And Just Like That....
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
And just like that….it stirred up some feelings.
I eventually found some quiet time, with hardly any interruptions, to sit down with the first 2 episodes of 'And just like that….'
After avoiding the spoilers for a few days, I’m all up to speed, keenly anticipating the next episode and ready to give a spoiler alert of my own!
I enjoyed the tv show Sex and The City, back in its heyday.
(Quickly gloss over the films)
I didn't obsess over it, but did get a kick out of a female focused show.
I didn't identify closely with the individual characters the way some of my friends did.
I was a bit lost when asked if I was a Miranda or a Charlotte.
These women came from a very different world to me.
They had incredibly glamorous social lives,
Bottomless wardrobe budgets,
Amazing Manhattan apartments.......
All a far cry from my Single Girl in London lifestyle; with my 12 hour working day, the shared flat in Clapham Junction and going to the Pub on Saturday afternoon to watch the Rugby.
They wore towering designer heels and hopped in and out of Cabs.
I wore Marks & Spencer Loafers and sprinted for the bus.
They analysed the living daylights out of every tiny aspect of their relationships with men.
My friends were of the 'You can do better, move on' school of thought.
I also felt so much younger than those ladies.
They seemed so polished and savvy in comparison to my 'Bull at a Gate' modus operandi.
But lo and behold, Charlotte and Carrie both claimed their 55 years with varying degrees of enthusiasm in episode 1, and my 55th is less than a month away.
So I approached this reboot with some glee; mostly for the fashion, and the considerable desire
that Mikhail Baryshnikov might reappear as Aleksandr Petrovsky (be still my pounding heart)
Though with an acceptance that at some point the show might irritate me.
After watching the first 2 episodes, I’ve definitely been hit right in the feels.
These aren't blow by blow recaps of the episodes, plenty of people are already doing that, I'm examining how some of the themes made me feel.
Episode 1: Hello It's Me
We are immediately thrown into a post lockdown 'living with the virus' New York.
The ladies are doing what the ladies always do; hanging out in a fabulous restaurant, wearing beautiful clothes.
We are straight into the thick of it.
Yes, we have no Samantha.
She has upped sticks and moved to London, probably not to sprint after buses, but to distance herself from Carrie, it would seem.
There has been a complete halt in communication.
We all knew that Kim Cattrall was not going to be there.
We were agog to know how it would be handled.
'I always thought the four of us would be friends forever'
One of the most shocking lessons of my adult life has been that some friendships just don't last.
People who seem so crucial to you as you navigate your 20's, might barely feature in your 30's.
I wasn't prepared for that.
I didn't anticipate that some friends could just drift away, slowly, into the realm of acquaintance.
Friendships take work, nurturing and attention.
They are not self-seeding or indestructible.
The confusion and loss was overwhelming when a beloved friend began to forget to return calls, forget that we had made plans, forget that I was at the dinner table and spend the evening texting people who were somewhere else.
They’d arrive late and leave early…..
It was brutal and came with no explanation.
I recognised that look on Carrie's face: the shaking of the head, the questioning gaze into the middle distance, the imperceptible shrug of the shoulders.
What can you do?
Leave more voicemails?
Send more texts?
I couldn’t control their actions, but I could control my reaction.
To minimise heartache, I took the hint and stepped away.
'You can do better, move on'
And then …Spoiler Alert…..but you must know by now.
Mr Big died at the end of Episode 1.
Had a cigar, had a Peloton, had a Heart Attack.
Unpopular opinion coming up; Big had to go.
He was the wrong man for Carrie.
He is a much richer storyline as a corpse than as a smug Daddy figure.
The trope of “we all love a bad boy’ is another thing that I have huge feelings about.
They are not exciting, they’re destabilising.
They are not emotionally unavailable, they are self absorbed.
They are not blowing hot and cold, they are making a convenience of you.
Incredible women get caught in this horrible cycle of self doubt, sacrifice and compromise,
all in the service of a man who will never prioritise you or your life together.
Can we stop saying ‘we all love a bad boy’.
Can we end that lie now?
Can that myth be killed off as emphatically and as surely as Mr Big.
Episode 2: Little Black Dress
“What Do I Do Now?”
Big is dead: there are sleepless nights to get through, arrangements to make and new characters and storylines to introduce.
I am all in.
Episode 1 did it’s job and set the scene, episode 2 really began to deliver and now I’m here for it.
I didn’t shed a single tear for Big, but did shed one or two for how futile we feel when faced with a grieving loved one.
We can feel their emptiness, their anticipated future suddenly erased.
With the best will in the world and all of the love in our hearts, we cannot fix that.
We can stand shoulder to shoulder with them, ready to catch them when they falter.
We can sleep-over, ready to hug them at 3am.
We can listen, again and again, as they ask ‘why them?’
What we shouldn’t do; Charlotte and Stanford, I’m looking directly at you here; we shouldn’t make it about us.
Howling inconsolably at the Funeral home until the Widow has to comfort you.
Charlotte, it’s not about you.
Ejecting an older lady that you don’t recognise from the front row of the Service, because you want to sit next to your mate.
Stanford, it’s not about you.
We all grieve differently, and I often wonder if the funeral is about the Deceased or the Bereaved, but in all cases, there is a hierarchy, and for the majority of your adult life, it’s not about you.
I will make one very specific exception to this rule.
Susan Sharon, it is about you!
Oh my goodness, it’s most definitely about you!!!!
Have you ever seen a better piece of writing/acting/directing come together so explosively?
Susan Sharon - WTF?
The timing, the attitude, the snap of the elastic waistband!
I have never loved commercial television more than in that one perfect monologue,
followed by a perfectly flounced exit.
Please let her be a recurring character.
I feel very strongly about that!!
Episode 3: When in Rome
When in Rome we do as Romans do.
But when we are in New York and we are attending the reading of our Love’s Last Will and Testament, the rules become far less clear cut.
Carrie is thrown into a tailspin when she finds that Big has bequeathed $1Million to his Ex Wife, Natasha.
The Wife he married during an ’off’ period in his ‘on again off again’ with Carrie.
The Wife he cheated on, with Carrie.
The Wife that he ultimately divorced so he could return to Carrie and bring his Bad-Boy mayhem with him.
Bring on the spiral of looking for answers to questions you didn’t plan on asking.
The upheaval of not knowing if your life is fact or fiction is exhausting.
Did her husband ever love her?
Did he regret choosing her?
Was she ever good enough?
Is she going crazy?
Is she entitled to forgive herself?
Closure is an elusive thing.
Can it ever really be achieved when the person with the answers has a history of deliberately throwing curve balls at you?
If they truly laid their cards on the table, would you even believe them?
I suspect that Carrie will find herself looking inwards in future episodes, and shedding some designer skins, to find some peace of mind.
Miranda, on the other hand, is looking outwards.
Outside of herself, her established career and her settled marriage.
She’s restless and questioning, desperate for change.
We’ve had a massive red flag waved at us since Episode 1,
‘Pssst, look over here, Miranda is developing a drinking problem, as a symptom of her unhappiness”
Is she going to self destruct, or is she going to walk over coals to get to where she needs to be?
The Middle Age is throwing these ladies plenty of questions.