It turns out the And Just Like That... writers don't actually hate David Eigenberg.
Following the most recent episode of the HBO Max series, writer Roxane Gay questioned on Twitter, "On And Just Like That, do they hate the actor who plays Steve? They have given his character not one good scene. He just walks around yelling uttering absolute nonsense. It's bizarre. He was so lovely."
Gay wasn't alone in her criticism of the series' treatment of the good-natured dad, played by David Eigenberg. Another Twitter user added, "And Just Like That has done Steve so dirty GOOD LORD," and this person said, "Not a fan of most of the decisions on And Just Like That…, but I really hate what's happened to Steve."
But show writers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky tell Vanity Fair that Steve's sad story line is not motivated by spite. On the contrary, Zuritsky says, "Everyone on the show, every single person, loves David Eigenberg as a human being."
So why are they putting Steve (Eigenberg) through hell by making his perpetually grumpy wife, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), cheat on him with Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) while he remains blissfully—or naively—unaware, in addition to giving him hearing loss? Well, Rottenberg and Zuritsky say that it's not about him—it's about Miranda.
"Miranda's journey is representing another reality out there, which a lot of people go through—the reevaluations and transitions in life," Rottenberg explains. "Grown couples grow apart, and people come to epiphanies about what their spouse is or isn't fulfilling for them. Miranda's story was very representative of a certain path that a lot of women find themselves on."
"Sometimes your friends make choices that you might not agree with or that might be concerning, but you sort of have to let them make their own choices," Zuritsky says. "Sometimes it's hard."
As for this hearing, the plotline is an example of art imitating life. Zuritsky shared, "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."
The writers did say that Steve will have it out with Miranda eventually. Zuritsky teased, "You're going to get that scene."
Will it make up for everything that Miranda has put him through? Probably not. But viewers can see how things pan out when And Just Like That... streams Thursday on HBO Max.