A writer on the HBO series And Just Like That has just offered some very candid remarks about the new show to her followers.
Samantha Irby penned the teleplay for the fifth episode of And Just Like That‘s inaugural season. She also sends out a newsletter to followers offering them her take on current events and entertainment.
Irby encourages her readers to share her newsletter with others, which is exactly what a reader did for us. And, let’s just say, we weren’t quite prepared for her, shall we say, frank discussion.
“i have to admit that i’m a little broken,” Irby writes in her newsletter, avoiding use of capitol letters for some reason. “i don’t think i understood, when offered the opportunity to work on a show whose VHS tapes were my constant companion when i was 19, the enormity of what i was saying to.”
“i obviously understood that the show had a major cultural impact and was beloved across a wide spectrum of people, but i was not ready for the magnitude of…………….discourse there would be? and that’s on me.”
That sounds… ominous.
i took some protective measures (that some of my friends roasted me for at the time) like getting the f*ck off twitter forever and unfollowing whatever pop culture sh*t i was scrolling past every day to shield my sensitive eyeballs from things that might wound them, but i was not prepared to receive death threats over a fictional character’s fictional relationship choices that are fictional which means not real?
Death threats? Yikes!
i’m naive, i’ve never worked on anything this huge before! but whatever heat i got a few years ago for putting fat girls in bikinis at the pool from people who don’t wanna see thighs (i guess???) was child’s play (and not the chucky kind) compared to this current onslaught. that word reads embarrassingly dramatic to me, BUT: from the bottom of this pit that’s how it feels.
this wild reaction (by which i mean the entire internet’s collective loathing) is also disconcerting because some of it is coming directly to me from people i actually know? i promise you, someone has already sent me that nasty [tweet/article/podcast/blogpost/ransom note] that you were just about to forward to me. i’ve seen them all! they make me feel bad because this was a job i was hired to do and i didn’t take it as a joke!”
Irby goes on to say that she knows people hate the show. She’s well aware of what they’re saying. But she’s also powerless over a lot of the creative decisions, writing:
you think the show is stupid, i get it. i’m not mad at that, feel what you feel, it’s all valid. you hate it, i like it, we can agree to disagree. but if you think i’m in a fiery car crash you’re driving past in slow motion, you don’t have to pull your car over to ask me ‘hey, how do you like those flames?’ (also i am truly at the bottom of the totem pole that is this gargantuan production, i have no idea why [they] would ever wear [that] in episode [who gives a shit] and you cannot possibly think that i, a person currently stinking up an ll bean jacket worn as a shirt, was in any way consulted about that???? please stop yelling at me, i am powerless over these decisions!!!!!!!!!)
Irby closes out the section of the newsletter by quoting a Vox article that explained the title change, and that postulated the reasons behind it… many of the same reasons fans of Sex and the City seem to hate the show:
“the title change signifies a show that isn’t about the big things that make life glamorous, but rather the way that life hits you the struggle to exist and remain relevant as culture, friends, love, and life passes by. the only thing that remains constant for the show’s three heroines is an onslaught of indignities. what is and just like that if not the humiliation of life persevering?”
“anyway,” she concludes, “i think this writer gets what we tried to do.”
So does all this mean Irby admits the show is as bad as it seems? Not exactly, which is her prerogative. No doubt she worked hard to pen a good script within the parameters set by the show’s producers. Still, to receive death threats over a TV series of dubious quality, or worse, over a character’s costume over which she has no authority, shows just how toxic internet fandom of all varieties has become, and, we suspect, is a bit more than she signed up for.
The harassment against Irby is just the latest woe in a series of negative stories surrounding the Sex and the City spinoff.
The refusal of actress Kim Cattrall to reprise her role as Samantha Jones kicked off the negative press surrounding the show, as did rumors of a feud between Cattrall and her former co-stars.
The show debuted to negative reviews from critics and Sex and the City fans, with right wing political commentators attacking the series for its “wokeness” for diversifying the characters.
Sexual assault allegations against actor Chris Noth further generated negative headlines, sending producers scrambling to edit his character out of the finale.
Of course, none of this is Irby’s fault. So please stop yelling at her.