Let Me Reboot Sex and the City
|Rose||Apr 2, 2019|
Apparently, a new Sex and the City series is coming out soon, which I am quietly thrilled about. If you have not yet watched the original series, it may be too late for you, in the year 2019, to enjoy it in the spirit in which it was given. People have written compellingly about its racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, blatant classism, and bizarre assumption that a once-weekly column can pay for an Upper East Side apartment. But I love Sex and the City. It’s mostly about four women with intense careers trying to find love and win professional respect and feeling constantly stymied by how mediocre most of the men around them are, which is fun. Also, the show is breathless about fancy shit in a way that makes you, the audience, feel both smug in your relative groundedness and lets you also get a little breathless about fancy shit.
So as long as we’re rebooting it anyway, I’d like to be put in charge of it. You may ask yourself, Screwtape, what could you possibly bring to a show about middle-aged women trying to find love? Honestly, I’d just aim to make it really, really queer. My proposed revisions:
Carrie is trans, and so is Big. That makes their on-again off-again relationship bearable because instead of the same men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus shit that originally kept them apart, their relationship drama can come from their different degrees of comfort being out: Big is stealth and likes it that way, and that plays badly with Carrie’s relentless drive to turn their sex life into columns. And their chemistry, their whole mutual obsession with old Hollywood glamour and doing really date-y things like going to Italian restaurants and going for rides in horsedrawn carriages and shit, suddenly comes into focus as healing, a way for them to help each other feel seen. Plus imagine how cute they’d be if Carrie was tall and Big was short, and she still wore her giant high heels? Amazing. Good. Carrie will be played by Jamie Clayton, and Big will be played by Brian Michael Smith.
Cynthia Nixon will reprise her role as Miranda. She will be a lesbian, and the episode where she gets set up on a date with a lesbian will be replaced by an episode where she gets set up with a straight man. However, Steve will still be a man, which I think builds nicely on the fact that Miranda’s main problem with Steve is his fundamental guyishness.
Charlotte and Samantha have a secret D/s relationship that persists from late Season 2 to the end of the series. Samantha tells all her boyfriends and expects them to be cool with it or fuck off; Charlotte tells no one until Harry, who is characteristically phlegmatic about it, as is his wont.
In the lore it will be revealed that Samantha and Carrie were both sex workers when they first moved to New York, and they will have a healthy respect for people who still are. The storyline where Carrie accidentally freestyles a French architect is still in, but reads differently in context. That storyline where Samantha is gentrifying a neighborhood where black trans sex workers live and is shitty about it is canceled, and we skip right to the barbecue she throws them, because the costumes in that scene are all perfect.
Whatever that thing was that happened with Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marentino, where they hated each other, dated hot guys at each other, got drunk, made out, and got married? I don’t know, maybe not that? Maybe anything else? I don’t know a lot about gay cis men but I feel like we can do better. I’ll hire a consultant or something.
But Screwtape, you say! But Screwtape, I’ve never watched Sex and the City, and this whole column feels very niche as a result! And furthermore, it feels like you hated most of the creative decisions the original show made, and you’re just sort of telling me that you want to make a show about four queer friends who have sex! To which I say: yes, on all counts, and no, I will not be taking questions. Thank you for coming to my e-mail newsletter.