The girls are back in town! Why the Sex and the City sequel is about to eclipse the original

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I couldn’t help but wonder – would there be Really Be a ready market for a Sex and the City reboot, nearly 20 years after we left our screens? And then the trailer for the sequel to the culturally iconic series — which ran for six award-laden, press-troubled seasons — came on, and I realized how badly I had missed it.

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Not that I missed it in the usual sense, of course. We live in a constantly on-the-go world, with access to all events at all times, YouTube videos to take off any little itch, and Instagram fan accounts dedicated to characters, clothing, men, and all the points in between. But there was a hunger for new stories about Carrie Bradshaw and the gang, and the trailer reminded me of the best parts of SATC. Power. Glee Glamour. The chemistry between the co-stars, and the vision of well-scripted actors at the top of their game. And, to quote the title of the new show, And Just Like That… I was looking forward to more.

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Maybe you don’t remember (hello, dimple youth!) or simply weren’t a fan of the original series, which was created by Darren Starr and based on Candace Bushnell’s bestselling book of the same name, in which he and his female friends are dating New York. lived in , I was not, before. Season one was – and on re-watching – a strange creature. Cold, hard, and fond of Carrie’s propensity to break the fourth wall to talk about her latest triumph or the social sexual incidents on display, it was easy to stop but hard to love. However, as this continued, the writers and cast changed it to 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 led by women: anarchic columnist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker); acerbic Manhattan lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon); Waspy Charlotte (Kristin Davis); and sex bomb Samantha (Kim Cattrall). They talked openly about sex (after Sam’s comment with a new man — “I’m dating the guy with the funniest taste” — largely became the show’s unofficial tagline), and they were friends. Reasonable friends, who mattered to each other, rose, fell and made out of storms together. It was this depiction of female closeness as much as clearly eye-catching that made it endearing, and an enduring success.

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That’s what we want more, and what the reboot seems to promise. Unlike two inexplicably terrifying spinoff films, released in 2008 and 2010, which emptied the franchise of everything that fans really held dear (most fans consider them un-canonical and mentally excise them from the record). Huh). While those projects simply filled the screen with fashion, the script and plot with hot air (especially in the second outing set in Abu Dhabi) with racism, and Just Like That… seem to have recaptured the essence of the show. Is.

Of course, one element is missing. Cattrall isn’t coming back (it seems, due to a long-running incompatibility between her and Parker), which means the new show will be Samantha-less. It is unlikely to be fatal. Not only are some characters (or actors) older than the show that makes them, Cattrall himself found himself increasingly uncomfortable and working on parodics in the role (at least until Sam had his first real encounter with young Jerrod). The relationship did not develop, and he was allowed to bring some emotional, as well as vulgar, vigor to action). It’s great to see him make a name for himself with some great performances, especially in British TV drama, and you can’t help but feel that the all-round effect is making us all – including Cattrall – take a breather. is to allow. of relief.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth in And Just Like That. Photograph: Steve Sands/New YorkNewswire/Bauer-Griffin/REX/Shutterstock

But let us turn again to the new offering. What do we know, from official promotions, leaked scripts, torn shots of filming and all the other scraps fans have managed to collect and put up on social media for everyone’s entertainment?

We know that Big (Chris Noth) is back and he and Carrie have some scenes in Paris. We know that Carrie kisses someone else. We can see that no one has yet figured out how to style Miranda’s (now silver-gray) hair. We know that Brady is 19 and has a girlfriend and now we are all Methuselah. David Eisenberg returns as Steve – although there are suggestions that Miranda’s sexuality is going to follow Nixon, who has come out as gay since SATC ended – and Evan Handler as Charlotte’s husband Harry came back. The new series is not the creation of Darren Starr (or Bushnell, indeed) but the creation of SATC showrunner and writer Michael Patrick King. He wrote two movies, but also wrote 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 – SATC was always unchanging about the diversity of city life. That seems to have been addressed by the addition of several new characters, including Sara Ramirez, a non-binary actor playing the non-binary, queer host of a podcast that (former?) columnist Carrie Now A frequent contributor. There’s also a carousel of new friends played by actors of color who clearly intend to fill the fourth spot, without anyone as a direct substitute for Samantha. “By no means were we into tokenism,” Parker said in a recent interview, pre-empting the possibility of criticism. “You can’t bring people into the show or let the camera be with them! All these characters are gifts to us.” Another prognosticator against talking instead of walking is that half of the writing staff are people of color, including award-winning author and comedian Samantha Irby.

Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) with her shoes in And Just Like That.
In Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Just Like That. Photograph: YouTube/HBO Max

It’s hard not to risk the most trendy — if not downright terrifying — of all the post-2016 action and start letting our hopes soar. After all, it’s the revival of a show that, flaws aside, became a symbol of a simpler, easier time – before Trump, before Brexit, long before Covid – and thus reminds us of when Were young and the world we knew felt more coherent and more coherent.

Plus, SATC was a show that brought people together for water-cooler moments. Berger’s Post-It Note! Killer Aidan! Carrie farting in front of Big! Samantha is taking out her friend’s diaphragm! Trey’s Incredible Boners! David Duchovny as a high-school sweetheart in a treatment facility! Mikhail Bleedin’ Baryshnikov suddenly turned and knocked him out of the park as if Alexander “are you … comic?” Petrovsky. And, above all, funky spunk—and a chance for women to see them speak, laugh, and relate to each other in private—were offered as part of mainstream storytelling. Sex may have collected column inches and fake-outrageous remarks, but even more shocking to many was hearing on TV what had long formed a fairly normal conversation between female friends.

Of course, this gritty was far from realistic. A shoe habit built on a column-a-week’s income Carrie tops with Monica and Rachel’s apartment in fairy tales New York. But emotional truth was abundant in it, and helped a generation of thirties to identify and articulate their experiences like few shows had previously or managed.

Now Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are in their 50s—an even more rarely-represented group. The youth have dominated television (and even more so cinema) over the past few decades, until recently they have remained steadfast. The days of Dallas and Dynasty, whose female stars were well beyond the simple age when global hits began (Dynasty’s Linda Evans, 38; Joan Collins, 47), were wiped out. The prevailing attitude towards (women’s) age is best summed up by the 30 Rock scene in which Jenna Maroney is cast as the sick mother of a Gossip Girl-type character. She tells her daughter not to worry. “I’ve got my life! But I’m 42. It’s time to die.” And the actors’ sale dates are based on the truth contained in Amy Schumer’s famous sketch, titled “Last Fuck Day” by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette.

The Fab Four in Sex and the City... (from left) Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker.
The Fab Four in Sex and the City… (from left) Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo: HBO

But the tightrope is beginning to loosen – if not because of a huge leap in progressive thinking, then because of the gaps in power left by the industry’s male titans, who were eventually torn apart by the revelations of #MeToo and whose projects were doomed to fall. . Safer pairs of female hands were created, and have helped bring about a change that will hopefully continue to gain momentum.

And the grand hope for Just Like That… is certainly that artists and writers can reproduce for another generation – though it remains their generation – of everything worthwhile that comes from extravagant fashion, glamorous cocktailing and proliferating. Brunch is down, which is what made it so much fun to watch. That they could capture issues, problems, jokes, conversations, relationships for middle-aged women as brilliantly, as brazenly, as they did for their younger incarnations. What a milestone and a triumph it would be if they could bring forth this culturally and socially invisible era of womanhood without regret and make us laugh with them – not at them – as we ever did.

And if his next round backfires to tie up some loose ends, let the records show there’s still room in my heart for him. I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Carey having a second fling with aprs-facilitator David Duchovny or coming across a down-and-out burger and still turning our heads toward all of us. Unless there’s a bloody addon. I, for one, am too old to go…

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