Following Che and Miranda’s spontaneous hookup in And Just Like That, the latest instalment sees the pair reconnect in an important exploration of freedom, desire and sexuality. Warning: this story contains spoilers.
There are two sex scenes of a very different nature in the seventh episode of HBO Max’s Sex And The City revival, And Just Like That. If you’ve watched the episode, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; because while the first is painfully awkward and passionless, the second is everything that you’d hope for from a great TV sex scene: steamy, sensual, and leaving just enough to the imagination without going full-on R-rated.
The link between these two wildly different encounters, of course, is Miranda Hobbes. If you’ve watched the latest instalment, you’ll know that Miranda attempted to revive her sex life with Steve by re-enacting her kitchen dalliance with Che, only for the whole thing to dismally peter out in the midst of takeaway leftovers and talk of lube. Later, she told Carrie in no uncertain terms that the encounter was like two dead people trying to get it on.
Meanwhile, after receiving no word from Che Diaz (the queer non-binary podcaster and comedian) for an agonising three months, Miranda finally got the chance to speak to her crush when they materialised for an impromptu performance at Charlotte’s PTA charity gala. Although Miranda tried to feign indifference that Che didn’t return her message to “hang out”, Che totally disarms Miranda by telling her that they want to spend the night with her. And just like that, Miranda’s steely resolve evaporates on the spot.
So the two of them fall into bed, and when we next catch up with them, they’re in a post-coital embrace. Miranda, for her part, looks absolutely starstruck, and as she holds Che’s face she tells them that she’s in love with them. “You’re in love with you, with me,” Che replies, which could be one of their characteristic quips, or it could be a way of gently letting Miranda know that they’re not into the whole commitment thing.
I’m not here to get into the choreography of the sex scene, though, because we can all rewatch And Just Like That if we want to know what happened in bed. What is worth pointing out, though, is how momentous it is to witness this LGBTQ+ representation played out in popular media. To see non-binary and queer characters with dominant storylines on a primetime show is no insignificant thing; let alone a juggernaut like Sex And The City that’s loved and watched by millions around the world. You need only look to the original series to know that queer representation wasn’t exactly sensitively handled when it did make a rare appearance (case in point: Miranda pretending to be a lesbian at her boss’s dinner to get ahead).
But to also watch an on-screen queer sex scene between a non-binary character and an OG heroine who is herself in the process of discovering her own queer identity, is absolutely major.
There’s plenty of criticism, of course, about the way the show is handling Miranda’s character arc. Aside from her painful blunders around identity, the way Miranda has explored her sexuality – betraying Steve, neglecting her injured friend while on recovery duty, and generally pursuing her own pleasure in a totally selfish fashion – has drawn a fresh outpouring of ire every time a new episode airs.
And you know what? Miranda’s storyline is messy. Her moral compass has seemingly spun out of control. Her behaviour has been, at times, completely cringeworthy. And her characterisation frequently lacks grace, subtlety and authenticity.
What I will say, though, is that it is genuinely trailblazing to see a headline character explore their sexuality. An older character explore their sexuality. A queer sex scene with a non-binary person and an older woman. Characters playing roles that are true to their real-life identity. Che and Miranda won’t represent everyone – they’re fictional characters, after all. But to see LGBTQ+ identities normalised in a Sex And The City sequel, a revolutionary show that celebrated women talking frankly about their desires, will undoubtedly change people’s lives and hopefully act as a catalyst for greater change in Hollywood.
Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.