Sunday, December 12, 2021

. . . and just like that

The holiday gigging season in pre-pandemic times (if I group pre-pandemic years together, as one does these days) involved pretty constant activity. Just like that my two seasonal orchestra concerts are over, and without any pressing projects on the horizon, I have been watching more television than usual.

The two new programs I am faithfully watching, Curb Your Enthusiasm and And Just Like That were made to air in what everyone thought would be a post-pandemic world. The references to Covid and "the lockdown" in both are early, and (I'm not giving anything away) then situations come up that allow for the "sweet smell of forget" (I think I just coined a phrase) to mix with the general suspension of disbelief that turns on when we turn the television on.

I'm only two episodes into Just Like That, which I am watching without Michael, and in order to give myself the illusion of having company, I have looked at posts here and there (mostly there, since this is the blogosphere).

What I have noticed is that people seem to want a "remake" of Sex and the City, with the characters exactly the way they were twenty years ago. It seems to me that (young) critics of the show (just like that everyone's a critic) are not terribly interested in the often serious things that women in their mid 50s tend to have to face.

Men in their fifties and sixties are often thought of as being in their prime. Those with creative ability have had time and often the institutional support (perhaps that world should have an uppercase I, because there are lowercase-i institutions like those in academia who only support a selected slice of their employees) to accomplish remarkable things, and even be recognized for doing so. Those of us who are living life as older middle-age women, who are also in the intellectual and artistic prime of life, are still judged (mostly) by how we appear and how we treat others, rather than the work we have done.

But I digress.

If you are looking for light 1990s comedy about attractive young women navigating through friendships, shoes, and relationships in a New York that I barely recognize and could never afford to live in, watch re-runs of Sex in the City. If you want to watch a truly brilliant show about a New York I recognize from the late 1970s, watch The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd on YouTube.

But if you happen to be watching And Just Like That, I would be very interested in your reactions to the way big issues are handled (you could replace that lowercase b with an uppercase one if you like). I have much more empathy for the main characters in their 50s than I had for them when they were in their 30s. And I like what promise to be interesting new characters.

The comments here are always open.

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