When news started filtering through that they were making a new Sex and the City series, Amanda was unimpressed. This from a woman who has always identified as Carrie — the shoes, the wardrobe, who’s surprised? — but who has also tried to channel Samantha, though not always successfully.
“I just don’t have the energy,” she sighed recently, after coming home early from a date with a guy who had the face of a young Leslie Cheung and the body of Brad Pitt, circa Thelma & Louise. “All I could think of during dinner was how much I’d rather be soaking in a bubble bath, reading a book.”
From the depths of the sofa, her legs sprawled rather un-Charlotte-like on the coffee table, Saffy grunted in response. “I haven’t moved since you left earlier this evening for your date.”
After that, Amanda decided it was time to call it a day on her youthful obsession with Sex and the City. It took too much time and effort to keep up the dream of meeting her very own Mr Big, lunching by day and wanton dating by night.
And when she found out that there would be no Samantha in And Just Like That…, her reaction was an elaborate eye-roll. “What would be the point?” she asked no one in particular.
But, of course, when the first episode landed on HBO Go, not only had she subscribed to the streaming service, but she’d also cleared her diary for the evening, ordered take-out and put her phone on silent. Not one to be left out of anything, Saffy did the same. And, in the spirit of investigative journalism, so did I.
“I guess without Samantha in it, they had to change the title of the show,” Saffy said, carefully lifting a slice of pizza out of the box.
“This had better be worth my while,” Amanda threatened. “Just from the trailers, I’m already seeing a lot of Botox and face-fillers, and that’s not filling me with confidence.”
Saffy waved her hands. “Shush…! It’s starting!”
We sat in silence, not moving much, other than to lift pizza to the mouth and chew. It was like the good old days when we would sit at home at watch bootleg DVDs of unedited versions of Sex and the City, because the local sensors had cut out all of Samantha’s raunchy scenes.
Twenty minutes in, Saffy shifted and turned to me. “Well, this is really boring,” she announced in penetrating tones.
I looked up from my phone where I was playing Candy Crush. “I lost interest 10 minutes ago,” I told her.
“London?! That’s how they got rid of Samantha?” Amanda said. “What the hell…?”
And that’s pretty much how the next 40 minutes passed.
“Brady’s half-filled condom? Uhm, gross.”
“Did someone in HR write this script? It’s like they threw in the whole sexual and racial discrimination handbook into this!”
“Of course, Lily is a brilliant concert pianist. Racist stereotype, much?”
“Carrie needs to eat more. She looks like a skeleton!”
“I love that wardrobe, though.”
“They made a whole series?” Saffy said as we watched Mr Big cycle on his Peloton. “How is this even interesting?”
Three minutes later, we found out. Big died.
“Oh.” Saffy said quietly, as the credits started to roll.
“Okay,” I said. “I did not see that one coming.”
Amanda started sniffling, tears streaming down her face. “I’m so angry!”
Saffy’s eyes swivelled from Amanda toward me.
“They made us sit through 40 minutes of the most boring TV ever written and then they hit us with Big’s death?” Amanda wailed.
“Oh, that’s right,” Saffy sighed. “You’ve always had this thing for him, didn’t you?”
Amanda sucked in her breath. “How could they? They wasted all that time with those stupid classroom and subway scenes, and don’t get me started with that dumb ass podcast subplot, and then they kill Big off in the shower in two minutes? That was awful!”
Saffy thinks the shower scene ranks way up there with the one in Psycho. “Utterly terrifying!” she told Sharyn the next day. “Imagine dying on the shower floor. At least, he was looking at Carrie when he died. If it was me, it would be just my luck that the last thing I see is the dirty grouting in the shower tiles!”
“Ay, at least he not naked!” Sharyn said, demonstrating once again, her uncanny ability to find the silver lining in every situation. “Imagine when ambulance man come and you all naked! So pai-seh!”
Later, I asked Amanda if she was going to be watching episode 2. “Of course, I am! I need to see what Carrie wears to the funeral!”
And just like that, like a long-forgotten melody from a distant youth, Carrie and her friends, Charlotte and Miranda found their way back into Amanda’s life.
And Just Like That... is now streaming on HBO Go, with new eps dropping every Thursday.
Photo: HBO Go