And Just Like That: Why Carrie Bradshaw is the biggest gaslighting, gold-digging narcissist on TV – and how we were wrong about her all along during her Sex and the City days
- Fans have called out Carrie Bradshaw’s personality
- Criticising her narcissistic, toxic traits
- Reboot AJLT has been panned by SATC fans and critics
She has been a fashion phenomenon and one of pop culture’s most beloved characters of the past 25 years.
But now Carrie Bradshaw – the fictional sex columnist played by Sarah Jessica Parker – is on the outs with fans, who say she’s been a narcissistic monster all along.
Spurred by the withering reviews of the Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That…, viewers are now calling out Carrie for her rotten behaviour over the years – and many say it’s only become more toxic over time.
A blog post by a SATC super-fan forensically documents some of Carrie’s worst moments – from her early days of standing up ‘best friend’ Miranda in a restaurant while she tends to dinner for lover ‘Mr Big’, to demanding an apartment down-payment from another friend, Charlotte.
Other fans have also called out her horrific treatment of long-time love interest Aidan Shaw, who made his a return to AJLT in the finale episode.
Carrie Bradshaw (top right), played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the HBO franchise – is drawing criticism from longtime fans
Carrie’s behaviours have been branded ‘toxic’ by many despite the show’s massive success during the 1990s and 2000s.
An exchange in the most recent episode of AJLT sparked fury online after Carrie appeared to ‘slut shame’ Charlotte for discussing the use of condoms to protect against STDs.
‘Why in the hell is everybody so in love with Carrie Bradshaw?’ New York writer Mark Herrera asked on Medium.
‘Both in the show and in real life (I know I’m not the only person who feels this way, but she still gets way too much of a pass). She’s the absolute worst!
‘I’m no psychology expert, but she seems like an actual, full-blown narcissist. She’s a garbage human being and nobody seems to give a f**k!’
Fans have also called out her poor treatment of long-time love interest Aidan Shaw, played by John Corbett (pictured)
Carrie and Aidan’s on-again off-again relationship played out for three seasons and has spilled over into the reboot And Just Like That
Herrera singles out Carrie’s on-off relationship with Aidan – which set the backdrop of much of SATC seasons three to six as well as the film sequel – as a glaring example of gaslighting.
‘Let’s get the obvious out of the way: as previously referenced, she cheated on Aidan with Big. A LOT. And only stopped once she got caught and reprimanded by Charlotte,’ he wrote.
‘Even putting that gigantic black stain aside, she frequently displayed an array of behaviours throughout her relationships that, today, would be considered ‘toxic’.’
Indeed, fans will remember Carrie not only cheating on Aidan with Big several times after he sanded the floors in her apartment and saved the shoe-addicted serial spender several thousands of dollars, but after begging for him back she proceeded to treat him… terribly.
Not only did she blame Aidan for breaking her laptop, despite the fact it was her fault for not having a backup system, she raged at him when he bought her a brand spanking new one.
She also tried to force Big and Aidan to be ‘friends’ after the cheating scandal, inviting the man who ultimately helped break Aidan’s heart into his private country house he built with two hands.
After Aidan decided he wanted to propose to Carrie, she moaned about the ‘ghetto gold’ engagement ring he chose for her and when Samantha finally helped Aidan get a new one, she wore the ring around her neck.
She then broke up with Aidan AGAIN after he bought her apartment and the one next door to make them a home, and yet he still goes back to her in Just Like That… The man is a glutton for punishment.
Other fans have criticised Carrie’s long-time mistreatment of her so-called ‘best friends’, citing several examples where she has put her own interests and issues above theirs.
‘When Charlotte got engaged to Harry she put the post-it over her ring ( paper covers rock) because God forbid anyone be happy while Carrie is in a “crisis”,’ noted one Reddit user.
‘Also why not celebrate Charlotte’s engagement rather than spend the evening obsessing over yet another one of her issues?’
‘I’m no psychology expert, but she seems like an actual, full-blown narcissist’ one columnist claims of Carrie
She made Aidan go and rescue a naked Miranda when she fell over and nearly broke her neck in the bathroom, and then trotted over bagels without cream cheese to ‘make up for it’.
But what she was really doing was masking the opportunity to whinge about her relationship with Aidan being ‘rocky’ after SHE cheated on him with Big.
Not to mention left a very pregnant Miranda to see Big off when he moved to the Napa Valley in Season 5.
In a piece published shortly before the premiere of AJLT, writers Jess Commons and Guy Pewsey published ‘9 Times Carrie Bradshaw Was Actual The Worst’ in Grazia, specifically her ‘fat shaming’ of Samantha.
‘Remember when Samantha put on a truly tiny bit of weight in the first Sex And The City film? Carrie greeted her at the door, noticed an extra inch around her dear friend’s stomach, and physically recoiled before staging an intervention. Bad form, Carrie.’
Viewers of the widely-panned reboot AJLT have also been quick to note how Carrie’s behaviour become more destructive this season with a recent example of Charlotte asking Carrie for a condom to give to her teenage daughter Lily.
