We Need To Talk About The Kids In And Just Like That...

Their sex lives are just becoming too much.

Originally Published: 
Cathy Ang plays Lily Goldenblatt in 'And Just Like That' Season 2
Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn/Max; Art by Margaret Flatley/Bustle

The first season of And Just Like That… had no shortage of cringe-inducing moments. And yet, somehow, even in a season that featured Miranda hooking up with Che in Carrie’s kitchen while Carrie was mere feet away, the worst part of it all might have been Brady Hobbes. As I noted back in 2021, Brady had once been the adorable toddler who convinced Miranda to move to Brooklyn before he grew into a moody teenager incapable of not having loud, percussive sex within earshot of his parents. Nearly every time the redheaded teen was on screen, he was sticking his tongue down the throat of his girlfriend, Louisa, who was way too comfortable wearing only a T-shirt and underwear in front of her boyfriend’s parents! Madness.

In Season 2, Louisa dumped Brady (poor Brady), and just when I thought the risk of boundary-less teenage sex was over, who should open the door to her own cringeworthy subplot but Charlotte’s daughter, Lily. She casually asks her mother to make reservations at Nobu for her and her boyfriend so that they can lose their virginities together afterward. First, Lily, if you’re old enough to be having sex, you’re old enough to be making dinner reservations without your mother’s help. Second, what the hell is wrong with you to nonchalantly mention to your mother and father that you plan to get railed?!

Perhaps it is an inevitable side effect of adulthood to see teenagers and shake one’s head. Far be it from me to willingly become a cliche, but at the ripe old age of 30, I am afraid I must say: Teenagers today simply cannot be acting the way that the Sex and the City spinoff series imagines they do. (Unfortunately, my social circle only includes other 30-somethings and their occasional infants, and I don’t meet many high schoolers.) For the future of humanity, I have to pray that AJLT has gotten something incredibly wrong.

Craig Blakenhorn/Max

I am glad that in the AJLT universe, sex among young people isn’t shameful. It shouldn’t be shameful! But what it should be is private, specifically when it comes to your parents. There is a difference between a lack of sexual shame and a lack of familial boundaries. I do not care that I sound like a prude, but if a child wishes to confide to her mother that she plans on having sex (which is lovely!), that is a private, thoughtful conversation. It’s not the type of thing someone should blurt out in the middle of the kitchen in the same way they’d announce that they have a math test coming up.

The lack of boundaries descends into farce when Lily and her boyfriend discover they don’t have condoms. Rather than, I don’t know, waiting to have sex or trying to go to a convenience store themselves, Lily calls Charlotte and threatens unprotected sex unless her 56-year-old mother procures her condoms personally during a blizzard. This sort of sexual extortion is a level of malice between comic-book villain and terrorist. It’s exactly the type of thing I would expect from the girl who once hid Carrie Bradshaw’s cellphone in a cupcake purse so Carrie couldn’t get the call from Big when he was getting cold feet before their wedding, but I was hoping she would grow out of it. Turns out she’s only gotten worse.

When I was in high school, I was so embarrassed by the prospect of revealing anything about my love life to my parents that I would tell them that I was hanging out with a female friend and not that I would be making out with my boyfriend, Danny, in his Jeep while we were parked outside the JCC. I admit I probably could have had more of an open dialogue, and yes, safe sex requires a basic level of trust and open communication. But what sort of free-love hippie commune does AJLT take place in, where teenagers approach sex with the same indifferent detachment as SAT tutoring sessions?

Unless your mother is Lorelai Gilmore, please do not tell her the details of your sex life. And please, for the love of God, do not require your mother to be the one to find you condoms. Do people really need to hear this? I truly hope that AJLT is as misguided about teens’ sexual boundaries today as it is about the type of everyday accessories a normal person might wear while running errands.

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