Any devout Sex and the City fan has surely been asked (or *has* asked): which character are you?
And while it used to be considered ‘uncool’ to admit your likeliness to corporate lawyer and relationship realist Miranda Hobbes, as decades passed, we all saw a bit of Miranda in each of us. There’s even a book called We Should All Be Mirandas to support our change of hearts.
Yes, her ambition and assertive personality are traits to strive for, but the franchise’s latest instalment, And Just Like That…, saw us change our tune on present-day Miranda—and can you blame us? In the span of a few episodes, she fumbled with trying to be ‘woke’ and treated her own family as a burden. But there’s one theory on her metamorphosis that I can’t stop thinking about—has Miranda been Steve’s Mr. Big all along?
The thought comes courtesy of Sentimental Garbage podcast host Caroline O’Donoghue and episode co-host, Dolly Alderton. In their three-part dissection of the reboot, they mentioned the online rhetoric about Miranda having similar traits to Carrie’s on-again, off-again partner, John James “Big” Preston. And honestly, there’s some truth to it, so get ready to deep dive.
Big and Miranda prioritise their sexual satisfaction at the expense of their partners. Think about it—when he was unhappily married to Natasha, Big courted Carrie, telling her that he “wanted out”. Without communicating his unhappiness in his marriage with then-wife Natasha, he went straight to Carrie and they began an affair. And I hate to say it, Miranda basically did the same thing.
In And Just Like That…, Miranda told Carrie that she felt “trapped” in her marriage to Steve, but only after she’d been caught cheating. Yes, Miranda’s situation is different, but the lack of transparency remains the same.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with Miranda learning about and embracing her bisexuality, in fact, we’re thrilled that she has found herself and her happiness. But it just doesn’t seem right to have fallen in love and slept with Carrie’s boss, Che Diaz, while she was still married to Steve.
It took Che giving Miranda an ultimatum, to either ask Steve for a divorce or they’re over, for her to share how unhappy she had been for the last two decades, just like Big—except his admission involved Natasha discovering Carrie in her home and falling down the stairs.
During her affair with Che, Miranda showed barely any remorse for betraying her 20 year marriage and lying to her son, Brady. And when she realised she needed to divorce Steve and be with Che, she raced home almost excited to tell Steve that their life together isn’t enough for her.
I couldn’t help but spot the similarities to Big’s nonchalant attitude when telling Carrie that he was moving to Paris—that resulted in a McDonald’s Fillet-O-Fish being hurled at his head. He, too, coldly acted as if their relationship together was an individual experience.
Miranda has frequently acted dismissive of Steve and his feelings. Back in season three of Sex and the City, she ridiculed his hopes of winning a half-court basketball shot and then belittled him in front of her friends—who could forget that rainy night at Denial?
And in a similar fashion, Big did the same with Carrie. She would call him ‘Big’, and he would refer to her as ‘kid’—which created a hierarchy between them—and vocally told her that he didn’t feel the need to meet her friends when she asked.
When it came to commitment, both Miranda and Big seemed to fear it. For Miranda, it took Steve walking out on her in the rain for her to realise what she was losing. And for Big, he even couldn’t introduce Carrie to his own mother after almost a year of dating, but went and married Natasha in the blink of an eye. And who could forget, when he waited until their wedding day to tell Carrie that he wasn’t ready to be married, despite his two previous marriages and their 10 year relationship.
Then, there’s how Miranda held Steve at arm’s reach, she kept finding reasons to call it quits when all Steve did was try to make things work. In And Just Like That, when he was asked for a divorce, Steve called her out on how she’s treated him over the years. “You don’t think that I’m enough,” he said. “Then I’m kind of enough, and then I’m not enough again.”
But the second he was in a happy relationship with someone else, like Debbie, she wanted him back.
The same went for website designer, Skipper. In season one, she slept with him regularly but was ashamed to be with him. But when he was dating a beautiful magazine editor, she changed her mind and wanted him back. Naturally, the same went for Big. When Carrie was dating furniture designer Aidan Shaw, he only acted on his feelings once she was finally in a peaceful relationship.
Have Miranda and Big had similar (somewhat disagreeable) approaches to their longest-lasting relationships? Sure. Does this make Miranda a bad person? Well, no.
But maybe, Miranda and Steve should never have been together in the first place.