And Just Like That gets mixed reactions to Stanford/Willie Garson tribute
The character of Stanford has definitely changed...
Sex and the City revival And Just Like That has been tinged with sadness since the off following the death of fan favourite Willie Garson, who played the iconic Stanford Blatch throughout the original series and movies.
Carrie's best friend, comic relief and a fabulous fashionista in his own right, Stanford was often the heart and soul of storylines.
Garson died in 2021, aged 57, having filmed some scenes for the first season of And Just Like That.
His character was originally intended to feature in all 10 episodes of the season but his illness sadly prevented him from completing filming.
Instead, Stanford was written out of the series in the fourth episode, leaving his husband Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) behind to follow his TikTok star client to Japan.
It was later revealed that Stanford wanted a divorce and, in the second season, which is currently airing, Anthony has finally begun to move on – with hunky Italian poet Giuseppe (Sebastiano Pigazzi).
In the latest episode, the penultimate in the season, fans finally got an update on Stanford's story.
With Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) inviting Anthony over to her apartment (and having cosmos ready and waiting), it was revealed that Stanford has sent her a letter.
She relayed to Anthony that Stanford – the martini-slurping, Fashion Week-attending, finer things in life-loving Stanford – had decided to give up all his material possessions and dedicate his life to being a Shinto monk.
Complete with an enclosed, badly Photoshopped picture of the beloved Stannie (a fact acknowledged by Anthony who initially mocks the 'Photoshop') in his new life as a monk, the letter also stated that he wants Anthony to have the apartment and all worldly possessions.
While the development seems utterly bizarre for a character like Stanford, the storyline seemed as much a tribute and a touching nod to Garson as it was an update on the now absent character.
"Carrie, for the first time in my life, I felt peace – real peace," Stanford wrote in his letter explaining his newfound calling.
But reactions from fans were mixed; some loved the poignant tribute to actor Garson, while others... well, not so much.
One viewer posted on Twitter (recently rebranded as X): "So uncomfortable to listen and watch. Beyond ridiculous."
Another said: "Stanford Blatch has become a monk – have the writers ever watched an episode of Sex and the City?!"
However, one fan praised the scene, saying: "I loved their little tribute, with a toast to Stannie and a cosmo."
A second posted: "Not really sure why the writers decided to make Stanford a monk now but parts of this scene gave the character a lovely send off."
Meanwhile, another summed up their feelings by writing: "I'm not loving this story for Stanford – this is the guy who'd meet up with men at bars where they could only use underwear. But, I enjoyed the toast w/ the cocktails at the table where Stanny + Carrie would have their chats + smokes."
And Just Like That airs on Sky Comedy and NOW in the UK and on HBO Max in the US. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.
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