Sex and the City never was ThingBut I watched every episode at least once. Both movies, too, even the second movie where they escape Abu Dhabi under the cover of a niqab because Samantha is caught having sex in public. Yikes. I’m too young to watch the show in real time, but one summer in high school, I was tackling the whole series. Then I made my decision. I wasn’t trendy or cool enough to be Carrie. Charlotte made me want to take a handful of the first sedative I could find. I wanted to say I was Samantha, but that would have been a lie. The same elimination that meant I was always Baby Spice when I was playing pretend with my teenage friends – I had blonde pigtails – meant I was Miranda: the firm’s tough lawyer, the marathon runner, the bride who didn’t wear white, the woman who made a sandwich to pet her. One of the four who, at least occasionally, wanted to talk about something other than men. I can work with that.
This was not the cornerstone of my character. Instead, something silly that made it easy for cocktail jokes, stupid tweets, and real north while doing Buzzfeed auditions. Your perfect vacation is a cabin in the woods with a pile of books and your favorite old-fashioned drink? Awesome, you’re Miranda. Choose from these four images of seemingly identical French towns: Surprise! You are Miranda. Miranda’s modest eccentricity was a draw for me. Sure, Charlotte is trying to engage with influential lesbians in the art world. (They reject it at the end, “If you’re not going to eat pussy, you’re not a barrier.”) Samantha has a brief, if problematicly written, relationship with a woman, before deciding that she “misses” men. Miranda’s encounters with women were no better written nor less homophobic. The episode in which she pretends to be dating a woman in hopes of helping her make a partner in her company, completing one last kiss to make sure she’s really straight. repeatedly, Yikes! But something, perhaps it was Cynthia Nixon’s IRL weirdness or the fashion department’s decision to wear cute suits and ties, scored with me. Many of us, in fact, are probably a mixture of some toxic traits from every woman Sex and the City? Yes, but that’s not how it goes. You just have to choose One. And so I chose a softball player.
In the Sex and the City The reboot, though, is Miranda Hobbs is a shadow of her former self. (Warning, spoilers ahead.) It seems that her countrymen’s characters have been covered in amber since the show’s end in 2004: Carrie is still a pun and skin witch and Charlotte is still, well, Charlotte. (Samantha lives in London and the famous quartet is now a trio.) But it looks like Miranda has turned and fallen into the worst possible version of her. In the pilot episode of and like that, we learn that she’s quitting her corporate job to get another degree and try to do some mysterious good in the world. On her first day in class, she sat down on a chair and another classmate immediately warned her that the seat was for their professor. She moves and gives the same warning to a black braided woman who enters and sits on the chair. The woman, of course, is Professor Karen Bateman as Dr. Nia Wallace.
The conversation that follows – and the subsequent conversations between the two of them – is death by a thousand mistakes. Miranda nods Karen and points to Wallace’s hair in an attempt to explain her racist assumptions about what an academic should look like. It hurts to watch it. In another scene, Miranda yells at a security guard who won’t let Nya into the campus building without her ID, forcing Nya to explain to Miranda how she escalated a situation that wouldn’t have been a big deal otherwise. (No one else will be allowed in without one.) On a subway platform, Miranda overpowers a masked assailant trying to steal Nia’s bag. Then she said shyly that she wasn’t sure if helping in that case was the right move because she didn’t want to be a white savior again. Miranda Hobbs in 2002 would have known in her guts that this was the right move. She said something like, “Oh my God, are you okay, what a filthy lump” and then offered to buy a hard drink from Wallace. Cynthia Nixon sold “I’m from Miranda vote for Cynthia” merchandise while running for governor of New York in 2018. Nobody votes for 2021 Miranda.
As much as I like to imagine myself as someone aging gracefully, I know this is an ambitious hope. Being my version at 55 may not be all that a 30-year-old hopes it will be. I can only pray that it will be soon. And before you tell me, That’s how the show has always been! Go to watch it! It’s an embarrassing city, USA! I do not oppose. But for Charlotte and Carrie, the breakup levels have stayed the same some 15 years later. Charlotte makes Paige’s death about her complete. Carrie talks about whether or not the ladies will order… French fries. It all feels old and familiar. What seems unfamiliar is racist Miranda, so far from reality, it’s amazing that anyone could watch the original show and say, I am this.
In an attempt to correct the extreme whiteness of Sex and the City, new characters have been introduced in all three female lines. Working alongside non-binary Latin podcast host Che Diaz (Sarah Ramirez) and Charlotte, Lisa befriended Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker), a black documentary filmmaker and a big mom at their children’s school. None of these relationships resulted in either Carrie or Charlotte quoting anti-racism books for their new friends. One of these distinguished white women says the quiet part out loud is a clever way to finally deal with sweat on a show like never before. However, having that woman to be Miranda seems like a wrong choice – although perhaps it’s just selfish thinking and I’d feel differently if I got to know Carrie or Charlotte intimately.
Samantha Irby, writer at and like that, for Deadline, the first two episodes will “really tend to have uncomfortable conversations” and the next installments will be about the growing “friendship” between Miranda and Nia. And even though she’s big, maybe too big, for Nya to not just tell Miranda to get lost and never talk to her again, the damage is done. After watching these first two episodes, I am contractually obligated to hand over my Miranda Card. I will probably take a trip to London and never talk to my friends again. Try being Samantha.