Every time I write about And Just Like That or Sex and the City, I always feel the need to preface it by saying that the original wasn’t, you know, prestige TV or anything. It wasn’t, like, great. It wasn’t exactly excellent gay rep. It certainly hasn’t aged well, at the very least.
And yet, I can’t stop thinking about how something kept me — at my core, just a rural dyke who owns two pair of “nice pants,” total — watching and watching and watching. And it kept Riese watching and watching, and Carmen watching and watching, and so many of you watching and watching. It is shocking to me how many people are reading these recaps, and that I even came out of recap retirement to write them! Do you understand that children were threatening to axe-murder me about Ezra Fitz the last time I recapped television? That the actual last recap I wrote included the character of William Michael Schuester? That I know Mr. Schue’s middle name is MICHAEL? I am a grizzled lesbian wood witch who has been traumatized by recapping television. Yet, here I am, having volunteered — nay, nearly begged! — for this assignment.
This show is very weirdly like The L Word and Generation Q. A lot — maybe even most of — the time, it makes you roll your eyeballs out of your head. Shane, go to therapy! Carrie, buy some sneakers! But sometimes it just hits so hard and so real, and touches the live-wire of vulnerability buried deep inside your own psyche that you feel impossibly close to these women you would never ever hang out with in real life.
This week’s episode, “Tragically Hip,” feels like Sex and the City at its best. Yes, there’s plenty to pick apart — the original series would have never survived social media — but writer Samantha Irby’s talents are on full display here and these characters finally feel like the ones I know. It’s messy and gut-punchy and hilarious and ultimately triumphant, in those small ways that propel us forward and make a life a life. (Please read Samatha Irby’s newsletter about this episode. Kayla shared it with me this morning and I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard.)
Carrie, it turns out, has a congenital birth defect in her hip, and she needs surgery to straighten it out so she can wear heels again. She’s mostly been limping around using an umbrella as a cane, but when Seema catches her ascending the stairs like Scrooge McDuck, she makes a call and lands Carrie an appointment with a world-class orthopedist in Manhattan on the same day. (Truly the most unrealistic thing that has ever happened in this series.) Miranda and Charlotte, of course, promise to be there through the whole recovery, and they mostly keep that promise. Charlotte even lifts up Carrie and Prince Charmings her to the restroom because she read in a parenting magazine you should always be able to hoist your biggest child above your head in case of emergencies. She’s been doing burpees!
Miranda, however, is slightly distracted. She’s drunk-ordering books for herself about how she has a drinking problem, and then forgetting that she ordered them due to her drinking problem. She’s also crushing on Che Diaz like she’s never crushed on anyone in her life because she’s never had a queer crush before, which of course means she’s crushing on them like a first crush, which means her brain is 13 years old again.
When Che shows up at the hospital to see Carrie, Carrie is rightly like, “Why is my boss visiting me for an outpatient surgery? I can’t even pee by myself! Get them out of here!” Miranda gets them out of there by inviting them to stay for lunch, just the two of them, a couple of strangers telling their whole entire life stories to each other — their trauma, their most formative experiences, their secret hopes and deepest fears — over sandwiches. Classic lesbian first date. It’s very weird seeing Sara Ramirez in a hospital without scrubs, but you do get the feeling Che is prepared to do CPR or open heart surgery at any second, armed with nothing but a butter knife and confidence.
Che says that one time, in the hospital, they got diagnosed with diverticulitis — but their dad thought the doctor said “dyke-culitis.” Like medically, the doctor was able to see on a colonoscopy that they’re gay. I’d like to think I’m that gay too. That’s my main life goal now. I’d like to be getting a mammogram one day and have the tech be like, “Your right breast is slightly bigger than your left breast and — oh, did you know you’re a lesbian?”
Miranda says nothing like that has ever happened to her, but one time she did diagnose herself with fucks-nemia and so she quit her law firm. Che looks at her suspiciously, like does she know that was only the beginning of her evolution? But clearly she does not, all wide eyes and smiling at Che like a wolf; so they do not push it.
Later, when it’s Miranda’s turn to sit with Carrie during recovery, Che shows up at her apartment with a professional mic for better podcasting and also tequila, which isn’t exactly the best gift for a person who’s on Percocet, so Miranda offers to do some shots with Che instead, while Carrie naps. Tequila leads to weed and weed leads to more shotgunning — which Miranda asks for this time — and shotgunning leads to more giggling, towel smacking, hand-grabbing, and just like that… it’s Scissor City!
