With one scene And Just Like That quietly abandoned the franchise's best storyline.

From the many hours of Sex and the City I have consumed over the years, one line has always stuck in my mind tighter than Carrie's hand on the designer shoe that Aidan's dog destroyed. 

"I have a real life too."

Spoken by Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw in the season six episode A Women's Right To Shoes, it encapsulates a specific moment in time when the show's leading lady confidently and calmly defended her own single, child-free life to a married friend who believed houses and children were the only defining factors when it comes to a life well lived.

There are certainly more famous lines from the franchise that have wormed their way into the fan lexicon over the years (both 'Abso-f*cking-lutely' and 'he broke up with me on a Post-It' come to mind) but for me, this particular moment was the perfect example of how Sex and the City was always at it best during its quietest moments. 

For a show billed as a dramedy, Sex and the City always had an air of fantasy about it. But in place of dragons and unicorns was Carrie's ability to afford a Manhattan apartment and a sea of designer shoes all from penning one short column a week.

Yet to true fans, this little slice of make-believe never really mattered.

All because, along with the fashion, friendships, and sexual escapades the series delved into, the biggest strength of Sex and the City was how, in many episodes, it captured the true essence of what a single woman's life can look like.


A life that could be filled with love, not just loneliness, and examined in a complex way where single life was never billed as either the worst state of being or something that should be aspired to. It was simply another version of a full life.

Over the decades that Sex and the City has existed, there have been plenty of (often valid) criticisms about the series and the two movies that followed it.  

Yet for every moment that Samantha screamed at strangers in the street while throwing condoms in the air (here's looking at you Sex and the City 2) there were quieter moments that examined single life, and even perfectly celebrated it.

Carrie gently standing up at Miranda's mother's funeral, so her friend wouldn't have to walk behind the coffin alone. 

The pride Miranda felt when buying her own apartment, even though she was initially shamed for it. 

Carrie's magical solo nights out in New York City and her refusal to feel embarrassed over being alone on 'date night'.

Samantha's very existence on the show.  

And of course, the scene in A Women's Right To Shoes where Carrie tallies up exactly how much she has spent celebrating her friend's life choices over the years. But instead of complaining about the money she's had to shell out for weddings and babies and the parties that come with them, she simply wants to be seen as an equal.


When the continuation of Sex and the City, And Just Like Thatwas announced, I never expected it to walk the same path as the original series. 

But with many of the main characters now leading different versions of single life, the bar was set high for how they would tackle these storylines in a different life stage and for a modern audience.

Yet it pains me to say, as someone who has fallen in love with this continued Sex and the City universe, that so far the nuanced conversation around single life that fared so well for the series the first time around has been a disappointment.

Sarah Jessica Parker in the episode A Women's Right To Shoes. Image: Binge


On the surface, this could be because the character's conversations have fallen into a predictable pattern of framing single life as something to be avoided at all costs. 

Think Carrie telling her friends that she's ready to start dating, less than a year after her husband's unexpected death (no judgment, just clarification of the timeline) and Charlotte throwing her hands up in the air squealing 'finally' while Miranda beams at her and Seema whips out her phone to show that's she's already signed her up for dating sites.

But if you look deeper, the answer to where this show has lost its way with this conversation can be found in season two's seventh episode, called February 14th.

In this episode, there is a moment where Carrie and Seema (Sarita Choudhury) discover they've been booked in for a couple's massage, due to the spa's Valentine's Day rules, which causes Seema to blow up at the woman behind the counter. Who I'm sure does not get paid enough to deal with outbursts like this.

Carrie begs Seema to calm down and, after Seema threatens a Yelp takedown of the spa, the two women leave and we're quickly swept along to the next storyline.


This scene was clearly meant to highlight the inequality single people can face in a world that is built for couples, leaning into the franchise's biggest strength, and yet it's the one scene from this season that truly didn't land.

All because it lacked the nuance and depth that happens in storytelling when a whisper is replaced by a shout.

This was made even more evident in the following episode A Hundred Years Ago, where Seema and Carrie stand together in the rain, and have the difficult conversation that always takes place when two single friends form a unit. 

Only then for one of them to be swept away in a relationship.

It was a small moment, lost in the bigger storylines weaved into the episode, but one that proved how important these scenes can be when executed in the right way.

It's fair to say that And Just Like That might never deliver an episode as perfectly crafted around single life as A Women's Right To Shoes was, but as we follow these characters' lives, it's a storyline that's just as important today as it was 18 years ago. 

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Feature image: Max/Mamamia.

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