And Just Like That… episode three is a mixed bag of emotions. And I’m here for it.
Seema loses (and then finds) her $30,000 Birkin. Che is stretched to their limit with the pilot. Brady is in crisis — just like his mother, and Carrie struggles to record the audiobook detailing the shocking and tragic death of her husband.
Oh, and there’s a “MILF List”.
And Just Like That… let’s get into it.
The MILF List
Are MILFs making a comeback? First there was MILF Manor and now the MILF List? Not since Stifler’s mum has there been such a frenzy for the fetish! And, while I do think the premise of the MILF List is funny, can we agree there was a funnier plotline within reach? Just imagine if one (or both) of Charlotte and LTW were left off the list, forcing them on a desperate quest to restore their yummy mummy status. Where’s the drama, HBO?
Instead, the only place this plotline went was into dubious ethical territory of objectifying minors (yikes).
We Need To Talk About Miranda’s Tattoo
The Miranda mid-life crisis is gathering steam this ep! The latest stop on her journey? Why, the tattoo parlour, of course!
“I’m on the precipice of doing something either really stupid or totally liberating,” she tells Carrie over the phone, summarising her constantly confusing existence on this show. She then regales a poor tattoo artist with her life story (and you just know he’s not the first person today), and he pretends he’s not fed up hearing customers say: “I’m feeling the need to commemorate this moment in my life.”
This exchange also highlights New Miranda’s belief she is a comrade of today’s youth and – hilariously – they all seem amenable to this idea. (Last week, Miranda accosted some surfers with the opening line: “I lost my phone while trying to save the planet”… And nobody laughed in her face? Well, I never…)
At the conclusion of the episode [SPOILER], we eventually see what ink Miranda chose to “remember who I am right now”, and it’s… her initials.
I gotta say, props to Miranda. She’s a slow learner, but she is determined to live out her ‘20-and-confused era’ even if it takes her 50 years and costs her dignity. Bless.
Carrie Fakes COVID
While the latest intrusion of a real-life pandemic into our not-real TV show is handled better than it was last season, it still just really gets my goat. Why does modern TV insist on wading into our miserable reality?
I can’t help but compare it to how Sex And The City handled 9/11. In response to this tragic event of mass trauma, did Samantha mourn the death of a once-great lay? Did Charlotte struggle to stomach brunch because of a deadly debris cloud? Did Miranda attend an anti-invasion protest? No. Because Sex And The City — rightly — never incorporated it into the plot of the show. It responded with a poetic text tribute and removed the Twin Towers from the opening credits.
Mindy Kaling once joked that romantic comedies are a sub-genre of sci-fi. Not only do they require the audience to suspend disbelief to engage with the premise, but they also require “world-building” to make that happen. (Hell, Amy Heckerling basically created her own language for Clueless.) While I know writers are intimidated by an internet that loves to deconstruct every whim with a barrage of ‘hot takes’, there are still shows that successfully manage to comment on miserable world events without inviting that chaos into the fantasy. We’ll keep that hazard on our side of the fourth wall, thanks.
Bitsy Von Muffling: The Unexpected Oracle
After Carrie has a breakdown in the audiobook recording studio (which was incredibly sad and maybe I cried), she bumps into one Bitsy Von Muffling. For those who don’t remember, Bitsy is a character from Sex And The City who returned for two eps of And Just Like That season one. As we know from those appearances, Bitsy lost her husband Bobby Fine (Nathan Lane) to COVID.
In this scene, Bitsy provides a rather unexpected shoulder for Carrie to ‘cry on’ and it’s actually, quite beautiful. Having a character known for their high-octane exuberance get real about death and loss was perfect. She lets Carrie in on the secret that the second year after a big loss is the hardest, and for the first time I’m realising Carrie is no longer Candace Bushnell, but Joan Didion in her Year Of Magical Thinking era.
“I’ll pass along a saying I heard in my Kabbalah class,” Bitsy tells Carrie. “‘The hole never fills but new life will grow around it.’ Your job is to plant some seeds.”
Perhaps Miranda should have got that as her tattoo?