It’s a perfect time for Carrie to wake up and realize she needs to pee. She calls out for Miranda but Miranda can’t hear her over the sound of herself becoming gay. Carrie finally peeps her and Che doin’ it in the kitchen, in the reflection of a mirror. She looks, gasps, looks away, can’t believe what she thought she saw, looks again, gets confirmation, gasps again, and covers her eyes with her hands. Finally she decides her best bet is to pee into the Diet Peach Snapple bottle on the nightstand, which she is miraculously able to do — but then she spills it all over her bed.
When Che and Miranda finish up, they kiss kiss kiss kiss, and then Che bounces to New Jersey for a gig. Carrie calls out, like, “Hey lesbo, you wanna come in here and help your piss-soaked friend with the BROKEN HIP?”
Miranda tries to play it cool, it’s fine, everything’s fine, she’s a top lawyer and she can logic and reason and argue her way out of everything and it’s fine. Carrie feels less than fine, due to her apartment smelling like weed and her clothes smelling like pee and also she just had to sit through her friend having sex with her boss in the kitchen while she was in a benzo haze. Not as bad as waking up in an empty bed where your husband used to sleep beside you before he died in your arms, but not exactly a peaceful slumber transition. Carrie is so mad. Like that kind of mad where you’d rather sit there in your own pee pajamas than let the other person help you because you are SO MAD. Miranda keeps moving, talking, getting fresh sheets from the drawers, fresh PJs, and finally Carrie is like, “STOP. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. LIKE, IN AN OVERARCHING WAY. WHAT IS GOING ON!”
Miranda finally cracks. She says she’s unhappy. No, not just unhappy. She’s fucking miserable. She hates her marriage, she hates her life, and yeah, she’s drinking too much, because it’s the only thing that fuzzies the awareness that she’s walking through the world like some kind of brunch-lady zombie. Carrie says, very compassionately, “Since when?” And Miranda says, “I don’t know. Since forever.” She says she’s sorry about Che and the Snapple pee and just everything, but what just happened in the kitchen, she’s never felt like that. Like ever. In her five decades on earth, she’s never felt that way before.
(For everyone out there saying people like Che Diaz don’t exist? Oh, they do. And may the goddexx bless you with the great good fortune to stumble upon a butch just like them at least once in your life.)
Anyway, Miranda goes home and pours out all of her alcohol.
Things are also queer over on Park Ave. where Charlotte’s kid has started going by “Rock,” which Charlotte finds out on a PTA Zoom because all the other parents are calling them Rock. Oh, also, their pronouns are they/them. Charlotte marches into the living room where Rock’s playing video games and Lily’s doing homework and demands to know what in the trans heck is going on. Rock, unfazed, says they came out in a TikTok, and it’s not their fault their mom and dad didn’t see it. They play it for them. They’re wearing a backwards baseball cap and rapping about R-O-C-K — and in my favorite moment from the whole show, they start singing along with the TikTok and so does Lily. R-O-C-K. It’s perfect.
Charlotte and Harry don’t handle the news super well. They have a meeting at the school to ask why no one told them this was going on, and also to demand some answers about why they’re letting teenagers choose their own names and gender. The teacher and the counselor patiently explain that they allow teenagers to choose their own names and gender because they’re the ones who know their own names and gender. They offer therapy, but Charlotte and Harry aren’t sure their child needs therapy. But no, the therapy is for Charlotte and Harry. Rock is thriving, thank you very much. Harry doesn’t want someone else talking like they know his kid more than he does; it really upsets him. Charlotte doesn’t want to overreact. Or under-react. (Carrie: “Charlotte, when have you ever under-reacted to anything in your life?”) Like how does their child know this? They’re just a child! What if they’re just trying to be cool!
Rock’s teacher is like, “You know, generally, human beings take the path of least resistance. So choosing a marginalized and deeply oppressed identity, one that is, in fact, the hot button political issue of the moment, one that leaves them open to being scapegoated by an entire political party and multiple religions, that’s not exactly a ‘cool’ choice.”
Charlotte’s going to get it right, and she finally uses the correct pronouns at the end of the episode, which makes Carrie smile and pat her knee, but man, she is torn out of the frame.
I never really know how to write about fictional parents and their fictional queer kids because I was honestly kind of raised by wolves, but this does feel pretty real in the very privileged world of wealthy white people who send their kids to private school on the Upper West Side and care enough to do so many burpees they can carry a grown woman to the toilet, in the off-chance they ever need to scoop up their teenagers in a fire and haul them over their shoulders down five flights of stairs and across the block to Central Park. The endless fretting and ultimately the getting where they need to be. The main thing that feels right, though, is that Rock knows who they are, that their friends are on-board, and especially that they have the full love and support of their sister.
