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The Carriefication of Miranda

There’s a meme floating around the internet that you may have seen. In the top half, we see Miranda in last week’s episode of And Just Like That… shouting into her phone, “I’m in a Rom-Com, Carrie!” as she rushes to the airport to fly to her new lover, Che. In the bottom half of the meme, we see Miranda in 2004, in the final season of “Sex and the City,” shouting “You’re living in a fantasy” at Carrie.

There are other such memes out there, comparing the down-to-earth, Chinese food eating, TV binging Miranda of yesteryear with hopeless romantic, reckless, trying-to-have-it-all-and-more Miranda of today. The idea is that this new Miranda is not Miranda at all—that she has, in a sense, been body-snatched. 

Who is this imposter? Some have ventured to say that Miranda has been overtaken by the actress who plays her, Cynthia Nixon. Others think that the writers simply lost the thread, transforming Miranda into a new character. But perhaps this new Miranda is not new at all. 

Consider, for instance, the scene in this week’s episode when Miranda shows up to Che’s apartment unannounced with cookies. She thrums with giddiness and radiates a familiar nervous energy. Are you not reminded of early 2000s Carrie showing up in a beret at Mr. Big’s apartment with a bag of McDonald’s?

Consider also the words she used when she asked Steve for a divorce. “[I want] more… more everything… more connection, more energy, more sex, more me.” Is this not an echo of Carrie’s famous plea to Petrovsky for more? “I’m someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

It seems that Miranda has become the friend she once judged, losing herself in pursuit of the intensity of the show’s unlikely new Mr. Big, Che Diaz. 

Carrie, meanwhile, has become Miranda. Gearing herself up to go on a second date with Peter, the teacher who puked on her, Carrie warns Charlotte not to get too excited. “It is not a date,” she demurs. “It is a do-over between two people who got sick on one another. Let’s take the romance out of it.” She has at last heeded Miranda’s words and stopped “living in a fantasy.” 

How are we to understand the Carriefication of Miranda and the Mirandification of Carrie? We might venture that this is who Miranda has always been — a “pick me girl” who defines herself in opposition to those around her, basing her self-worth on the extent to which she is not “like other girls.” When her best friend was a starry-eyed, boy-crazy romantic, she played the down-to-earth professional, and when Carrie slows to her speed, she responds by amping up.

We might also venture to say that Carrie and Miranda represent a sort of archetypical Yin and Yang, held eternally in balance by the difference of the other. When Carrie is brought down to earth by hard life circumstances, Miranda correspondingly lifts off the ground. 

This last theory, however, ignores the fact that Carrie and Miranda are not a dyad, but rather parts of a quadrangle, more akin to the four elements than the Yin-Yang. It is the four gals—Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha—whose essential prototypical energies hold the universe of Sex and the City together. 

And yet, Samantha isn’t here.

Perhaps that’s why the cosmic order has been disrupted. Perhaps that’s why the show has a chasm so deep that not even Seema, Nya, Nya’s boyfriend, LTW, LTW’s husband and kids, and “Lisette from downstairs” can fill it. 

Perhaps also this why up has become down, Carrie has become Miranda, and Miranda has become Carrie. 

Some other thoughts:

  • The structure of this week’s episode, locking all the characters together in a women’s shelter in Brooklyn, worked very well—as close to a “bottle episode” as SATC has ever done. 
  • This show has too many new characters. Seema is flawless and fits right in, but please, I don’t need more “Lisette from downstairs,” or LTW. Nya and her partner deserve their own show, but they don’t work on this one. 
  • Lily’s tampon plotline got some genuine lols out of me, and I also feel like I learned a lot about tampons. 
  • Charlotte once again proved to me why she is TV’s best Jewish mother. Unlike the typical overbearing Jewish mother trope, she is a fierce balabusta—the spiritual core of her Jewish home, ready to accept her non-binary child’s identity but unwilling to let them slouch on their Torah portion prep. 
  • Anthony’s unequivocal rejection of his date’s holocaust denial was a real gift on Holocaust Remembrance Day. 
  • One critique of the episode’s Jewish content: the Jewish world already came up with a word for a non-binary Bar/Bat Mitzvah and it’s “B-Mitzvah,” not “They Mitzvah.” Come on, now.
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