My Mom’s a Boomer and I’m a Millennial. Here’s How We *Really* Feel About ‘And Just Like That…’
On December 9, after 11 long years since the last movie, hordes of people of all ages tuned into the premiere of And Just Like That…, HBO’s reboot of the iconic Sex and the City series. It was the platform’s biggest-ever debut for a series, and yet many, myself included, were left angry, disappointed or lukewarm at best.
With debates raging online (and even between our own podcast hosts) over everything from the shocking death of Chris Noth’s Big to the authenticity of the storyline, many millennials like myself (or xennials if you want to get technical) were left wondering how someone slightly older felt about it. Would a Boomer, for instance, have the same furious reaction to the show as I did? What did they think about Sam leaving? Or all of the show’s “woke” moments?
To find out, I went deep undercover (Read: I called my mom, Mari.) Just just three years older than Carrie's 55 and an avid fan of the original, she was the prime candidate for my research. We dissected the issues one by one, leaving no stone left unturned. Read our hot, uncensored takes below.
1. On Big’s Death
Nicole: “Thanks to social media, I was aware of this scene before I ever watched it, but as annoyed as I was to have it spoiled, I think it made it less traumatic. Like most, however, I still thought that it was complete garbage. We’ve been waiting more than 20 years to see these two end up together, and we got a whopping, what, three hours total of them happy, between the second movie and the premiere of the reboot? If you needed him gone to focus on the women, why couldn’t he be on a business trip in Shanghai, or somewhere overseas? As for the death itself, it was too unrealistic, in my opinion, to cause me much emotion. I prepared myself for a complete breakdown, but maybe because I went in knowing, I shed not one tear."
Mari: “I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. 'Cause they just showed them so happy.… I think they did it too soon. They should’ve kept him in the show a little longer.”
2. On the Fashion
Nicole: This is a far, far cry from the fashion we knew and loved on Sex and the City, and that, in large part, is due to the fact that Patricia Field is no longer with the show, having moved onto to Emily in Paris (which, for the record, is holding strong with incredible style). As someone who loves fashion, I’ve gotta say—I’m appalled at what Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago have done to her legacy. It’s abysmal. There is maybe one look—Carrie's vintage cream Claude Montana jumpsuit from her night in with Big—that I didn’t cringe at. They literally made Miranda look like an over-the-hill grandmother. Those printed tunic shirts? The frumpy maxi skirts? Come on! The clothing was such a huge, huge character in and of itself on the show, and for the most part, I don’t even notice it now, except when it’s to be outraged at its horror."
Mari: “Their clothes are like, ick!…Carrie would not wear the long cardigan two times in a row. And where are the killer shoes?"
3. On Samantha Leaving
Nicole: “I feel strangely indifferent about Sam’s absence. I think the show is obviously less funny without her, but I also don’t know that these writers would’ve done her character justice. It’s like I’m almost happy she was spared? That said, in no world do I believe she would’ve been so petty as to cut off all three women forever because Carrie fired her, and in no way do I believe she would not have been present at Big’s funeral.”
Mari: “[It’s] not the same without her. Obviously, I miss her, because she’s part of the group, and her perspective on things. I think she’s the oldest, her perspective on a lot of things was spot-on.”
4. On the Group Dynamic
Nicole: “The first episodes felt sooooo staged. Like they forgot how to act together, in some instances. Just so completely unnatural.”
Mari: “I felt they were very different in the first two episodes. Like awkward, very awkward, their conversations had silences…it was awkward.”
5. On Representing Women in Their Mid-50s
Nicole: “I can’t speak for that age range, as I’m not there yet, but I feel like they really did a disservice to the women they are trying to represent with these characters.”
Mari: “Why does Miranda’s hubby have hearing aids? It makes me mad. Being in your 50’s makes you deaf and a totally different person? I’m offended.”
6. On Carrie
Nicole: “I saw no semblance to the Carrie Bradshaw of yore until episode 3. She couldn’t get out of bed for days when Big left her at the altar. She literally spent half of the first movie in mourning. And yet, when he dies, she barely sheds a tear? She’s the one comforting Charlotte at the funeral home? Her biggest impulse after is to go for a walk? She’s back at her podcast after a few weeks? Give me a break! There is no way in hell she’d be totally chill about the fact that after all that time trying to work it out with him, he’s just gone. I was probably more upset about that huge error in character judgment than the fact that he died.”
Mari: “Carrie is suddenly shy about sex?”
7. On Charlotte
Nicole: “I feel like they turned Charlotte into the most basic overbearing mother cliché on the planet. Like, yes, she was always a little uptight, but she was always more complex than that, too. Now she’s just a raging Karen? I don’t feel like they did her justice. Why couldn’t they give her a storyline beyond that? Have her own her own art gallery or something?”
Mari: "I think Charlotte is spot-on. [A family] is what she wanted. She's happy."
8. On Miranda
Nicole: “Miranda’s storyline is the most cringeworthy thing about the show. She’s this smart, educated woman (who, for the record, has previously been in in an interracial relationship), living in New York City—one of the most diverse cities in the world—yet she can’t manage to stop acting like a bumbling idiot around her Black teacher? Beyond that, she's suddenly some rageaholic, constantly snapping at waiters, dropping F bombs and threatening physical violence against Che for offering her son pot? Did the original character die and get replaced and they forgot to tell us, or?”
Mari: “Miranda was a smart, powerful attorney, she would never talk like that. I [also] don’t know that I care for them making Miranda an [alcoholic]. ...Yeah, her and her husband are going through something but don’t all couples?”
9. On the Show’s “Woke” Moments
Nicole: “I think they went about modernizing the show in a completely backwards way. The response to the original series’ lack of diversity should have been to integrate diverse characters in a natural way—the way they did with Lisa Todd Wexley. As normal human beings, interacting with one another. Instead, they chose to single out each diverse character (Nya Wallace, Che, Rose) as these archetypes and put the onus on these characters to be the educators of the leads with these over-the-top scenes. To me, it was kind of ignorant and contradictory to their goal."
Mari: “They’re turning it into a show about today’s issues. Is that what the show was about before? Not really.”
10. On a Super Sexualized Brady
Nicole: “This whole thing is just really weird and gross. It makes me so uncomfortable.”
Mari: “The son can have sex whenever? Ew! Really, like you wouldn’t go in there and say, ‘Enough?’ I don’t understand why they wrote that in there. That’s just dumb. No parent would just let their kids go at it all the time and not say a word.”
11. On Natasha’s Return
Nicole: “Carrie’s neurosis in this situation was the first thing that finally, finally felt like her to me. I think she was desperately needed—Bridget Moynahan for the save!”
Mari: “I liked the storyline. I think Carrie overthought it. [And Natasha was like], ‘Screw you, you never wanted to apologize [for the affair] before he died, and now you do?’ I’m team Natasha, absolutely.”
12. Outlook of the Show
Nicole: "I was pretty disgusted with it after watching the first two episodes, but I didn't hate the third episode, so I'm slightly more hopeful for the episodes ahead. The second they have Carrie start dating after mourning for two seconds, though, I'm going to be enraged again."
Mari: "The third episode was much better—I actually liked it. I do look forward to seeing what’s coming. Fingers crossed, I guess!"