I I couldn’t help but wonder if there would be really to be a market ready for a Sex and the City reboot, nearly 20 years after it hit our screens? And then the trailer for the sequel to the culturally iconic series that spanned six award-winning, press-hushed seasons came along, and I realized how desperately I had missed it.
Not that I missed it in the usual sense, of course. We live in a world of constant reruns, access to all programs anytime, YouTube videos to scratch the itchy rash, and Instagram fan accounts devoted to characters, clothes, men and all points in between. But the thirst for new stories about Carrie Bradshaw and the gang was there, and the trailer reminded me of the best aspects of SATC. Energy. Joy. The glamor. The chemistry between the co-stars and the sight of well-scripted actors at the top of their game. And, to quote the title of the new show, And Just Like That, I couldn’t wait to find out more.
Maybe you don’t remember (hello, honeycomb kids!) I wasn’t, at first. The first season was and remains a strange creature. Cold, harsh, and hampered by Carries’ propensity to break through the fourth wall to talk about his latest conquest or the sociosexual phenomena on display, it was easy to contemplate but hard to love. However, as this continued, the writers and performers revamped it into something warmer and more immersive, allowing the characters to inform the action rather than the other way around.
It was an unusual series. It was run by women: chaotic columnist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker); acerbic Manhattan lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon); Waspy Charlotte (Kristin Davis); and the sex bomb Samantha (Kim Cattrall). They were candid about sex (Sam’s comment after blowjob with a new man, I was dating a guy with the funniest cum became the show’s unofficial tagline), and they were friends. Good friends, who mattered to each other, weathered storms together, fell out, and made up. It was this portrayal of female closeness as much as anything more overtly eye-catching that made her loved and enduring success.
This is what we want the most, and what the reboot seems to promise. Unlike the two insanely gruesome spin-offs, released in 2008 and 2010, which drained the franchise of everything fans really held dear (most fans see them as non-canon and mentally exclude them from the record). While these projects simply filled the fashion screen, hot air storyline, and intrigue (especially in the second outing, which takes place in Abu Dhabi) with racism, And Just Like That seems to have taken back the essence. from the Serie.
Of course, something is missing. Cattrall isn’t returning (due, reportedly, to a long-standing incompatibility between her and Parker), which means the new show will be without Samantha. This is unlikely to be fatal. Not only are few of the characters (or actors) consistently taller than the show that makes them, but Cattrall herself seemed increasingly uncomfortable and almost parodic in the role (at least until that time). that Sam develops his first real relationship, with young Jerrod, and be allowed to bring some emotional, as well as vulvar, vigor to the proceedings). It has been great to see her make a name for herself with great performances since then, in the UK TV series in particular, and you can’t help but feel the overall effect has been to empower us all including Cattrall , to breathe a sigh of relief. .
But back to the new offering. What do we know about the official commercial, leaked scripts, typed shoots, and all the other tunes fans have managed to put together and social media to everyone’s delight?
We know that Big (Chris Noth) is back and that he and Carrie have a few scenes in Paris. We know Carrie is kissing someone else. We can see that no one has figured out how to style Mirandas (now silver gray) hair yet. We know Brady is 19 and has a girlfriend and we are all Mathusalems now. David Eigenberg returns as Steve, though there are suggestions that Miranda’s sexuality will follow Nixons, who has turned gay since the SATC ended, and Evan Handler is back as Charlotte’s husband Harry. The new series is not the creation of Darren Star (or Bushnell) but of SATC showrunner and writer Michael Patrick King. He wrote both films but also about a third of the original episodes including the finale and it looks like he may have regained his touch.
Like its contemporaries among them Friends and Frasier, the SATC has still not reflected the diversity of city life. This appears to have been addressed by the addition of several new characters, including Sara Ramirez, a non-binary actress who will play the non-binary queer host of a podcast to which (former?) Columnist Carrie now contributes frequently. . There’s also a carousel of new friends played by actors of color who are seemingly destined to fill the fourth space with no one directly taking over for Samantha. We were by no means into tokenism, Parker said in a recent interview, anticipating the potential for criticism. You can’t get people on the show and not let the camera be with them! These characters are all gifts to us. Another prophylactic measure against talking rather than walking is that half of the editorial staff are people of color, including award-winning writer and actress Samantha Irby.
It’s hard not to risk the most old-fashioned, if not downright terrifying of all post-2016 action and start letting our expectations rise. After all, it’s the resurrection of a show that, flaws aside, came to symbolize a simpler and easier time before Trump, before Brexit, long before Covid and thus inevitably reminds us of when we were young and what the world we knew felt more cohesive. and more consistent.
Additionally, SATC was a show that brought people together with many refreshing moments. Post-it of the Shepherds! Fucking Aidan! Carrie farts in front of Big! Samantha fishing her diaphragm friends! Unreliable treys boners! David Duchovny as high school boyfriend in treatment center! Mikhail bleedin Baryshnikov suddenly introduces himself and kicks him out of the park as Aleksandr. Are you funny? Petrovsky. And, above all, the funky sperm and a chance for women to see the way they spoke, laughed and told each other in private offered as part of a mainstream story. Sex may have gathered thumbs up and falsely indignant comments, but even more shocking for many was hearing on television what had long been a fairly ordinary conversation between friends.
Of course, that was far from realistic. The shoe habit that Carrie kept with an income of one column a week is up there with Monica and Rachel’s apartment in New York’s fairy tale annals. But it contained emotional truth in abundance and helped a generation of 30s identify and articulate their experiences in a way few shows had done before or handled since.
Today, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte are in their fifties an even more rarely represented group. The hold that young people have had on television (and even more so on the cinema) in recent decades has until recently been unyielding. The days of Dallas and Dynasty, whose female stars were well beyond the age of ingenuity when world success began (Dynastys Linda Evans was 38; Joan Collins, 47), had been erased. The dominant attitude towards age (of women) is best summed up by the scene from 30 Rock in which Jenna Maroney is played as the sick mother of a Gossip Girl type character. She tells her daughter not to worry. I had my life! But I am 42 years old. It is time to die. And the expiration dates of the actors are based on the truth written in the famous sketch of Amy Schumers, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette entitled Last Fuckable Day.
But the noose is starting to loosen if not because of big leaps in progressive thought and then because of the power vacuum left by the male titans of the industry who were ultimately overthrown by the #MeToo revelations and whose plans were ruined in the falls. Safe pairs of female hands have been drafted, and it’s helped bring about a change that will hopefully continue to gain momentum.
The great hope for And Just Like That is surely that the actors and screenwriters can replicate for another generation, although it remains to their generation all that makes sense under the extravagant fashion, the glamorous cocktails and the proliferating brunches that it does. made it so fun to watch. That they can capture the issues, the issues, the jokes, the conversations, the relationships for middle aged women as gloriously and unashamedly as they did for their younger incarnations. What a milestone and what a triumph it would be if they could shamelessly highlight this age of culturally and socially invisible femininity and make us laugh as much with them not at them as we ever did.
And if their next set of adventures came back on repeat to sort out a few details, let the record show there’s still room in my heart for it. I wouldn’t be opposed to Carrie having a second fling with a David Duchovny aftermarket establishment or meeting a run down Shepherd and continuing to stomp on her head for the sake of all of us. As long as there is no Aidan. For my part, I am too old to relive his nonsense.
And just as it begins December 9, 9 p.m., Comedy of the Sky
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