‘Carrie is borderline offended at the idea, as if condoms are a tragic hallmark of youth and not a responsible fact of sexual activity for many people,’ wrote pop culture bloggers Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks aka The Fug Girls.
‘Even Charlotte points out that, sure, pregnancy isn’t an issue but what about STDs? ‘You thought I had an STD situation?’ Carrie chortles, aghast. Pray tell Carrie. What is an STD situation? And how can you evaluate one on site?
‘Is Carrie implying that people with STDs look dirty? Or are somehow easily identifiable as infectious?’
Carrie Bradshaw, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, became a fashion icon as a result of the show
SATC reboot And Just Like That… has divided fans and critics since its debut in 2022
Fans quickly chimed in with responses.
‘A woman who met her future husband when she spilled a bunch of reservoir tips (condoms) out of her bag in the pilot,’ replied one, referring to the famous moment Carrie met ‘Mr Big’ for the first time.
‘Carrie continues to be the worst sex columnist ever’,’ another said.
But it’s Carrie’s famous demand for Charlotte to give her a down payment for an apartment – back in season four of SATC – that has been singled out as the moment her narcissism was on full display.
‘If you’ve ever started to wonder exactly when Carrie Bradshaw turned from plucky, charming rom-com heroine to raging narcissist, the answer is episode ‘Ring a Ding Ding’, declares Vox’s Alex Abad Santos.
‘The episode is the final one addressing Carrie’s broken engagement with Aidan.
‘After he leaves, she receives a legal document asking her to pay for her apartment, which he had purchased under the premise that they would live there together.
The love triangle between Aidan, Mr Big and Carrie was a divisive topic during the show’s final seasons
‘Carrie doesn’t have the money for the down payment; by her own accounting, she has spent all her money on shoes.
‘She proceeds to try to scrounge up cash any way she can, notably by zeroing in on the expensive engagement ring left behind in the wake of her friend Charlotte’s broken nuptials.
‘Why didn’t you offer me the money?’ Carrie demands, before launching into a lecture about the ways she herself has always supported her friend.
‘Charlotte’s reasonable, loving response — that Carrie is a 35-year-old woman who needs to fix her own finances — offends Carrie to her very core. She storms out of her friend’s apartment.
‘At the end of the episode, a sufficiently browbeaten Charlotte does give her the 2.17 carat Tiffany ring and goes so far as to tell Carrie that it was wrong not to offer her $30,000 for her down payment.
‘Carrie accepts the money and tells Charlotte she will pay her back. The series never shows Carrie cutting Charlotte a cheque.’
More recently fans took offence to a bizarre storyline on AJLT when Carrie refused to discuss vaginal odour on her podcast and, as a result, forced the closure of the entire studio.
Aidan is set to make a return to the franchise, with actor John Corbett reprising the character
‘The whole arc is juvenile and, frankly, a little offensive,’ railed Marie Claire.
‘It’s tomfoolery like this that reminds us precisely why we need Samantha Jones to tell Carrie to just say the f***ing word.’
Samantha has been notably absent from AJLT which was collateral from an off-screen falling out between Parker and Kim Cattrall.
As a result many fans and critics have turned on the series which they say suffers in Cattrall’s absence and lacks the wit and spark of the original.
(Cattrall has, however, recorded a small cameo which is yet to air on the current season of AJLT.)
The show’s writers have also copped some criticism for a number of nonsensical storylines in the reboot which die-hard fans say are confusing and unauthentic to the original characters.
‘I continue to be baffled that AJLT is a television show not written by ChatGPT under the prompt ‘Write a TV series aimed at women that will make the broadest possible number of women feel sickened and distressed’, wrote one viewer.
Carrie, with original love interest and eventual husband Mr Big (played by Chris Noth)
Debuting in 1998, Sex And The City was one of the most-watched shows in HBO history
‘I can’t believe this comes from the same people that caused a stir in the nighties with their daring subjects and incorrection. This is bland, boring and pointless,’ said another.
And finally, can we talk about Carrie’s penchant for wealthy suitors to fund her ridiculously overindulgent lifestyle?
First there was Big, an entrepreneur and financier who lived in the Upper West Side.
He also offered to pay for the downpayment of her apartment following her split with Aidan and years later built her one of the most epic walk-in closets of all-time in a Park Avenue apartment she would never be able to afford.
Aidan, a self-made furniture designer who rans his own successful business, Jack Berger, a humour writer who came from family money, and how could we forget Aleksandr Petrovsky, a famous artist who became Carrie’s lover in the final season.
Let’s face it, she was never going to settle for a humble loving bartender like Miranda’s Steve.
Premiering in 1998, SATC was hailed a breakthrough in subscription television and drew comparisons with shows like The Sopranos and The Wire for its unflinching realism and massive popularity.
Parker’s portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw also carved its own place in pop culture history and gained huge momentum in the fashion world where her outfits were often copied or replicated.
But while we can all celebrate her fashion for years to come, her character has been stained by downright horrific behaviour.
Carrie’s quirky outfits became the stuff of fashion folklore during the show’s original season
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