MIA FREEDMAN: 'Was Carrie always a monster or did we just not notice?'

Each week for the past few months, my friend Bec and I have an argument over text about someone who doesn't exist. Carrie Bradshaw may be a TV character but for a generation of women who feel like we've known her for decades, she inspires strong feelings. 

The argument we have most weeks is broadly that Bec wants Carrie to be happy and end up with Aidan and I think Aidan is incredibly dull and also that Carrie is annoying. I've felt this way through all of the second season of And Just Like That. In this week's episode (The Last Supper, part 1), Carrie's appalling behaviour reached a new low and even Bec has joined in my despair.

Carrie has always been a main character. Not just the actual main character in Sex And The City and its sequel, And Just Like That, but in her energy. Carrie Bradshaw is the definition of Main Character Energy. New York, her friends, men... they all orbit around her like the sun and she is always startled when there is any kind of disruption within her solar system.

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Money? Big's wife? The emotional needs of literally anyone other than her? Annoying. And yet we've come to accept her for her unrelenting self-focus, mostly because she's always been framed as the protagonist of this story and we love hanging out in her world. Until episode 10.


In episode 10, she went too far.

It began in the comedy club where she went with Aiden and Miranda to watch Che's return to standup. Che knew she was coming but Miranda snuck in unannounced, sitting with her friends up the back, out of sight.

The set was brutal. Cruel and eviscerating of Miranda as a partner, a lover, a person. Miranda's face was aghast. Carrie and Aiden looked down into their laps, rightly mortified for their friend. However, when Miranda finally got up to leave, burning with humiliation because she couldn't take anymore, Carrie did not go with her.

Just consider that for a second.

Your best friend is casually destroyed by her ex-lover in a room full of people laughing mercilessly at her expense and you sit there silently. You don't get up and follow her. You don't comfort her or check on her, even after the set is finished.

It gets better. The following day, when Miranda calls Carrie to beg off coming to her ridiculous 'last supper' (to farewell the apartment she's already moved out of three times) because Che will be there, Carrie does not even ask if she's ok.

Nor does she offer to tell Che not to come, which would seem to me the lowest possible friendship bar to clear.

Instead, Carrie chides her friend for being selfish. "This isn't high school, Miranda."

No, it's not. These are women in their 50s who have decades of history as best friends and Che has deeply hurt one of them. What's worse is that Miranda rolls over and agrees to come.

The Internet is not happy. Even Carrie's staunchest defenders are struggling with this one. How can she be so oblivious to the pain of someone she loves? Has she always been such a sh***y friend? There's something about this scene and the way she behaved that has startled fans of the show because it feels so out of character. Have we been deluded this whole time? Is Carrie Bradshaw... an awful person?


According to a viral Reddit post called, there are countless examples of Carrie behaving badly. Here are some examples:

1. When Miranda hurts her neck and needs Carrie to come help her, tells her SHE'S coming, but sends Aidan. Without warning Miranda that it's her boyfriend coming instead. So Miranda gets humiliated as Aidan sees her naked on the floor. When Carrie later goes to visit Miranda to allegedly check on her, Miranda's upset and Carrie gives her about two seconds to talk before revealing the real reason of her visit: to vent about Aidan. Miranda calls her on it and Carrie does the fake surprise and apology, then goes right back to it.

2. When Aidan has expressed how Carrie talking to Big makes him feel, and she then hides in the closet to take a call from him so Aidan can't hear. Not because it makes Aidan uncomfortable, but because it makes her uncomfortable. Which she admits. Then she proceeds to invite THE MAN SHE CHEATED WITH to her boyfriend's cabin. Without asking him. Without thinking how the hell that's going to make him feel. I would have been out of the relationship right then.

3. She implies Samantha is a "desperate woman who will believe anything" after she announces she's getting back with Richard. This [is] from the woman who at this point in the show has been on and off with Big for years. She is very cavalier about being asked to be Brady's godmother. Charlotte has a strong reaction to the news and Carrie responds with "Why are you so...". This is at the seminar for single women after Carrie had been making snarky comments since they walked in.


4. Charlotte turns 36 and they take a trip to Atlantic City. My goodness she was on a roll this episode. Here's a brief summary: Charlotte walks down from her room in a provocative dress, and Carrie calls her "Ms. Atlantic Slutty" in the voiceover and "harlot" to her face. She nags Miranda about gambling, but has no problem blowing on a random guy's dice for good luck after he calls her "the hot one", implying Charlotte is not. Two men approach her and Charlotte and offer drinks. Charlotte is excited about it but Carrie wants it to be just her and Charlotte, so she acts obnoxiously until they lose interest and walk away. In the next scene the two of them are on tram on the boardwalk. Charlotte tells Carrie she's upset about what she did and Carrie totally invalidates her saying, "I can't believe you're still upset about that." She then ditches her to go get taffy. This was on Charlotte's birthday.

5. When Carrie walks in on Samantha and the delivery guy. Later at lunch she alludes to it in front of the girls and then plays innocent when they make judgmental comments. The entire episode is her being judgmental about Samantha but pretending not to be.

6. Carrie's book launch party. She presses Samantha to go even after she tells Carrie she had a procedure done and doesn't look great. She then ridicules Samantha in front of guests and is gleeful when Samantha says she's going home. 

7. Carrie and Samantha go to San Francisco. Carrie makes Samantha get out of the bath in the hotel room they're sharing so she can have sex with Big. As if they couldn't afford to get a separate room.

8. When she followed Natasha and popped up at her luncheon to apologise for the affair with Big post her already chipping her tooth after chasing her down walking in on her in her home, expecting Natasha to hear her out on her terms. Carrie is always the victim.


Listen to Mamamia Out Loud where Jessie, Holly, and Mia discussed more about Carrie's character. Post continues below.

It would be boring if every female character were forced to succumb to the tyranny of likeability that can sand off all their sharp edges. Some women are arseholes and all of us make mistakes and behave badly at times. Carrie should not have to be a saint.

I've always actually admired the willingness of the writers and of Sarah Jessica Parker to allow Carrie to make bad choices and be unlikeable on occasion.

The first season of And Just Like That was centred on her grief after Big died so she had a deep well of audience empathy and goodwill to draw from. In his season however, she's returned to that well too many times and nothing remains but dust and a bad taste in the mouths of everyone who bought into the idea of Carrie as the main character we're meant to root for.

I couldn't help but wonder... right before the final episode of this season, is Carrie being cancelled?

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