Forget the Samantha Jones drama — the chatter around “Sex and the City” reboot “And Just Like That” is all about how Che Diaz is the worst.
Played by “Grey’s Anatomy” alum Sara Ramirez, Che is a new addition to the “SATC” world. A queer nonbinary podcaster and comedian who works with Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Che Diaz has struck up a romantic dalliance with Miranda (Cynthia Nixon).
Miranda, whose marriage to Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) is feeling stale, is charmed by Diaz’s freewheeling attitude and confident swagger.
But audiences are not so besotted.
Austin, Texas, based writer Atif Riaz, 32, told The Post that he’s watched the show every week with his friends. Their major takeaway? “All of us had something to say about how annoying Che Diaz is in it.”
He said the problem is that Che feels more like a caricature than a real person. “From using the ‘Woke Moment’ button on their godawful podcast to using online lingo in verbal conversations, Che seems like they are a manifestation of an overzealous conservative who thinks nonbinary people are a particularly irritating Twitter account come to life,” he said.
Twitter is inclined to agree.
Antonio C., 21, a college student in Cologne Germany, tweeted earlier this month: “che diaz single-handedly set back non-binary representation 70 years.”
Antonio, who declined to give his last name, told The Post, “Basically all scenes involving Che have this underlying atmosphere of discomfort. For some reason, even Miranda doesn’t seem to know how to act when Che is around. It’s very tip-toey, not wanting to offend them. I find that harmful to the entire LGBTQ+ community who just wants people to normalize what’s going on. Non-binary people are not walking snowflakes.”
For Mackenzie Oravec, 23, a San Antonio-based creative assistant for a cinematographer, Che is uncomfortable to watch on screen because they don’t feel real.
“The writers tailor Che not for queer audiences but for women in their 50s who still can’t wrap their heads around they/them pronouns,” she told The Post. “They’re not a character, but a prop.”
She said Che’s stand-up routine, in episode 3, was particularly painful to watch. “The entire routine felt like an AI generated monologue for a queer person.”
“And Just Like That…” now streaming on HBOMax, premiered with a bang on Dec. 9, with major character Big (Chris Noth) dying of a heart attack. There’s been no shortage of scandal trailing the show — Big’s death after taking a Peloton class prompted the brand’s stock to drop as it scrambled to recover; sexual assault allegations have emerged against Noth — but for viewers, one on-screen moment was the cringiest of them all.
In Episode 5, “Tragically Hip,” Miranda is helping Carrie following a hip surgery, when Che visits, ringing the buzzer and proclaiming, “Hey, it’s Che Diaz.” Che and Miranda then have an intimate encounter in the kitchen – leaving a recovering Carrie to struggle when she needs help using the bathroom.
Ryan Bailey, 42, LA based host of the podcast, “So Bad It’s Good With Ryan Bailey,” said he was horrified.
“What did I just see?” he said of the hot-and-heavy sequence. “To have somebody [get intimate with] a character that we grew up with, in front of Carrie … is just so extreme,” he said. “And that’s Carrie’s boss! There’s so many lines that are being crossed. It’s wild.”
“It’s Che Diaz” has now spiraled into a meme, with many viewers on social media joking that it sounds like a threat.
Viewer Katt Alexander, 32, a documentary researcher based in Sydney, Australia, said they’re disappointed with Che as a character — in part because it feels like they were set up to fail. “There are so many different possible ways to modernize the ‘SATC’ characters, but leaving that all up to essentially one character, comes across as bafflingly lazy.”
Troy McConnell, 27, a Washington, DC-based writer and self-proclaimed Sara Ramirez fan, is hoping that Che’s arc gets righted in the remaining four episodes.
“Hopefully over time, Che will settle a bit as a character,” he said. “The inclusion of a nonbinary character is wonderful … tossing a non-binary podcasting comedian straight into the mix is really on the nose, in a way that I find a bit silly, but also charming.”
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