With his multitude of Manolo Blahnik shoes at his sprawling Upper East Side apartments, Sex and the city captivated viewers with his depictions of the glamorous city living in the early 2000s in Manhattan. Almost 20 years after the series’ last episode in 2004, the highly anticipated television series, And just like that …, premiered in December. Or Sex and the city lounging around focusing on the relationship issues the group of friends discussed at trendy restaurants and at posh gallery openings, And just like that … focuses on today’s socio-political concerns. Compensate for the almost total absence of BIPOC characters in Gender and city, And just like that … presents several storylines where Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) get embarrassed in their desperation to be anti-racist and politically correct.
Last week’s episode, “And Some Of My Best Friends,” saw Charlotte panicking because her new black friend, Lisa, had invited Charlotte to a birthday party for her husband, Herbert. “Lisa and Herbert run in an eclectic and diverse crowd,” Charlotte told her husband Harry, reminding him to name popular black writers like Zadie Smith during their dinner chat. Despite her desperate attempts not to say the wrong thing at a party full of blacks, Charlotte immediately stumbles by mistaking one black woman for another.
However, she is able to redeem herself over dinner when she defends Lisa to her stepmother, who had accused Lisa of spending too much money on her art collection. Charlotte, who owned a gallery before getting married, points out how impressive the collection is. The works of Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Roberts, Barkley Hendricks, Derrick Adams and Mickalene Thomas are presented as Charlotte confidently exhibits their value. “With Lisa’s watchful eye,” Charlotte tells Lisa’s mother-in-law, “the family is in very good hands.”
Despite her awkwardness as she sails past to verify her white privilege, Charlotte’s love for art is meant to communicate her truth: She is well-meaning and does not harbor any real racial prejudice. But critics rejected this overly transparent absolution.
Advice from the artist Pamela tweeted, “It wasn’t a read. It was overcompensating. And somehow she, without black friends, became the hero by validating the collection. I’m glad they said the name of the artists on this platform, but the show’s diversity tour is tragic and cringe. Critic and curator Antwaun Sargent agreed, responding to Council that the scene is “a perfect portrayal of the world of the world.” ‘art rn. overcorrection which is sort of always racist.
In a separate Publish, Sargent pointed out that Charlotte didn’t even get the facts. In her speech, Charlotte refers to a painting of Adams hanging on the wall as her “first work”, which she says is “like owning old scores by Beethoven”. The table in question, Style variations 32, is in fact not a youthful work, it was produced last year. As with Charlotte herself, the series seems to contain an anxiety of living with the times. The result is an obsession with appearances, without all the important details.