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Did Miranda’s husband Steve get the short end of the stick on And Just Like That? Maybe — but the writers are still very much in the character’s corner.
HBO Max’s sequel series to Sex and the City stars with Miranda, played by Cynthia Nixon, in a rough spot with her longtime love Steve, portrayed by David Eigenberg. The two haven’t been intimate in years, leading Miranda to explore her sexuality outside of her marriage with a comedian named Che (Sara Ramirez). Miranda’s lack of concern over her own infidelity stands in stark contrast to the lawyer’s devastation in the first Sex and the City film, after she learned that Steve slept with someone else.
While many fans expressed their disappointment that Miranda would cheat on Steve, that wasn’t the only issue that some people had with the character. In the series, Steve is shown to be suffering from hearing loss, which some fans have criticized as being played for laughs, or to make the character appear older than he actually is. One fan tweeted, “Why is Steve from #AndJustLikeThat deaf or hearing impaired? Did something happen or is this more of the ridiculously out of touch ‘we’re so old at 50’ storyline?’,” while another added, “I already hated how ‘And Just Like That’ was treating Steve, but as a hearing impaired person, I really f***ing hate that his hearing loss is just one big joke on the show.”
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Yet in reality, the writers pulled Steve’s hearing loss from actor Eigenberg’s real life, according to writers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky’s recent conversation with Vanity Fair.
“When [showrunner] Michael Patrick [King] reconnected with David Eigenberg about the show, the very first thing that David said was, ‘I got hearing aids.’ It was literally what he led with,” said Zuritsky. “That actually wound up being Steve’s tone about his aging [in the show].”
As for the other criticism — that Miranda isn’t treating her partner with respect — the writers insisted that they weren’t out to create “virtuous” characters, but instead tell a story that rang true for some women in their 50s. However, that doesn’t mean that we will never see how Steve feels about Miranda’s behavior: Zuritsky confirmed to Vanity Fair that fans will “see that scene.”
One person in Miranda’s corner, however, is Eigenberg himself, who took a “Team Miranda” pin on set in lieu of a “Team Steve” pin when presented with the option by the show’s crew.
“That’s so David Eigenberg,” explained Zuritsky. “That’s just what Steve would do. You have to realize that there are hundreds of people who work on the series, and they’re sort of our first glimpse of what the audience is going to feel.”
And Just Like That has faced a great deal of controversy over the direction of its iconic Sex and the City characters, beginning with the very first episode in which Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth, dies of a heart attack in front of his wife Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. King told Entertainment Tonight of the decision to kill off the character, “I wanted to do an amazing arc for Carrie and Sarah Jessica, because I knew she could be amazing playing both the dark and the light. I wanted everyone to see that, and I wanted to write that.”