I seriously cannot believe how fucking gay this show is. I knew it was going to be gayer than the original, but I didn’t know it was going to be mostly gay. Like 2/3 gay. We’ve only seen sex on-screen one time in this whole season, and it’s been queer sex. Truly, who’d have thunk it?
Hey guess who also makes an appearance this week? Samantha Jones! Not in person, but in a story Carrie tells about how Samantha had to pull out Carrie’s diaphragm in season two, and it took like a whole entire minute of her fiddling around in Carrie’s vagina, and that’s friendship. Carrie texts to give Samantha a heads up. She was on pain meds and she said Samantha’s full name. Samantha texts back, says “One of my finest moments” and that she’s glad Carrie’s vagina’s getting some airtime. Carrie takes it one step too far. She tells Samantha she misses her. She gets three dots back, for a second, then nothing.
I know a lot of people really hate this reboot. I know a lot of people don’t want to see Big dead, don’t want to see Carrie Bradshaw with hip problems, don’t want to see Steve — the only really good guy on the show — getting tossed to the sea like this, don’t want to see Miranda struggling with the reality of her enormous privilege and her depression at being closeted her whole life, don’t want to see Charlotte bumble around in the same way. But I really kind of love it. Life is hard and messy and heartbreaking and unexpected and if the last two years have taught us anything it’s that nothing is ever permanent and so many things are an illusion (including control of, like, anything) and the most we can ever really hope for is to love and be loved and to be lucky enough to be aware of it in the moment.
Or, in the wise words of Samantha Jones, “This love stuff is a motherfucker.”
Omg I am dying at “Like medically, the doctor was able to see on a colonoscopy that they’re gay. I’d like to think I’m that gay too. That’s my main life goal now. I’d like to be getting a mammogram one day and have the tech be like, “Your right breast is slightly bigger than your left breast and — oh, did you know you’re a lesbian?”” I love these recaps!!!
Love the recap and I feel very seen by your opening paragraph! And yes it reminds me so much of Gen Q!
THANK YOU for this, especially that last paragraph. Because for as privileged and mainstream as SATC seems to us now, back then it was all about how messy and complicated being a non-conforming woman was at the time. The reboot is continuing more in that vein than either of the absurd movies and I’m so happy to have these people back on TV.
The people who “hate” the reboot seem to fall into two categories: women who never want to grow up from who they were when they watched SATC in the 90s and 00s, and people who hate anything that reflects a wider world that they don’t personally identify with. Ironically, those people are the snowflakes who throw hissy fits over a Starbucks order or someone using Xmas rather than Christmas.
I really hope those of us who’ve continued to grow and develop in the way the SATC characters have find the reboot because just like the original show it’s made for those of us who don’t settle for what society is forcing on us. It’s painful and awkward and often a struggle to not be the person mainstream American TV portrays and SATC and AJLT reflect that very well.
No some of us are just lesbians who think the writing is bad and very cringe
“The people who “hate” the reboot seem to fall into two categories: women who never want to grow up from who they were when they watched SATC in the 90s and 00s, and people who hate anything that reflects a wider world that they don’t personally identify with. Ironically, those people are the snowflakes who throw hissy fits over a Starbucks order or someone using Xmas rather than Christmas.“
LOL Honey boo, no. We just can’t stand bad writing.
If this ain’t the mf truth. I was too young when the OG show ran but saw some later seasons with my wife. And the reboot sucks, it’s just as horrid as the new iteration but now with the added bonus of ‘wokeness’. This show is specifically catered to yt people of a certain age. Also Che is the absolute fucking worst 😑
Yes! I’m so tired of all the hating things just to hate things also. I feel like every article has to be contrarian just to get clicks. The show is silly and it’s ok to laugh along with it, but all the hate just gets exhausting! Let people have a little freaking joy for once!! I’m really enjoying it and I’m glad I found a place where others can as well.
Not sure why folks are being totes rude to you in the comments, but whatevs.
I enjoy the show, however I do think there is valid criticism out there and I respect most people who just aren’t a fan of the reboot. To each their own. It’s cool. However, I do agree with you that I have noticed that some of the hate for the reboot is coming from the groups you described. People who watched the originals in the 90s/2000s who have not grown much from that time period. YIKES. I’ve also seen too many people just boldly be queerphobic and call the sex scene between Miranda and Che disgusting. And describe Charolette’s child as, “bizarre or gross”.
