And Just Like That . . . Miranda Hobbs (as We Once Knew Her) Is Back
If episode three felt like a return to form for the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That . . ., episode four felt like, well, not that. I’m going to keep this recap short and sweet because it’s Christmas, dolls, and I refuse to fill my brain with the negativity that was the back-to-back clangers in this ep. Instead, I’d like to keep living in the world of episode three, where there was still some definite clunk, but with a heavy dose of warm-and-fuzzies. It felt like in amongst the shitty parts of the episode, we got our show back. And now? Sigh. Let’s do it.
The beginning of episode four starts with a huge misdirection. After the, overall, quite lovely moments in episode three (you can read my thoughts on the good and bad of that episode here), we wake with Carrie in her famous West Village apartment, and it feels like we’re easing back into the routines of the original series.
In reality, this episode really goes to the shitter quite quickly and focuses on the entirely unrelatable and cringe-worthy world of Charlotte — but the set dressing in Carrie’s apartment is beautiful. A mix between her old style (shoes in the kitchen! Sad old coffee machine!) and new (turquoise walls! Shelves filled with vinyl!), this apartment is now my dream apartment. And the return of the iconic purple sequin Fendi baguette bag? Now and forever before, the bag of my dreams.
Unfortunately, much of our time is monopolised by Charlotte, who has all of her least-flattering, waspy personality traits on display. As she plans a last-minute dinner party for her new friend, Lisa, she tokenises every woman of colour in her teeny, tiny orbit to make her party appear less “vanilla”. Next, she attends a party at Lisa’s house where she and Harry are the only white people, and at the end, they both chuckle about how embarrassing the whole thing is, that they’re one another’s only Black/white friend.
Needless to say, it’s not the one.
While Charlotte is prepping Harry for the dinner party at Lisa’s house, she teaches him talking points like dropping Zadie Smith (the best-selling English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer) into a conversation to seem like he knows things.
Perhaps they’ll address this more thoroughly throughout the series — something, I’ll note, I’ve hoped for a lot in these first four episodes. This entire scenario could have been a very genuine opportunity for the Sex and the City writers to have a proper, informed conversation about racism.
Instead, it conflates Charlotte only having one Black friend (and not even noticing, even though she’s lived in New York City for decades) with Lisa only having one white friend, and promotes doing superficial reading on Black culture to pass as doing the work. As POPSUGAR US editor, Naledi Ushe wrote about the episode, it only serves to centre Charlotte “as a white woman in a conversation about diversity”. It’s a shame and I hope to eat my words in future episodes where they handle this with more care. Alas, here we are.
And amongst it all, Harry is just becoming a sadder and more watered-down version of himself. In the original series, he was the same sweaty, foot-in-mouth, laidback guy he is now, except he was also clever and charismatic. Now, as it was said so articulately in my group chat, “He just doesn’t have the same pizzazz, it’s like all his lines are delivered a half-second too late or something”.
On the flip side, Miranda finally gets the storyline she deserves. The tone for her in this episode is set the moment she wakes up to Brady telling her she stinks of weed and continues when she makes friends with her professor, Nya, after saving her from the terrifying Chucky doll in the last episode. It’s a relief to finally see Miranda step into a story that makes sense for her — she’s not perfect, but she feels more real.
Speaking on parenting, she’s warm and honest, and as someone who recently turned 30 and does not see kids on the immediate horizon, I always appreciate women being honest about having kids. Nya says to her, “so, you can’t have it all?” and Miranda answers, “no, you can, it’s just really fucking hard”. And that, my friend, is Miranda Hobbs.
Of course, we must talk about Carrie’s experience in this episode, which sees her move back into her famous apartment, take a shot at Peloton again, start smoking again (which, for unknown reasons, felt like a balm for my soul), and befriend her realtor, Seema Patel (played by Sarita Choudhury), who’s helping sell her second apartment. Of course, there are a couple of clangers along the way, and I love the way Seema so thoughtfully pulls Carrie up on being insensitive about her being single in her 50s. The speculation also continues about whether Carrie will hook up with the hot podcast producer at some point.
But in one of the more strange and abrupt scenes from the episode, we find out that Stanford has gone to Tokyo for work and asked Anthony for a divorce on his way out the door. Carrie says “aww” and the scene ends, just like that. Let’s hope this isn’t Willie Garson’s entire send-off.
That’s it for episode four of And Just Like That . . ., which you can stream on BINGE, right now. For my thoughts on episode three, head here.