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“And Just Like That” Sequel: How “Sex and the City” Expands Representation of Women Over 50 on TV

On the eve of the release of the “Sex and the City” sequel, “And Just Like That,” I was so excited. The film follows Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte as they navigate their lives at the age of 50 in a world that has changed quite a bit since the 2000s.

I wanted so much to see how Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte can navigate to another world after almost 20 years. When it comes to TV stories about older women, we, the audience, can still wonder about their representation and what we imagine their lives to be. But in recent years, those avatars have evolved with shows like “Grace and Frankie” – and now “And Just Like That”. This series gives us “Golden Girls” humor but richer in the inner lives of older women.

The age (and wealth) gap between me and the “Sex and the City” characters hasn’t changed in “And Just Like That,” but I feel closer to the age-related struggles. Their work is much more now than mine in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was surprised to find that some of my earlier hopes had come true in the series.

Now there are comments about looks (grey or not dyed?) but they do bring up a conversation about how a woman can be taken seriously no matter what she looks like. However, this is not what really gives me hope and joy as I watch these seasoned Gen Xers live out loud into their 50s. There’s a lot to celebrate – but for me, it’s Miranda’s story that resonates the most.

https://youtu.be/Cy8Zz7Q56dY

A lawyer at the peak of her career with a loving husband and son, Miranda seems to have a happy ending. But in “And Just Like That,” she’s setting herself down a new, uncertain path. For her, the age of 50 is a time to rediscover and learn as she returns to education to retrain as a human rights lawyer. There are also hints that she may be starting to discover her attraction beyond men. I just earned another college degree to support a change in career – and I, too, began to discover my own weirdness later on as an adult.

While older women continue to be sexists is nothing new to TV, the insight into how they grapple with emerging or latent weirdness is escaping. from the usual familiar images and a fresh shift from the focus on heterosexuality in middle age and beyond.

Don’t call me mom

Carrie’s choice not to have children now resonates as well now in a way that it didn’t when I was engaged to a man in the early 2000s, and naively thought having children was an inevitable part of growing up. women’s marriages and births. Older women are often depicted as wives and mothers. If they are childless and divorced, their stories can often be tinged with sadness or despair.

Over the past decade, childlessness in all women have increased for many reasons – career priorities or concerns about the status quo of the future and the environment are just a few. It seems more appropriate that more stories reflect this increasingly common reality for older women.

Now that I’m in my 40s, the highlight of “And Just Like That” for me is its clumsy clumsy not just for teenagers. As adults, we never stop floundering in life because it’s always changing, and so are the rules.

Grow old with Frankness and Grace

“And Just Like That” still emphasizes, as “Sex and the City” did before it, that friendships with women are relationships that deserve attention and care. Similar to when they were younger, maybe, romantic loss brings new opportunities and adventures to older women. Instead of the familiar sad depictions of lonely divorcees and widows, older women can form new, non-romantic relationships and explore areas of their unexplored potential.

We see this hopeful new take on a romantic ending in the Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie” (2015), about two retired women who are unable to become friends after their husbands They announce that they are in love. Its premiere comes 30 years after NBC “Golden Girls” (1985), it’s also about how old women’s lives endure even when their marriages fail, or their children fly back to their nests.

In their 70s, Grace and Frankie are now living more boldly on TV than Blanche and the other Golden Girls in their 50s and 60s. Yes, the Golden Girls are the same age as the characters in “And Just Like” That” now. Take some time. It also intrigues me because they seem a lot older. More importantly, as a show that focuses on the friendship of two talking people, “Grace and Frankie” presents a changing portrait of women in this age group. While many women this age regress into supporting roles, this series shows that older women are not only suitable, but can also explore the kaleidoscope of their existence through the ages and different stages.

I was hoping this reboot would be more self-aware of their whiteness perks and class positioning. I also really want Carrie and the girls to interact more meaningfully with women of color and the younger generation. While it still has some work to do on this front it has lived up to my hopes for how it represents women 40+.

Both “Grace and Frankie” and “And Just Like That” remind us that women’s identities are not limited to wives, mothers, or romantic interests. So what a time to be alive. To see older female characters portrayed with depth, authenticity, humor, and awkwardness in the way we’re used to seeing female characters in their teens, 20s, and 30s. Now, if we could expand, with frankness and grace, to focus on older women outside the white, middle-class, heterosexual range, I would be very grateful. Please and thank you.

Kadian Pow, Lecturer in Sociology and Black Studies, Birmingham City University

This article was republished from Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read original article.

https://www.salon.com/2022/01/07/and-just-like-that-how-sex-and-the-city-sequel-broadens-the-representation-of-50-women-on-tv_partner/ “And Just Like That” Sequel: How “Sex and the City” Expands Representation of Women Over 50 on TV

Caroline Bleakley

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