The original was problematic for sure (did I watch and love it as a young tween? yes!), and I truly miss Samantha but the hate this reboot is getting…yeesh!
I kinda love that the straights are freaking out over this episode.. Seen so many saying “but she kissed a woman and said she wasn’t gay previously?!”…because lesbians are attracted to every single female in the world of course.
The previous seasons also ended almost 20 years ago, and people change a lot in that time. It would be unrealistic for it to start up and everyone be the exact same person.
Loved the recap! So excited about this show despite never having watched the original – love your intros every time.
FYI there’s a typo in the sentence with “ She’s also crushing…”
Thanks for coming out of recap retirement!
Bless you so much for these recaps Heather!! Uou are helping me understand why I love this show, the old version and the new, despite it all.
I still don’t get why Che – so out and proud, so confident and kiiind of a walking advertisement for queerness would be into Miranda tho?
agreed che would fuck miranda for the thrill
but her girlfriends would all be hot blonde big boobed bisexuals with mostly straight friends or megan fox type
let’s be real -or if she did want a married milf
if would be a hot real housewife
let’s call a spade a spade
agreed che would bop miranda for the thrill
but her girlfriends would all be blonde hotties with mostly straight friends or megan fox type
let’s be real -or if she did want a married lady
if would be a hot real housewife
let’s call a spade a spade
I’m really enjoying this show! For all the reasons Heather mentioned, plus its generally camp and world-weary handling of pain. It’s an interesting take and I’m glad they’re not trying to remake the old show.
Also queer godz please get that kitchen scene up on youtube in its entirety for …research purposes
I wish we could’ve gotten episodes recaps for Harlem like And Just Like That does. I would love to see Carmen’s take on each episode like Heather’s take on this show. Sure, Harlem had some flaws, much like And Just Like That or SATC does, and it would be nice to see Harlem get the same fleshed out treatment recap wise. I feel like I relate and identify more with Harlem’s group of friendships, love lives, and real life problems than I ever did for SATC or this reboot.
I did full recaps for Twenties this fall/early winter, which is also about a group of Black women friends navigating love and life (and, in my personal opinion is better written from queer perspectives then Harlem was), just in case you missed them I am including them here:
And I also wrote a bit about Harlem!!
Unfortunately, as you’ll see in my review, I wasn’t a big fan of the series — so I don’t think me writing recaps would have been a fun experience for anyone involved!! Lol. But there are some fans in the comment section you might find some kinship with.
I happen to be mostly into And Just Like That (I was obsessed with the original SATC in my late teens/early 20s, so I’m an easy target) — but at the same time, I fully get not seeing yourself in a group of privileged, objectively rich white women. I’ve probably seen more of myself (and the friendships I hope to emulate) in Living Single or Girlfriends, which is probably no surprise, and I think that SATC in particular — much like Friends — has a lot to owe to Living Single for the framework of its success, at least in certain aspects of being sex positive and about a core group of four women in New York in the 90s navigating dating and sex and friendships.
Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say Yes, I feel you. And even though I didn’t personally love Harlem, I’m glad you did, and I’m always on the lookout for other Black and WOC-based friendship comedies, so when you peep one definitely always let us know.
“We’ve only seen sex on-screen one time in this whole season, and it’s been queer sex.”
Didn’t we see Miranda’s son and his girlfriend too?
Thanks for the recap :)
I definitely love watching your stuff with girlfriend and she is definitely very excited with it
Add me to the list of queer women who loved the original SATC, and is really liking the reboot. It’s been a couple decades since I watched the original show but the characters feel comfortingly familiar yet different, in a good way.
I also really love the storyline about Rock. I have a 12-year-old NYC kid too, and this generation of kids is so much more open-minded and self-aware than me and my peers were at that age. My kiddo has friends who have come out as queer and non-binary, who use they/them pronouns, who identify as pansexual – at 12! When I was 12 I barely knew what being gay meant, and certainly didn’t think of it as something that I could be. The school scene also made me laugh. My kid doesn’t go to a fancy private school, but her public school is known for being super queer-friendly and several of the administrators are openly queer.
Honestly, it makes sense that this reboot is like 2/3 gay, and the only reason the original one wasn’t more gay is that networks still shied away from queer content back then.
This easily was my favorite episode of the reboot and not just because of the sex (although that certainly helps).
Essentially because of Heather’s words here:
“Life is hard and messy and heartbreaking and unexpected and if the last two years have taught us anything it’s that nothing is ever permanent and so many things are an illusion.”
Looking forward to more episodes and more Heather recaps!
