Editor’s Note: Readers should be aware that this particular essay uses slang that is offensive to some readers.
Person A: So are you looking And just like that… ?
Person B: Oh my god, yes!
[A pause. A sheepish grin. And then, a lowering of their voice as if they’re revealing a deep, dark secret]
But it’s… not great, right???
Person A: Dude, I know! I cringe every episode, but I just can’t stop watching it. It’s pretty much the only thing that gets me on TV every week.
Person B: Even! It’s rather addicting. I need to know what’s going on, even though I can’t understand how unserious all of this is. Carrie and Aidan? Again???
Person A: Again! Ughhh!!!
I experienced a variation of this interaction no less than four times this summer, during Season 2. And just like that…, THE sex and the city spin-off, took place. My sample size is admittedly tiny, but an accumulation of online discussions and opinions from other reviewers has convinced me, rightly or wrongly, that this sentiment is hardly unusual among SATC Fans. We’re all in this watch boat together, or at least it’s nice to think we are.
It was inevitable. For all the quirks of the first season — the awkward addition of Diversity Girlfriends, Che, Big, and Samantha — viewers couldn’t help but talk about it. AJLT. (Remember, if you will, when Peloton stepped in to control the picture.) Many of us were wary of the ladies returning, especially after those terribly disappointing movies, but that didn’t matter at all. era and it doesn’t matter now. Watching the series is not a passive experience; he asks to be seen with as little distraction as possible from the phone screen or chores, so that one can then gossip angrily about Aidan’s ridiculous jacket or lament how completely Carrie’s conversion into the 1% makes it much less interesting.
And so mid-life Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are here to stay, and Season 3 is officially on.
Honestly? I say, go ahead. I’m all-in now, against my better judgment. Or rather, I’m finally ready to admit that I’ve always been all in, as someone who’s watched all 21 episodes of this series so far, and on a weekly basis no less, even though I’ve hemmed and I booed and rolled my eyes harder than Miranda had ever done at Steve. I succumbed to this nostalgic journey in search of atonement because the heart wants what it wants, I guess.
Season 2 proved the show’s commitment to grimaces and nonsense. Carrie has the nerve, after all the years of stress she put Miranda through, to wonder if she ever really loved Big. (Do we think J. Lo had the same question about Marc Anthony or A-Rod now that she’s back with Ben?) Charlotte spends an episode trying to put on a dress for her first day back on the job market, and only finds herself. acceptance of her own body when she meets a taller, more confident colleague. Samantha’s high-profile cameo… is a high-profile cameo.
There are also far too many characters and storylines among the latest additions to the franchise to invest too deeply in any of them. Seema (Sarita Choudhury), Carrie’s friend/real estate agent, remains the most naturally integrated and best-written of the group. But of course, there’s Che (Sara Ramirez), who overdoes it but gets nowhere, because – in the oddest pairing this season – Che and Carrie remain inexplicably friends even after their breakup with Miranda.
Meanwhile, Nya Miranda’s teacher-turned-friend-turned-roommate is largely sidelined this season (playing actress Karen Pittman, was also shooting The morning show), and when she East on screen, she almost always revolves around her ex, either directly or indirectly. And as a representative of the “Lean In” series, Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker) tries to juggle motherhood while editing a documentary series from her immaculate dressing room/movie studio, though many of her thematic beats overlap with those of Charlotte to the point of feeling redundant. . (To call her character simply “the black analogue of Charlotte” would be reductive and not entirely accurate, even though it sometimes seems so.)
And yet, something kept me glued to this big mess. It was “Alive!”, the fourth episode of season 2, where I learned to stop worrying and love to watch things with a grimace. AJLT. It’s no coincidence that it’s also the first episode of the series that plays out like it’s straight out of the climax of its predecessor, complete with silly but relevant sexual storylines (Sexnaires? Maybe I should write for AJLT!), NSFW puns and puns and the return of familiar characters.
Carrie’s Elder vogue boss Enid Fricke (Candice Bergen) reappears to ask if she’d be willing to contribute to a new startup newsletter aimed at older women, which throws Carrie into an existential crisis about being seen as a woman. old. Later, at a fundraising event for the startup, Carrie is relieved to learn that Enid actually wants her to contribute as a giver, not a writer; the shopaholic who once turned to her friends for help paying her rent still seems to be adjusting to her new role as an ultra-rich widowed socialite. But the riddle cleverly brings back much of the crackling tension that existed between the women of the original series, mutual admiration clashing with their own insecurities and baggage.
When Enid accidentally recognizes a photo of her boyfriend’s penis on Carrie’s phone – Bitsy Von Muffling (Julie Halston), another old acquaintance, tried to put Carrie in touch with this man, without being heard requested – Enid launches a brilliant and mortifying retort: “Carrie, are you kidding my boyfriend?!” It’s like everything is fine again in the SATC universe.
Another story in this episode involves Charlotte, who panics when she learns that Harry has been faking orgasms for some time now. Naturally, she discusses the issue with her friends over brunch, with Anthony (Mario Cantone) filling in for the notably absent Samantha as the sassy, vulgar commentator. Miranda admits she wishes she didn’t have to deal with ‘semen’. Carrie, the most prudish of sex columnists, admits that she “never gave [jizz] no thought “until”This moment.” (How???) Anthony proudly proclaims that he has never had to deal with this problem: “I’m like a milking machine, if you want to know.” Charlotte, on the other hand, says that she has “always been a fan” of squirting and compares it to “confetti at a parade” (Oh, Charlotte.) The jokes are classic SATCright up there with Samantha’s “funky cum” dilemma – cheeky, moan-worthy, and pure pleasure.
When this is AJLT is at its best, and overall Season 2 leaned a bit more into the ups and downs of dating and sex (and aging while doing both) than Season 1. sufficient to counterbalance – *makes a wild gesture* – everything else? My head and all the critical impulses in my body say no. But then again, my heart, and that part of me that derives some sort of unhealthy pleasure from shaking my head in disbelief every few minutes, can’t help it.
Squeaky watch That seems like the best summary of what it’s been like to watch the misadventures of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Co. this season. To call it a hate watch that would seem too hard; it’s best reserved for serious morons like The idol, or really anything Sam Levinson touches. No – even if it’s embarrassing, it still manages to be endearing, to provide comfort in the reassurance that these characters will often act out of character for reasons that don’t make sense, and that Carrie will always Carrie, hard, regardless of wealth. I do not hate you AJLTI’m just puzzled by his audacity to exist.
In the Season 2 finale, during her dramatic “last supper” prepared by a Michelin chef at this iconic Upper East Side brownstone, Carrie proclaims that she is letting go of “expectations” at this stage of life, “to assume that things will turn out the way we think they will”. they should.” Of course, she’s talking about Big’s death, and Aidan, who at the end of this episode will ask Carrie to wait for him for five years while he takes care of his sons’ needs. in Virginia. But it’s also an easy metaphor for us gnashing watchers, who have managed to let go of all the expectations that AJLT will appear as we think it will, no matter what. We’re just here for the mess.