Finally, I predict we won’t be seeing a re-cast of Samantha. After Carrie meets her for cocktails in Paris they’ll start to rekindle their friendship and continue their text relationship, which will become more frequent. Carrie will try and lean on Samantha to do more, to be more – come back to New York or be on her podcast etc, and that will refracture the relationship a little bit.
So that’s me, keeping an balance mind and optimistic heart for the franchise to continue.
Thanks for reading,