I was sceptical about the SATC reboot, but ‘And Just Like That’ is actually pretty good
‘And Just Like That’ is surprisingly good, actually.
*This post contains spoilers*
I’m not of the generation that grew up with Sex and the City, but I found my way over to the fandom eventually. And like many, I was hooked from the get-go. Sure, the series spoke of a different time – one that I was unfamiliar with – but the fashion, the friendships, and the freedom that New York City afforded these four beautiful women was enough to reel me in.
Last March I renewed my love affair with the show thanks to Caroline O’Donoghue’s mini-podcast series, Sentimental in the City. Then, I learned that a reboot was in the works and my heart dropped. Producers had already tried to recapture the magic with two subsequent films… both of which even die-hard fans will tell you were totally awful. Neither one could live up to the original series and it’s still unclear to me why any of the cast ever agreed to do the films in the first place. Six seasons had come to a very favourable end back in 2004 and the SATC finale continues to be one of its top-rated episodes of all time – something that almost never happens, especially with shows of this magnitude where it’s near impossible to keep everyone happy.
A third movie was proposed and swiftly shot down (thankfully) but then plans pivoted and a revival series was agreed upon. I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes. In fact, I hadn’t even planned on watching the new episodes. I regretted watching the movies, and didn’t want to make the same mistake this time around. But as media attention of the new project grew, I became more and more intrigued. How would they explain Kim Cattrall’s very obvious absence? Would the fashion suffer given Patricia Field’s decision not to be involved? What fresh drama would happen between Carrie and Big? Try as I might to avoid it, I was reeled in once again.
Many of the concerns I previously had about the show have been wiped away though and while it’s still not as good as the original (how could we expect it to be), it’s much better than I anticipated. Safe to say I was extremely sceptical about the whole thing, but now five episodes in, and I’ve been converted. The team has made a serious effort to rectify fan criticism of the show (and movies) and they really stuck to their guns when it came to diversifying both the cast and the plotlines.
Producers’ promises to be more inclusive and representative initially seemed like ill-disguised attempts to appease the masses but they actually made good on their word and have proved that the big talk was more than just lip service. The core four have been replaced with the core three (Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte), but their lives have been interwoven with those of the supporting cast, many of whom’s storylines are arguably even more important. Everything from gender identity to grief, race, motherhood, and sexual preferences have been tackled thus far.
And that’s without mentioning the small issue of getting older – something that seems to be the most controversial of all the reboot’s themes. SJP and her female co-stars have faced huge amounts of criticism for looking older… but they’d be equally lambasted if they looked youthful (one need only look to the comments about “how much work Kristin Davis has had done” as proof of that). While the trio has changed and made attempts to make themselves relevant to a more modern society (Carrie has a podcast, hello?), it still allows the women to be who they are and unapologetically so. Big is dead, Miranda is supposedly into people who are not Steve now and while I’m still not over Samantha not being part of the gang, I am quite impressed by the show’s authenticity. It’s surprisingly refreshing to watch a series that revolves around a group of 50-something-year-old women.
That’s not to say that the reboot doesn’t have its teething problems. It does, but they’re much more insignificant than I expected. I’d love for the new eps to be narrated by SJP, the ‘Miranda has a drinking problem’ storyline is a little too in your face for my liking, and can someone please explain why they made Steve senile for God’s sake?! These are all minor grievances in the grand scheme of things though. So for those of you still too dubious to watch, consider this your green light, from one reformed cynic to another.