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how Sex and the City sequel is broadening the representation of 50+ women on TV

Creator : Kadian Pow, Lecturer in Sociology and Black Research, Birmingham Metropolis College

On the eve of launch of the Intercourse and the Metropolis sequel, And Simply Like That, I used to be excited. The present follows Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate life at 50 in a world that has modified quite a bit from that within the 2000s.

I actually wished to see how Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte may navigate a unique world after practically 20 years. In terms of TV narratives about older ladies, we, the viewers, should have hang-ups about their illustration, and what we think about their lives are purported to be about. However lately these representations have advanced with reveals akin to Grace and Frankie – and now And Simply Like That. These collection give us the humour of The Golden Ladies however a richer panorama of the inside lives of older ladies.

The age (and wealth) hole between myself and the characters in Intercourse and the Metropolis has not modified with And Simply Like That, however I really feel a lot nearer to their age-related struggles now than I did within the late 1990s and early 2000s. I used to be pleasantly stunned to see that a few of my earlier hopes had been realised within the collection.

Now there are feedback on seems (to dye the gray hair or to not dye?) however they do are available in a dialog about how a girl may be taken critically it doesn’t matter what she seems like. Nevertheless, this isn’t what actually provides me hope and pleasure about watching these seasoned Gen Xers residing out loud of their 50s. There’s a lot to have a good time – however for me it’s Miranda’s story that resonates probably the most.

A lawyer on the high of her profession with a loving husband and son, Miranda seemingly has the blissful ending. However in And Simply Like That she is setting herself down a brand new unsure path. For her, her 50s are a time for rediscovery and studying as she returns to schooling to retrain as a human rights lawyer. There are additionally hints that she may begin exploring her attraction past males. I simply earned one other college diploma to help a change in profession – and I, too, began exploring my queerness later in life.

Whereas older ladies persevering with to be sexual beings isn’t new for TV, a protracted have a look at how they grapple with rising or latent queerness is breaking away from the same old tropes and a refreshing change from the deal with heterosexual center and older age.

Don’t name me mom

Carrie’s childlessness-by-choice additionally resonates now in a means it didn’t once I was engaged to a person within the early 2000s, and naively thought having a baby was an inevitable a part of feminine maturity and marriage. Older ladies are sometimes portrayed as wives and moms. If they’re childless and divorced, their tales can typically be tinged with unhappiness or desperation.

Three women brightly dressed.


Over the previous decade, childlessness amongst all ladies has elevated for quite a few causes – prioritising careers or considerations in regards to the state of the long run and the setting being just some. It appears becoming that extra tales mirror this more and more frequent actuality for older ladies.

Now that I’m in my early 40s, And Simply Like That highlights for me is that awkward fumbling is not only for youngsters. As adults we by no means cease awkwardly shifting by way of life as a result of it’s all the time altering, and so are the foundations.

Getting older with Frankness and Grace

And Simply Like That also highlights, as Intercourse and the Metropolis did earlier than it, that friendships with ladies are relationships that deserve consideration and intention. Much like once they had been youthful, perhaps, romantic loss presents new alternatives and adventures for older ladies. As a substitute of acquainted unhappy depictions of lonely divorcees and widows, older ladies can type new, non-romantic bonds and discover unchartered areas of their potential.

We see this new hopeful tackle romantic ends within the Netflix collection, Grace and Frankie (2015), which is about two retired ladies who change into unlikely pals after their husbands announce they’re in love with one another. Its premiere comes 30 years after NBC’s The Golden Ladies (1985), which was additionally about how older ladies’s lives endure even when their marriages don’t, or their youngsters fly the nest.

Of their 70s, Grace and Frankie live extra boldly on TV now than Blanche and the opposite Golden Ladies had been of their 50s and 60s. That’s proper, the Golden Ladies had been the identical age because the And Simply Like That characters are actually. Take a second. It threw me, too since they appear a lot older. Extra importantly, as a present that centres the friendship of two septuagenarians, Grace and Frankie represents a altering portrayal of ladies on this age bracket. Whereas many ladies this age recede into the background in supporting roles roles, this collection reveals that older ladies will not be simply related, however can discover the kaleidoscope of their existence by way of totally different eras and totally different phases.

I had hoped this reboot can be extra self-aware across the privileges of their whiteness and sophistication positioning. I additionally actually wished Carrie and the women to work together extra meaningfully with ladies of color and youthful generations. Whereas it nonetheless has some work to do on this entrance it has fulfilled my hopes for the way it represents 40+ ladies.

Each Grace and Frankie and And Simply Like That remind us that girls’s identities will not be restricted to wives, moms or romantic pursuits. So what a time to be alive. To see older feminine characters portrayed with depth, authenticity, humour and shades of awkwardness within the methods we are actually accustomed to seeing feminine characters of their teenagers, 20s and 30s. Now, if we might simply broaden, with frankness and charm, the deal with older ladies exterior of the white, higher middle-class, heterosexual vary, I might be grateful. Please and thanks.


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