I’m back and still plenty sour, after being smited with a flu-like malaise which had me feeling as rough as a badger’s arse. I don’t know whether nasal linings are more tender from the constant blowing of nose or from shoving so many swabs up there. I remain Covid -free, and I’m starting think that it’s just karma at play as retribution for my lack of sympathy for LSB when he got his eye’s lasered at the start of December. What a pain in the backside that was, as I ran the youngsters hither and thither while he lay up there soaking his pillow through with eye secretions. I thought it was only on TV sitcoms that men lay convalescing amid mounds of crumple tissues, but apparently that happens IRL too, despite my having left the bin at his elbow for convenience. (He would like it on record that he couldn’t actually see anything, never mind the bin.)
I have thus been rendered testier than usual and I’ve found it hard to dispel the gloom. But, after a particularly long moan on the phone to the Mothership, she told me to buck up and stop being such a grouch. I have forced myself to think of a few things which have made me smile. (Trust me, the mood that I’ve been in, this required serious effort.) But I’m starting today with Sex and the City, and I’ll try and think of another few things before the week is out.
‘Sex and the City’/’And just like that’
I accept, it’s not what it was first time round, but then again, what is? ‘The Guardian’, my paper of choice, have been mighty, or even crushingly cruel about it’s relaunch. And they probably have a point. As the acerbic Lucy Mangan witheringly noted, it was excruciating at times. But did it still warm me just a little? Indeed it did. Like old friends, I longed for a catch up with these girls, and not in a super-budget movie sort of a fashion. I wanted a dollop of real life; knowing full-well that real life by SATC standards differs greatly from my own. I went through a lot with these ladies. One winter when I was in my twenties, living in my wee two-up-two-down, I used to snuggle under a blanket and watch a two or three of episodes each evening. Felled by fatigue on the run up to Christmas, it was just what I needed. It was pure, unadulterated escapism. I don’t wear heels, never mind Manolo Blaniks, but that didn’t stop me ogling Carries collection and her impossibly slender ankles. I shed tears when Miranda proposed to Steve outside the subway or when Big showed up to woo Carrie in Paris. I thought it showcased how mercurial we can be when it comes to matters of the heart. Who didn’t want to slap the face off Burger’s moody bake, and how I fumed when The Russian manipulated Carrie out of her party with fans in a Left Bank bistro. Slimey wee weasel.
Yes, it was nonsense but nonsense with a great big New York heart. I loved it. But as with all our great loves, it can irritate the hell out of us at times. It’s irritating that Charlotte is still a total princess and even more loaded than before. Miranda can’t stop mentioning that she’s fifty-five every three seconds. Nor can Carrie- we get it, we’re getting older- enough already. Do you know what I want? I want them ordering egg white omelettes and suggesting how to stoke the fires of passion when your idea of a romantic evening has become sharing a bottle of shiraz and inhaling a bar of Tony Chocaloney in front of ‘The Sopranos’. That’s the real life I’m after, not allusions to Covid, or whether we owe it to ourselves to keep covering up the grey, or to just embrace it as Miranda has. It also feels that the modus operandi is to re-educate. I could live without the lesson on political correctness; I don’t come to SATC to discuss gender fluidity and choice of pronouns. This series seems dedicated to addressing the wrongs from the six seasons before, tackling issues it failed to adequately deal with in the past.
Do you know what though? Although it can feel heavy handed, or as The Mothership would say, uses ‘a sledge-hammer to crack a nut,’ I quite applaud the fact that there’s still room for froth and highly impractical outfits, while they have troubling and deeply uncomfortable conversations about the issues which affect us all. Grieving. Loneliness. The fact that during the pandemic we’ve half-drunk ourselves to death.
Life rattles on, even without our Samanthas and Mr Bigs, and very tragically, our Stanfords. But with good friends and the ability too keep talking, and laughing, we can still find the joy.