My 55-year-old existence is nothing like the women on Sex and the City and I'm glad

Welcome back for Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte. Picture: Foxtel
Welcome back for Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte. Picture: Foxtel

Once upon a time, I wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw. Convince the boss I could attract readers by writing about sex and love and relationships. Have my photograph on the side of an ACTION bus.

When Sex and The City first aired in 1998, I too was a 30-something writer trying to find my way in the big city, flitting about town in my designer shoes with my gal pals as we all discovered our sexual selves.

Well, actually my life was nothing like that but I still felt some kind of kinship with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha.

My gals pals - I did have those - would talk about which one we were: a little of Carrie, a lot of Samantha, maybe even a touch of Miranda, in my case at least.

The show made us confident in some ways, perhaps in others it made us wonder if our terribly suburban lives were terribly underwhelming. Why weren't we as fabulous? As attractive? As inspiring?

Whatever it did, it made us laugh and think and shop and believe you could find love (and sex) if you kept looking. Not that any of that defined you.

And just like that, here we are 20 odd years later, and we're all 55. That made me excited in the first episode, where their ages were revealed. We were all literally 55.

There are so many stories to tell now.

I really wanted to love And Just Like That ... I wanted to feel like I was catching up with some long-lost friends after a few decades, years where our lives had taken twists and turns, where we'd finally become the women those 30-year-olds hoped we would be, where we'd perhaps become far far more.

Not that anyone under the age of 50 would believe it, but women my age are actually very interesting.

We're not all middle-aged stroppy Karens, even if we are middle-aged Karens.

We have interesting lives, careers, families, friends, we're concerned about politics, the climate, economics and what this whole pandemic thing might mean for the remainder of said interesting lives.

But this show would have us believe none of that is true. I haven't been this disappointed since Carrie went to Paris with Aleksandr Petrovsky. Well, since that second movie really.

Here, the women have become empty caricatures. We're widows with dodgy hips, stuck in sexless marriages with men who are losing their hearing, drinking too much, dabbling in lesbianism, still trying to get alpha status at the school gate, or finding ourselves completely out of touch in this woke world.

Even if we are all of those things, I don't know any woman who isn't more interesting at 55 than she was at 30.

But Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, in the episodes which have aired already at least , are far less lovable than they were the first time around.

I didn't think it was possible but they're more self-absorbed than ever before.

There was so much wrong with episode one it was cringe-worthy. From Carrrie's revamped career, to Miranda's performance in her new university class, to Charlotte's mouth. I could kind of understand why Samantha got the hell out of there.

At the end of episode six, Charlotte said something along the lines of "What is wrong with people just staying who they were?" and Carrie replies, "Some of us don't have that luxury."

Oh please. I consider it a blessing that I've changed. Who would want to be who they were at 30? So insecure and vulnerable and uncertain. So caught up with stuff that you still haven't worked out what's actually important in life.

I've worked that out now, and I'm hoping the girls figure out that too.

In the meantime I'll watch reruns of Better Things with Pamela Adlon which is the best of these shows. Adlon's a single mother raising three daughters, there's a feminist edge and plenty of laughs.

And Workin' Moms, which, while the comedy occasionally slips into laugh track mode, is raw and honest.

And anything Sharon Horgan is in. Can we have more Catastrophe please?

Someone has recommended On the Verge created by actor Julie Delpy, with four middle-aged friends "grappling with their marital conflicts, raising their children, and their professional careers". Sounds good. Maybe it's time for some new friends.

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This story It's OK not to want to be Carrie Bradshaw anymore first appeared on The Canberra Times.