This article was published on September 7th, 2022
Those that doth protest too much must first remember how repressed we were in 1998 when SATC first debuted. How limited we were in our options. And how women being told to ‘f*ck like a man’ was really pushing boundaries.
Fast forward to 2022, and?
Uncoupled debuts and now we understand why people always considered Sex And The City really about gay men but transposed onto women. Both from the brainchild of Darren Star (who also brought us Melrose Place and Amanda Woodward in case you suffer from short term memory loss), he knew then what we only are admitting to ourselves now: that he never could have gone as far as he did with four straight white women as he did with gay men. The landscape for television (and let’s include streamers here too as well) has considerably diverged since the late 90s, early aughts, and although Carrie may have been fashion-forward and progressive back in the day, what her return has shown is how limited the show was and Carrie’s character arc.
Carrie looks more vapid now than she ever did, but with more injectable fillers and commas in her bank account.
Thanks, of course, to Big dying on that Peloton.
Now, Carrie can truly live her best single white female life with unlimited resources!
(Oops, spoiler alert!)
Don’t sue me!
Unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I am a real broke writer!
And since I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, let me verbally SLAP some sense into the detractors.
First of all?
Sex and the City was for white people and white people only.
Just like Friends was (which ran concurrently at the same time, I might add), Sex and the City followed white women traversing across New York City – arguably the most multicultural, multi-racial city in the whole, entire world – yet these four privileged white women had no Black friends, no Latinx friends. Hell, they didn’t even have POC cleaning their homes. You couldn’t get much whiter.
Hell, even Magda was white!
Miranda must have had more money to burn than she let on!
But let’s start with the central character, the couture obsessed but perpetually allegedly, cash-strapped Carrie.
Oh, vapid, poor little rich – but poor – but rich Carrie.
Carrie was a W-R-I-T-E-R, people, and the writers and producers of the show never let us forget it. Her job was to chronicle the sex lives of New Yorkers and find out what made them tick by ticking off boxes in her own personal life. This was the premise, but?
It’s not giving!
Viewers had to suspend all measure of belief and common sense to see it as perfectly normal that a single, unwed, un-trust funded, un-SugarDaddied woman was living in Manhattan by her whole, entire SELF on a writer’s salary?
Not in the Bronx on a budget?
Not in Queens under a bridge?
Not in New Jersey in an attic?
As a former New Yorker, I know some things and this was improbably, unlikely, and quite frankly, a big pile of L-I-E-S!
In the real world (and even in the 90s when it was raining money), Carrie would have been living on Long Island in a basement wearing fake Manolo Blahniks that ‘fell’ off the truck every Thursday at 8am.
But again, I digress.
We were ALSO supposed to believe that Carrie, in all her broke girl-womanness, had three friends that hadjobs that P-A-I-D, and that they would actually have the time of day for her?
Miranda was a lawyer in a firm (who also had WAY too much free time on her hands for a professional claiming to aspire to partner, but again, suspend belief), Charlotte was a gallerist (ie, WASP-y enough to get an art history degree because of her family’s contacts and connections), and then there was the true gay man among them all, Samantha, the PR powerhouse that was the real tried and true baller of the group.
Samantha was never there for the foolishness and f*ckery.
Samantha always had an agenda.
Samantha always had the men, the money, and the moxie the rest of them secretly coveted.
Uncoupled’s Michael is Samantha, re-gendered!
Samantha is Michael is Samantha is Michael.
Samantha made Sex and the City P-O-P and everyone knows it. Even Sarah Jessica Parker knows it, which is why she, as a producer on the show decided that Samantha is not dead in the sequel. Even off-screen, Samantha has more presence than the other three combined. Kim Cattrall, for her part, knew when to let go, moving on to not necessarily bigger things, but OTHER things – something Sarah Jessica Parker should have done a long time ago. But she keeps beating that damn horse like it’s the last place contender at the Kentucky Derby.
But, I digress.
The current setup is that Samantha has blew the other ladies off and is off to the next adventure because she is not one to repeat herself! She dropped those bitches like yesterday’s news and relocated to London, where parties are in abundance, and she can be free to roam the streets with wild abandon and not hide her love for multiculturalism!
In the reboot, Carrie, and her decidedly #Karen-esque friends have suddenly had a-ha moments in the ten years since we last saw them and so now?
They are ALL about inclusivity.
They are ALL about POC.
The trio are now all hashtags, all the damn time!
How nice of the girls to finally get woke, but it seems more forced than Carrie’s foot in a Jimmy Choo one size too small. Not only does it not fit, but it also doesn’t ring true. If you’re going to make these ladies in New York be white-white, then do so unapologetically. The world in 2022 is not here for performative stances that leave everyone in the room looking the other way.
We see you NOT seeing us, honey!
Like Samantha said.
And who can blame Samantha for leaving these dusty broads in the rearview mirror? Because try as they might (and chile, do they try!), Miranda has – at damn near 60 – realized that she might just be a little bit racist, Carrie is more prudish now in her 50s than she ever was as a 30-something, and in wonders that never cease Charlotte has possibly become the most interesting one?
How things change!
And even Carrie’s p*ssy podcast can’t save the day, or morning, and certainly not the night!
Justify my Spotify!
Darren Star Is/Was The Star
There has always been speculation that Darren Star was the true talent behind SATC’s success and Uncoupled drives the point home to those that have been paying attention over the years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and so Star brings in the stand-ins – this time with penises.
Neil Patrick Harris’ Michael loves romance just as much as Carrie, but unlike Carrie, he has a Black partner-in-crime (a mesmerizing Tisha Campbell as Suzanne) ready to serve him with some realness to keep him level-headed and on his hustle because they have BILLS to pay! Then there’s Billy, his Black gay friend who is definitely the Samantha of the group. There’s Stanley, bringing the acerbic wit and verbal vitriol a la Miranda. And for good measure, there’s even Marcia Gay Harden thrown into the mix as a true woman of wealth, Claire. And any show featuring Marcia Gay Harden is already a winner. It’s in the handbook.
Check it, hunty!!
And unlike Sex and the City, ALL the characters on Uncoupled get it in!
And in, and in, and in!
For all her talking and writing about sex, it must be noted that Carrie’s actual sex life was tepid, un-tawdry, and boring. It was all missionary position and mundane. Chalk that up to SJP’s no nudity clause or whatever, but at the end of the day, the hottest sex scenes were applied to Samantha simply because Sarah Jessica Parker was too prudish to show her ass on screen, a huge side-eye to a show with SEX in the title.
You see us NOT seeing you, Sarah!?
Now that the girls are back with And Just Like That, one would think they would be more sexually liberated. And to be fair, they are – in some ways – but again it feels forced and pandering to a new audience of viewers that are not as attached to the old series and are not waxing nostalgic. Now, Carrie and her female minions have more queer friends than even queer people. Everyone in their circle is either queer or open to it.
It’s not giving!
Draw Your Own Conclusion
Since Uncoupled is new to streaming on Netflix and many have yet to see it, I won’t divulge everything that transpires yet, but for those that have seen it, sound off in the comments on what the new show brings to the table that SATC and AJLT never even dared to serve.