‘And Just Like That…’ a TV Show Made Your 50s Feel Like Your Infirm 80s
The show's potpourri of middle-aged maladies and cultural cluelessness felt anything but modern. Photo: Courtesy of HBO Max
HBO’s revival of Sex in the City — And Just Like That… — promised to be an empowering renewal of the original series that offered an authentic take on life over 50. But for many, that age and older, the show’s potpourri of middle-aged maladies and cultural cluelessness felt anything but modern.
Spoiler Alert: If you have not yet seen the series, be aware this story contains plot points from the season.
Not so Hip
Having spent episodes one and two coping with Big’s fatal heart attack and funeral, a newly widowed Bradshaw, 55, winds up in the hospital for a hip operation. Thirty-eight painful minutes that treated viewers to Carrie discussing bedpans, Carrie being helped to the toilet, and Carrie peeing her bed as she couldn’t make it to the toilet. Dreariness only matched by her choice in invalid footwear — Birkenstocks and socks. When we all know Carrie Bradshaw wouldn’t be caught dead … when these exist.
Charlotte banging on endlessly about her husband’s colonoscopy appointments or discussing the strength of his flow while he pees, no character is spared a middle-aged malady. “A lotta men my age can’t pull off a stream like this,” Harry retorts proudly.
Fifty-five going on 80, deafness, daily sundaes, and not caring if he ever has sex again are the leading characteristics of Miranda’s shlubby husband. When he runs into a friend on the street who asks him “What’s new?” all Steve has to offer is: “I got hearing aids. I’m an old timer now.”
Miranda and Carrie are stunned — stunned! — to learn that Charlotte “still” gives her husband blow jobs. “You still blow Harry?” asks Miranda quizzically. “Is it his birthday?” Carrie chimes in. What’s so surprising about a happily married woman of 54 enjoying a frisky sex life with her husband? Isn’t Miranda’s dirge of a marriage and Carrie’s romance-averse widowhood, enough sexlessness for one show with three female leads?
Like a couple of old biddies from Poughkeepsie, Miranda and Charlotte spend scene after excruciating scene utterly flummoxed by the arrival of non-white people in their lives. Charlotte eager to “add” a woman of colour to her social life like it’s a missing piece in her china collection. Miranda, upgrading to human rights law, yet incapable of introducing herself to the program’s Black professor without collapsing into a quicksand of awkward semantics.
Ever the tedious scold, a silver-haired Miranda rebukes Charlotte for daring to maintain her brunette colour, accusing her of “trying to pass” as younger. Carrie’s blonde with its “obvious” grey streaks thankfully passes her moral muster. It’s scenes like this where you wish Samantha was at the table to tell Miranda exactly where to stick it. Especially as, by season’s end, Miranda will gleefully ditch her own grey for flaming red in a move that reflects the return of her libido.
Waiting in line for the lady’s room at a theatre, Miranda unaccountably feels the need to shout out her age and potential incontinence: “I’m 55 and I have to pee!” she informs a crowd of bewildered strangers, racing into the men’s room. Later, Miranda will greet Carrie by yelling at her from across the quad, “I see you! The only 55-year-old on the university steps!” Um thanks, lovely to see you too. Well, maybe not. A season two has been threatened.