September 1, 2023
It takes until the eighth episode of the second season of And Just Like That, the revival and sequel of HBO’s Sex and the City, for its most stirring scene. In it, Sarita Choudhury’s Seema Patel and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw stand outside a salon, with wet hair and bright umbrellas amid grey New York City rain. Seema has been avoiding Carrie’s calls. Only months ago, the two had planned to summer in the Hamptons, no boys allowed. But once Carrie’s ex-fiancé Aidan stepped into the picture, things shifted.
“I can’t do it,” Seema firmly says to Carrie, taking her anxiety out on a cigarette. “I’m sure I will love [Aidan]. But I won’t love how I feel about myself when he’s there.” When Carrie insists he won’t be there all the time and begs her to reconsider, Seema concludes, “You’ve had these two great loves, and I’ve had none. Please don’t say I will, because I might not, and I can live with that. But I can’t do this summer. That’s not true — I could, but I don’t want to.”
For a reboot that has largely been a narrative blunder, this one scene served as a thrilling reminder of what Sex and the City was and what And Just Like That could be. And that isn’t thanks to its central four characters we’ve watched for decades, but to its one Indian American character, who feels like the best parts of all four leads. Sure, her story has yet to be fleshed out, but Seema Patel has much to teach us about what it means to be sexy, single and successful — but vulnerable, too.