After six seasons and two movies, the women of “Sex and the City” are back together and navigating life in their fifties in the new HBO Max reboot “And Just Like That.”
However, “And Just Like That” is a reboot where its best aspect, among the few positive elements there are, is merely seeing these ladies play their unforgettable roles from the late 90s and early 2000s once again.
Each one has her own storyline, mostly having to do with them figuring out how to adapt to a woke 21st century.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) goes from writing her sex-related columns to speaking on a raunchy podcast. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) learns to break away from her outdated version of “perfection” as her one daughter comes out as nonbinary and the other secretly becomes freer with her body. And finally, Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) learns more about herself and her sexuality as a result of her unhappiness within her marriage to Steve (David Eigenberg).
Most noticeably, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), arguably the best character from “Sex and the City,” is absent, and that is truly felt. The show is missing the crude, witty humor Samantha never failed to deliver in the original series.
Though we don’t get to see Cattrall reprise her iconic role as Samantha, the show doesn’t fail to mention her. And every time they do, it is sure to bring a tear to any “Sex and the City” fan’s eye.
But what’s hot on everyone’s mind is the Miranda of it all. Miranda, who condemned Steve for his cheating in the first movie, goes on to take up the role herself in the new series as she begins an affair with Carrie’s podcast boss, Che Diaz, played by “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sara Ramirez.
There’s a good and a bad to this — the good being that we applaud Miranda for fully exploring her sexuality and representing the women who may be in a similar position. The bad being that she is married, and that Steve, especially the poor, geriatric version of him we see in this reboot, is utterly screwed over in a heartbreaking fashion. I mean, did the Brooklyn Bridge scene in the first movie mean nothing to her?
As for Charlotte, she contributes to the letdown of what was to come for the characters. Completely oblivious to what teenagers are like and the world in which we all currently live, it’s almost as if she was taken from 1998 and plopped right in 2022 with no sense of how people and the world have evolved. You just want to tell her to listen to Rock (formerly Rose) when they say they don’t want to wear a dress. And duh, Lily has a secret finsta, she’s 15.
The most disappointing, however, is that once upon a time these two characters were so on their game and strong-willed. They contributed to a cast that represented women in a time when only men could acceptably be loose with their goose. Now, though they are trying to mold to the times — and I will give them that — they seem to be going about it in a clueless and borderline cringey way. Fifty-five isn’t old, so don’t make it seem so out of touch.
As for our leading lady Carrie Bradshaw, her world is turned upside down when Mr. Big (Chris Noth) tragically dies at the hands of none other than the Peloton, something to which the brand in real life has attributed to his highfalutin lifestyle of big steaks and expensive cigars.
Though it was a game-changing shocker for fans of the couple who waited so long for them to officially get together, the recent sexual assault allegations against Noth allowed his character a decent enough exit from the series before they would inevitably have to write him off.
Speaking of, Stanford’s departure was nothing short of swept under the rug and disappointing. Willie Garson, who plays Carrie’s best friend in the original series, passed away unexpectedly three episodes into filming. Rather than a proper tribute, the writers merely sent him to Tokyo with nothing but a letter left for everyone to find out where he had gone. If you ask me, both Garson and his character deserved more of a send-off.
As many flaws as “And Just Like That” has, it also has some redeeming qualities, one being Anthony (Mario Cantone), Charlotte’s quick-witted friend from the original series and Stanford’s now-husband. Anthony’s line delivery is perfection in every scene he is in and is sure to fill in the humor void.
The show also does work toward portraying more representation. From the inclusion of LGBTQ+ storylines to more diverse casting, they do make an effort to break away from the same old, same old from the past.
Further, there is nothing like references to the original show. Carrie sitting in the window of her old apartment in the Versace dress she wore in Paris is the moment we didn’t know we needed but got anyway. With only two episodes left to air, all we can ask for is Aidan to return.
Now for the big questions. Did this reboot taint our beloved characters? Yes. Am I going to stop watching? Absolutely not.
“And Just Like That” presents flaws and disappointments that are manifold. However, the joy of seeing these actresses back on the small screen together in the roles we know and love is just enough to make it worth watching.