JFC…Sara Ramirez! Gahhh…don’t look at me. I’m hopeless. Sara feels so much more comfortable playing queer here than they ever did on Grey’s and I’m just…I can’t because I’m mush.
I’m still not fully sold on the show although that diaphragm story was comical, and Samantha Jones sounds like a real one. I’m low-key bummed I won’t be introduced to her through the show or will I? Heather, I know you said the woman who portrays her had a falling out with the cast but could this be a ruse much like certain actors saying they aren’t in the new Spiderman, and lo and behold they are?
Definitely not a ruse, if it is then they’ve been playing the long game because for years there have been comments from Kim Cattralls (Samantha) side on how awful SJP was to her and how little they got on. Its a shame she’s not in it, it glad she also didn’t feel pressured into being in it if it made her unhappy previously.
Dang it’s that bad? Kind of sucks because I looked at a few clips of Samantha’s Jones on YouTube and she seems amazing. Thanks for popping my hopeful bubble…jk.
I think this is the episode where the show finally got good! The queer content and the little touch of Samantha really made it interesting to me. I mean, that kitchen scene! I honestly felt like this episode was more relatable than like, The L Word. I mean, Miranda listening to her crush’s podcast when she’s alone in her house is so relatable! I also kind of love that in the original series, early on, her boss/coworker thought she was gay (even if she said she wasn’t) because it shows that the character gave off that vibe but denied it herself for years. Also relatable!
The only thing I disagree with is that Steve was the only really good guy on the show. Like Skipper before him, Steve is nothing but a little simp and Miranda always deserved better. I don’t think I need to go into details about his behavior that I disliked over the years because I thought it was so universal an opinion (like on Brooklyn 99 when the chief doesn’t understand why Miranda would choose Steve over Dr Robert Leeds), along with the opinion that *Harry* was the only really good guy on SATC.
I did a full rewatch before the reboot started (I began with the intent of picking out the most iconic episodes so those could be chosen for a smaller rewatch virtually among friends) and by the end I was kind of slogging through, just trying to get all the content down because the reboot had come out. Then I watched the first few episodes of the reboot that had come out and just wanted to go back to the original. And Just Like That felt so bleak compared to SATC with Samantha gone, a grief storyline, and everyone acting like they’re 85 instead of 55. But! I really started to have more fun watching the show on this episode. And I love Samantha Irby, so thank you for linking to her newsletter about this!
Agreed about Steve, he was such a whiny manchild, I couldn’t stand him.
A friend of mine once described Steve as “seeming like he would smell like a toddler; of slightly sour milk and ham.”
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
Hah! Yes. That feels true.
I don’t think I breathed once during that kitchen scene, good lorde. My kingdom for an edit of that scene without Carrie! A GOOD ALLY WOULD HAVE WET THE BED IN SILENCE.
The way I was screaming. It was so REAL. The hand on the mouth…holy bejeebus!
I am lucky enough to have a butch gf a la Che and yes it’s all real. I actually felt guilty when we first started dating because I couldnt share her with the world. She was like Mr. Pussy. I really had to consider if it was moral to keep her all to myself.
I legit stopped eating when that scene happened. I was very into it, lol.
That scene blew. my. mind. Sara Ramirez/Che is a gift from the universe.
i love this recap more than any recap i’ve ever read, and that’s in part because it (hilariously) encompasses all my thoughts about this episode/show! thank you!
I found Autostraddle because I started comfort rewatching Glee during lockdown and was trying to find Glee discussion and analysis. Reading your recaps after watching each episode helped make up for the lack real social contact. Now I’m sharing Autostraddle posts with friends and colleagues.
Is anyone on here actually going to say what a shitty person Miranda has become? Not only has she cheated on her husband but she actually let her disabled friend wet herself all because she wanted some gay action with a narcissistic unfunny comedian.
But ohh the character Miranda is cheating with is non binary, so I guess that absolves all the sins, right?
This is so wrong and not ok. 🤦🏻♀️
Che will ghost Miranda.
I forgot to ask this earlier, but how is the bi rep / bi erasure? I’m not interested in watching the show but I am enjoying the recaps and I’m really curious if Miranda will be shown to be bi+/pan/fluid rather than just flipping from straight to gay.
thus far (i mean, by the end of this episode — idk what days the new ones come out), they haven’t mentioned anything about miranda’s identity, and carrie didn’t seem shocked that miranda had sex with che — just that they had sex in carrie’s kitchen, with carrie in their line of sight, when carrie needed support. and they discussed how unhappy and stuck miranda feels in her marriage, but none of the conversation was about gender/orientation, really.