Season 1 of And Just Like That wasn't the first time Steve Brady faced injustice at the hands of Sex and the City's writers.
It was 2008 when we got our first taste of ill-treatment of the beloved character in Sex and the City: The Movie.
The first film (which is not, in the grand scheme of the franchise, a bad movie) saw Steve – hitherto thoughtful, kind, witty, generous and the dream life partner – go right ahead and cheat on Miranda because she was so busy acing her high-flying law career and raising their baby that their sex life dried up a bit.
Never, it seems, did this Steve, 'Movie Steve', think to, I dunno, talk to his wife about the fact he was struggling with the lack of romance between them.
While it spawned a beautiful storyline, an opportunity for both Miranda and Steve to grow as individuals and come together again, stronger, we should have seen this as a warning sign. We should be kicking ourselves for not hearing alarm bells 15 years ago.
The Steve we caught up with again in 2021 isn't just a shadow of the man we knew and loved, he's a differently person entirely.
Barely recognisable (in personality only – he’s still gorgeous of course), 'And Just Like That Steve' just isn’t the man 'Sex and the City Steve' would’ve grown to be.
This guy is cranky, not easygoing; this guy has forgotten how to have good sex; and, worst of all, this guy is boring.
Don't blame the hearing loss – this Steve doesn't seem to want to listen. He's supposedly given up engaging properly with Miranda, drifting away to become a vague spectre of the man she (and we) fell in love with.
He's distant, dull and bumbling, the spirited, Knicks-loving, Miranda-loving man we knew a faded memory that gaslights us (and, it appears, Miranda) into wondering: did he ever actually exist?
But he did. I've checked.
Lest we forget, this is the down-to-earth, flirty bartender whose charm was so addictive even the cynical Miranda couldn't shake him; a one-night stand who became a forever love – or so it should have been.
More like this
- And Just Like That star: Che and Miranda critics had "the right to be mad"
- And Just Like That star says Carrie and Aidan "are ready" to be together
And let's just say it: Steve used to f**k.
When all else failed, Steve and Miranda always had chemistry. There are sex scenes upon sex scenes to prove it. We're just supposed to believe he's got "a little rusty"? Not the Steve I know.
(See: season 2 episode 8, The Man, the Myth, the Viagra; season 3 episode 7, Drama Queens; Sex and the City: The Movie etc. etc.)
In the first season of And Just Like That, Miranda tells Steve she wants “more” from life – more energy, more sex, "more me".
For Miranda to toss Steve aside felt out of character. Yes, in the past the vast differences between them – their personality types, their ambition, their socioeconomic standings (cringe) – caused problems for our favourite authentic couple but to dredge that same device up yet again does not only the characters a disservice but the previous writing too.
Steve and Miranda developed over the many years we watched them together (and apart, and sort of together) on screen; they grew as a couple, learned and moved on from the challenges they faced in their relationship.
To rehash those same challenges they successfully navigated together in the earlier stages of their relationship is haphazardly substantiated at best – and negligent towards the characters we love at worst.
Steve deserves better – as does Miranda. It's time we got justice for Steve.
But I can’t help but wonder: does their journey mean nothing to the writers?
And Just Like That season 2 will air on Sky Comedy and NOW in the UK from Thursday 22nd June 2023 and on Max in the US – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV.
Take part in the Screen Test, a project from Radio Times and the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, to explore the role of television and audio in our lives.