Samantha Jones talking on her cell phone and smiling, next to Carrie's breakup post-it.

A Disgruntled ‘Sex and the City’ Fan’s Rewrite of ‘And Just Like That’

It’s become clear to me that And Just Like That was less of a well-realized sequel to the beloved show Sex and the City and more of a strange, fanfiction-y attempt at narrative wish fulfillment. Now, I’m not the best fiction writer, but this show has me realizing that it doesn’t take a master to create something out of nothing.

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So, here we are, at the end of the second season, with a third on the way. I’ve been continually baffled by the narrative choices they’ve made in this show, and now that we’ve gotten a momentary reprieve, it’s my turn to be a little silly.

This is how I would have written the veritable haze-dream that has become And Just Like That.

It was all a dream … (an absurd one)

AJLT tried to pretend the real city of New York didn’t exist within the lives of the bourgeoisie, but we’re not gonna let Carrie off that easy. We start the show with Carrie being roused from a very, very intense dream (that just so happens to be exactly the real-world version of And Just Like That) thanks to a traffic jam below her apartment. She blinks confusedly, because this dream seemed entirely real, but no, none of that actually happened.

Almost none of it. To deal with the Chris Noth situation, we’re gonna just say that he’s still dead, because at his age I doubt Big would want to leave a woman who’s willing to do his dry cleaning for him. Therefore, in order to figure out what the hell just happened, Carrie has to talk it through using her laptop and actually write—yeah, remember when she used to do that?

Her ridiculous dream helped her make sense of some of the unexpected events in her recent life, including Samantha icing her out and Miranda’s coming out. In her dream, she played it off like Samantha cut her off because of money, and Miranda was messier than her, because our Carrie cannot be without flaws, right?

In reality, Samantha eventually grew tired of the little ways the gang would mock her, so when life presented an out via a job opportunity in London, she took it. In typical Samantha fashion, she gracefully exited one chapter of her life in pursuit of a new one—and of course, she thrived, only every once in a while entertaining Carrie’s late-night drunk calls.

Meanwhile, Miranda, after knowing the hurt of being cheated on, would never do Steve dirty like that. I actually grew to like Che, and I still think the podcasting side-opp makes sense within Carrie’s career, so Che still exists here. And Che does help Miranda realize that she might be queer, but god, she doesn’t blow up the life she’s built with Steve out of nowhere because of it. Marriages can get stale and repetitive, so I can definitely see some tension rising out of that, but in this world, Miranda is still Miranda, not who Cynthia Nixon thinks she should be. She’s a stubborn lady with principles.

Principles that not only wouldn’t drive her to blow up her life, but also wouldn’t allow her son to have wild, loud sex in her house. More to the point, I’d like to think Carrie would only dream up Miranda’s bumbling class performance in order to assuage her own social misgivings. Miranda was never this clueless, good god:

As for how Miranda would navigate her queerness, I’d like to think that, instead, she and Nya do end up fostering a pretty genial relationship naturally (not as a result of guilting one another, blech), and through Nya, Miranda ends up meeting some truly intelligent people. From there, she gets a queer re-education and starts reconsidering her relationship with Steve in a truly Miranda way: analytically.

As for Nya herself, my GOD, season 2 did her dirty. Nya Wallace was the coolest character in the show, and they knew that, so they had to snipe her real quick to give everyone else a chance. No way, not in my show. Nya Wallace would wipe the floor with these people. She wouldn’t even be part of their main friend group. She’d be Miranda’s friend, separately, and a well-educated, interesting woman like her would NEVER be so desperate for male attention. If she gets a divorce? Whatever, water under the bridge. A woman like her would have more to do than just pine for men and cheekily drink wine in her apartment! She’d be out, going to cool events, attending soirees, protesting, being involved in academic affairs!

And now, we get to Charlotte. Oh, Charlotte. Deep down, Carrie likely carried some resentment towards Charlotte, stemming from the “give me your ring money” incident of yore, and carrying onward into Char and Harry’s healthy marriage. To justify her resentment, Carrie’s dream made her drum up Char’s weird fascination with teenagers, and made her out to be a mother that overly mollycoddles—and to complete brats, no less!

Nah, Charlotte’s too high-strung to let any of that happen. While I’m on board with the prude-to-“cumslut” pipeline, I see Charlotte as getting fed up with her “24/7 mommy” life way before she meets that gallery manager at Lisa Todd Wexley’s party. She absolutely would spoil her babies rotten, yet would never, in a million years, be such a pushover about it. In fact, I think it’s much more realistic that, within the very first season, Charlotte would become so overwhelmed and stressed with her life that she’d pull a Tiffany from Insecure and run off to a hotel for a night without telling anyone. From then on, her arc would be less about her annoying kids, and more about reclaiming her life. “Moms who can do it all” don’t exist; they’re a lie fed to us by the patriarchal capitalist hellscape we live in, and Charlotte deserves more than a lie!

On that note, Lisa Todd Wexley: A woman like her simply wouldn’t exist. Her character only serves to represent a hundred different ideals that, when put together, create a character who isn’t a real character. She’s just emblematic of an ideal of a woman. While we’re still running with the “dream” angle, her characterization was Carrie’s attempt to work through her own white guilt. Let LTW have a break from her husband sometimes, please. Let LTW have flaws and insecurities, please. Let her and Charlotte do things together that don’t involve kids, please. Let her be a real person.

Seema was fine. I dunno, Seema was Seema. No notes here. Similarly, Anthony would continue to live his best life and would never allow himself to be treated the way he did in these seasons. Carrie needs a token gay friend/punching bag so badly? She can take it to the bank; Anthony isn’t the one.

Which brings us back to Carrie. Miss Carrie Bradshaw, what would she be up to? I’m not a Carrie hater, to be clear. I actually think her character is very real and fun to watch. Therein lies my problem here: AJLT’s Carrie is too untouchable. This whole “dream” thing I’ve concocted comes out of my constant frustration with how squeaky-clean they made this woman, who is practically the definition of the word “messy.” Carrie is too cool, too above-it-all in this new show, and it’s cringey at best, especially when you factor in how she ends her Samantha phone call in the season finale by picking up her new cat and saying, “Ohh, no more drama.”

GIRL, YOU ARE THE DRAMA??? HOW DARE YOU??? Nuh-uh, that woman thrives on chaos and emotional distress, and even age couldn’t temper that within her. Carrie would continue to be The Drama, and that’s FINE. That’s just who she is. She’d just get better at handling it. But don’t you dare turn around and tell me that, all along, it was everyone else who was The Drama all along. Little miss screams-at-a-mouse, be for real.

And so with this, we’ll of course have to end with Aidan. No, Aidan would not get back with Carrie, and no, they were not meant to be after all this time. If anything, that whole plotline was just Carrie doing what we all do when we’re single: ruminate on the past and wonder “what if” because that’s unfortunately how brains work.

Honestly, since this is my fanfiction here, I’m also just gonna erase the second SATC movie and pretend it never happened, because none of it made sense whatsoever. That was the start of Carrie’s weird, hostile daydreams. All of this to say, if Aidan ever got that awkward little “hehe I’m quirky and thinking of you” email from Carrie, he’d just uncomfortably move it to his spam folder and move along with his farm.

Berger, meanwhile, would definitely be open to such an arrangement. In this world, Berger is endgame—not because I like him, but because it makes sense, and at the end of the day, Carrie is, was, and forever will be The Drama.

(featured image: Max)


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Author
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).