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“And Just Like That” Recals the Carrie-vs Natasha Argue From “Sex and the City”

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Warning: This post contains spoilers regarding the first three episodes on And Just Like That.

The core issue of Sex and the City has terrorized me from the beginning and has infected the arteries and veins of the greater SATC universe. This includes two sequels and a new series. Big and Carrie weren’t soulmates. They shouldn’t have been together.

This plot point has been a favorite of loyal viewers for decades. They have become so enthralled with the show that they will watch it over and over again, adopting Carrie’s puns for their Bible verses. The show has not been damaged by it. One of the most relatable aspects of the franchise is people making bad decisions in relationships and passing them off to others as fairy tales. At a brunch with friends, I come across four such examples.

The HBO Max sequel series And Just Like That is based on the myth of Carrie and Big’s starcrossed romance. It also brings up baggage about their relationship. This week’s episode takes place just a few weeks following Big’s funeral. Bridget Moynahan’s Natasha Naginsky returns to the show. Carrie is insecure about whether Big and she were really that happy and good together. (They weren’t!)

Natasha is a fascinating character in the SATC mythology. The entire series’ storyline with her has been one of my favorite. I could write a dissertation about her entire story and have often wondered if I would want to live in a society that does not offer a Ph.D. on Sex and the City subplots.

It was a great show. I loved the way it challenged viewers about Carrie and how we are willing to tolerate or excuse her behavior. It exposed Carrie’s narcissisms, delusion and destructiveness. Not only did it test how Sarah Jessica Parker-branded charisma can counteract that, but it also revealed that we are perfectly fine judging someone’s behavior and still holding them close (on TV and in real life).

It challenged our notions about who is a villain when faced with such situations. Although we are taught to hate Natasha and Carrie, our actions can be seen as sinister.

It was also nice that this storyline didn’t require you to believe in Big and Carrie’s mythical love. The betrayal and chaos that followed were not governed by the argument of who should get it. It was all very humane and real. This storyline reflected the unpredictability of what you want in your life and in relationships and the inevitable fact that you will end up stealing the lives of the people you love.

It set up the Natasha vs. Carrie debate in a very TV-like manner. And Just Like That brought back that conversation in a way I liked. It was from the point of view of women who can heal for decades, but who cannot get rid of their scars.

All this was triggered by the revelation that Big had left Natasha $1,000,000 in his will. Everyone reacts with a rousing, “What the real fuck?”

Carrie, obviously, spirals. She says, “I’m mad at Big.” “I almost forgot how it felt all those years ago. I was so anxious, insecure, and desperate. As if what we had was not enough. It felt like I was not enough. It’s so disappointing that, after all these good years, I am left with this. He destroyed our happy/sad ending.”

Charlotte tells Carrie that she and Big were the happiest and most happy couple she ever knew. There was nothing to worry. Let’s forget about the Susan Sharon appearance in last week’s episode. She called Big a “prick”, making Carrie’s funeral miserable. The only person who can tell the truth is Susan Sharon. However, this is not comforting.

Carrie’s classic hijinks are hilarious as she enters stalker mode, and everyone becomes very petty about it all. The scene ends with a beautiful scene between Carrie & Natasha where they finally come together after years of bitterness and spite. Natasha says, “I will never understand why he married me when he was always in a relationship with you.” Carrie finally has the courage to say “I’m sorry as much, oh God for everything”, while Natasha offers her forgiveness: “I appreciate that.” But it’s okay. It’s all over.

This is the ultimate fantasy leap that this show has made. It’s rare that anyone ever gets closure for something this difficult and so painful. It’s not clear that Carrie earned it, and Natasha wouldn’t be so kind. It was nice to see, and it was also a good point. Finally, I got my wish. An entire episode of Sex and the City was made in which we all came to terms that Carrie and Big’s relationship wasn’t the gold ring we thought Carrie should reach for or be grateful for.

Another, less pleasant twist is that Noth was accused of sexual assault in horrific incidents. He has denied these allegations. This could have an impact on how viewers feel about Big and Carrie. One of Laura Bradley’s colleagues, who will not be identified, said, “Well, I know one writers room that’s feeling pretty happy about their choices,” given that Big was killed off the show. (Peloton is still humiliated.)

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