And Just Like That...Sex and the City is Back
Things are a little different this time around for Carrie and Co.
Warning: Massive Spoilers Ahead.
We thought it would never happen. But here we are.
On Thursday the 9th of December, Sex and the City returned to its rightful home on the small screen. After two less than stellar movies, the words “written and directed by Michael Patrick King” will perhaps reassure reticent fans about some of the differences between this revival and the original HBO series.
Back in full swing are Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), as well as their significant others; Mr. Big (Chris Noth), Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) and Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler). In his final appearance before his untimely death, Willie Garson returns to the role of Stanford Blatch, neurotically fashionable as ever, and full of witty zest. Notably absent is Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), a huge fan-favorite who reportedly did not return because of ongoing tensions with the main cast.
The revival is quite respectful of Samantha’s absence however; having taken on a new job in London but missed dearly by her friends, and undoubtedly irreplaceable. Samantha hasn’t returned Carrie’s calls since she fired her as her publicist, fleeing to Britain with her pride damaged. While undoubtedly a disappointment for many, And Just Like That… rings true to some. As the characters get older, sometimes they lose people in life.
Speaking of which. And, massive spoilers ahead because after a very charming yet sedate return by “Hello It’s Me’, Carrie’s one true love, the man she spent six seasons and two movies hunting down is now, officially, dead. “Little Black Dress” opens with this shock revelation, after Carrie comes home from Charlotte’s daughter’s recital and finds Big on the floor. Gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and to many, a betrayal of the Hollywood ending viewers craved for Carrie.
But is it? In many ways, this was a necessary decision on behalf of writer-director Michael Patrick King. In the original series, Carrie is something of an anti-hero and the show is painstaking in linking her relationship with Big to her self-destructive tendencies, like smoking and over-indulging in Manolo Blahniks. When the final film gave her the happy ending, it went against the overall message of the early seasons. Women can get along just fine without men, if not better.
It’s a bold initiative, to take viewers back to what Sex and the City once was, the story of a stylish singleton carving her own path in New York City, an individual to the core and devoted to her friends. It’s not just Carrie seeking new experiences in this iteration either. Also teased is a romance between Miranda and newcomer Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), Carrie’s new boss at the sex-positive podcast she co-hosts. At Big’s funeral, the pair have an altercation when Che offers Miranda’s son a hit of pot. It’s a hilarious scene, that teases Sex and the City’s first potential same-sex relationship in the main cast since Samantha dated Maria in season four.
For Miranda fans, there’s a lot going on for our heroine. Miranda is taking a Master's degree in Humanitarian Law, after feeling guilty about corporate law and seeing thousands stranded during President Trump’s Entry Ban against Muslims. She makes a rather painful first impression on her professor, Nya Wallace (Karen Pittman), telling her not to sit in the lecturer’s chair, perhaps because she is black. In the second episode, Miranda attempts to be anti-racist, and calls out an altercation between a security guard and Professor Wallace. Wallace cuts her down. “This isn’t To Kill A Mockingbird. I don’t need a good-hearted lawyer to defend me.”
Sex and the City has always been regarded as a progressive show for its openness about sexuality and relationships but its treatment of people of color in the series has not exactly been a model of good representation.
Refreshing it may be, trying to move with the times, but more often than not is cringey and virtue signal-y. Carrie’s podcast is underscored by Che Diaz pressing a button that screams ‘Woke Moment’ when in reality people involved in social activism usually dislike that word for its demeaning connotations.
Fashion-wise, And Just Like That is as unshakeable as ever. Carrie’s sartorial choices are just as eclectic and enviable, but this time it’s not Patricia Field choosing between Vivienne Westwood skirts and Jimmy Choos. Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago helm the costume design, having apprenticed under Field for the film and its sequel. Carrie’s outfit for Mr.Big’s funeral is arguably one of the best things she’s ever worn on the show, chic, sophisticated but full of interesting details. The pair revealed in an interview that they focused on upcycled vintage pieces for the wardrobe, a decision that makes sense for Carrie. This will also fit nicely with the rumored storyline about a top that Carrie buys in Forever21, and a conflict revolving around fast fashion.
And for Charlotte fans, whoever you people are, all is well.
And just like that, Sex and the City is back in our lives. While a more contemplative approach on the lives of women in their fifties, it’s just as stylish and zany this time around, and hopefully going back to its roots of sorority, the single life and the highs and lows of life in the Big Apple. As Carrie says in the original series finale:
“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”