This is Dossier, Coda's semiregular cache of notes and observations on culture. Click here to subscribe or to visit the archive.
We didn’t need a reboot of Sex and the City—especially one that wouldn’t have Kim Cattrall on our screens serving us fabulosity—but we got one anyway. And Just Like That … is billed as “a new chapter of Sex and the City” which is quite frankly the sort of open-ended marketing I respect in this era of reboots, revivals and reimaginings. Maybe there will be another installment, maybe not!
The 10-episode revival offers a glimpse of how Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) are navigating life, work and relationships in their 50s—and so far the view has been a hazy one.
What made Sex and the City irresistible was watching these women turn New York City into a an urban paradise made up cosmos, swanky parties, brunches, and fashion shows. The drama was juicy, the sex was spicy and the outfits were a fantasy. It all made for a frothy guilty pleasure that helped define HBO in the late 90s. In the decade since we last saw these women on screen (courtesy of a sequel feature film we’re all pretending didn’t happen), Sex and the City has undergone a great deal of critical reconsideration. The show’s contributions to feminist thinking is most often interrogated, as is its depictions of gender and sexual politics and the exclusion of people of color throughout the show's run.
Unfortunately Darren Star and Michael Patrick King seemed to have taken all of our notes into consideration when they went to flesh out And Just Like That… The new chapter of Sex and the City is working hard to show its learned from the criticism, particularly around its lack of diversity. Now I never actually cared that these women didn’t have a parade of Black or brown friends. And I feel the same about Rachel and ‘nem over on Friends. None of these characters struck me as the type of white folk that had inclusive friend circles because we were literally seeing them kick it with their friend group every single week. I didn't need to suddenly see a Black face in the mix hanging out with the girlies for me to know they knew and interacted with Black people in the city. And I'm feeling a way about how forced it's all feeling here. Look, I love having Nicole Ari Parker on my screen on a regular basis as she's a fantastic actress but you really want me to believe a Black woman in New York fucking City is going to tolerate Charlotte York long enough to build a friendship with her? Nah. I don’t see it. Nor do I see Miranda being the one of this group of gals to have fallen so deeply into performative allyship that she can't help but keep making scenes in front of her Black professor. I couldn’t help but groan at how forcefully inclusive and woke it all felt. Like ladies, we came for sex, gossip and LOOKS! That said the aggressive work And Just Like That… is doing to course correct the franchise's blemishes won’t distract me from the fact that Carrie didn’t call 911.
Kanye West and Drake are back on speaking terms, or at least enough to do an incredible one-off show at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last week. The two rap titans had been in a long simmering feud that I don’t care enough about to rehash here. The thing with Kanye that’s always fascinated me is his knack for spectacle as a visual artist. He really is in a league of his own when it comes to orchestrating grand scale live performances. The fact that he had a mound of concrete poured into centerfield of the stadium is certainly one of the more bonkers stage designs I’ve seen in my many years of concertgoing. Kanye was transcendent. His set was a reminder of his creative genius and it’s kicked up all my complicated feelings about Kanye. I wrote about the night for GQ, which you can read here.
So listen, I can't understand what the trauma must be for a musician to experience their fans die at their show. And I certainly can't imagine what that must feel like when it's a catastrophic event like Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival, which left ten dead and hundreds more injured and traumatized after a crowd surge. But he should probably fire whoever it was on his crisis team that suggested he sit for an hourlong conversation with Charlamagne Tha God. Scott told Charlamagne he did everything he could to help his fans and denied having knowledge of the severity of the issues in the audience as he was onstage. I get it. Lawsuits are flying and we're still trying to understand the extent of failures that led to such a catastrophic event. Scott is a musician, not a festival organizer or a promoter. But his name is on this thing and every move he makes will be criticized, and possibly used against him. We don't need to hear from him right now, especially if he doesn't really have much to say. As he says in the interview, “Something tragic happened here... what I’ve just been trying to get to the bottom of is just what happened here, how it happened... I think the families are owed that. I feel like the community is owed that, I feel like we’re owed that. To just know what happened. I don’t want to speak too soon, I just want to know what happened.”
Because Twitter can oftentimes be a weird hellhole of unnecessary chaos, what started as a strange way to slut shame the one and only Madonna by weirdly comparing her a very dead Nancy Reagan turned into us learning that the First Lady was allegedly spectacular at giving blow jobs. I certainly didn't have Nancy Reagan trending alongside "Throat Goat" on my 2021 bingo card!