Film & TV Muse TV

Revival or Just Plain Reboot?

And Just Like That... Carrie Bradshaw, Charlotte, and Miranda are back in the city- leaving a Samantha-shaped hole in our hearts.

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Image Credit: Warner Media

After an 11-year absence, Sex and the City has returned for a ten-episode reboot. The series recently aired on HBO Max following the cancellation of a third film.

The series follows the lives of three out of four members of the original group. The absence of Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is explained as a friendship drift, though the reality is a conflict between the cast members. The lead cast are now in their fifties, meaning very different on-screen lives for their characters than in the original series. Jokes surrounding menopause, grey hairs, and Botox stand out as particularly funny and well-timed moments.

As time has moved on, so have the lives of the trio. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) has a teenage son, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has two children, and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is still a shopaholic- but now with a podcast. The controversial presence of Mr Big, played by Chris North, is worthy of note. Many people believe that he should have been written out entirely due to sexual assault allegations. He is killed off at the beginning of the series in what is a very well executed and upsetting scene. His death lingers in the background of the rest of the series, providing the basis of Carrie’s character development. He was due to make a second appearance at the end of the series, though this was written out.

The series is up to date with modern life, set in post-pandemic America. Charlotte must come to face with the fact that one of her children identifies as gender non-conforming, while Miranda goes on her own journey of sexual self-discovery. At times, it does feel as though the producers are ticking boxes in terms of being as progressive as possible. However, this is often made into a joke, such as the transgender rabbi and the ‘they-mitzva’. They also handle issues of race in a serious, yet everyday way. Situations such as Charlotte mistaking one black dinner party guest for another, and Miranda taking the ‘white saviour approach’ to her tutor make for interesting conversations about race.

As ever, Carrie’s outfits were a highlight of the series. Costume designer Molly Rogers mixed the old with the new, bringing in new pieces while maintaining Carrie’s whimsical style. All of Carrie’s pieces from the original series were kept in storage, though Rogers notes that it was difficult deciding which items to bring back. The Versace Mille Feuille gown makes a grand re-entrance, along with Carrie’s iconic sparkly purple Fendi baguette bag.

Out of all the characters, Charlotte’s character was the most interesting in this reboot. Miranda had her moments, but I found myself disagreeing with her decision to leave her husband for Carrie’s podcast host. As for Carrie herself, I enjoyed some of her scenes, but she’s just not that interesting. Charlotte is the kind of upper-crust princess you want to hate but can’t help but love. She is a very dedicated (if smothering) mum, exceptional socialite, and has a brilliant husband. The best character, hands down.

Before watching this, my mum warned that if I don’t understand something “it’s because you’re not a 50-year-old woman”. Evidently, I’m not the primary target audience for this reboot. However, I think that made me enjoy the series even more. I’ve watched some of the original series and films, but I obviously wasn’t old enough to watch the series as it aired in the 90s and early 2000s. Therefore, I enjoyed the series for what it was and wasn’t too upset by the absence of Samantha and the different format to the original series.

This series filled a few hours of my reading week and was a bit of trashy telly to get me through an otherwise uneventful period. Was it the best thing I’ve ever seen? No- but it was easy to watch, fun, and made me laugh. What more could you want?

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