And Just Like That… you realise it’s not worth the watch ★

*SPOILER WARNING*

By Inayah Inam

This Sex and the City (SATC) reboot/sequel/revival… whatever you want to call it, is not worth your time. Take this from someone who will not get 10 hours of her life back from a show she once revered as the ultimate bible for any single woman living in a city. 

Let’s be honest. Nobody asked for this reboot. But we secretly did want it. For anyone that was a fan of SATC (whether that was in its Y2K heyday, or it’s endless reruns), we missed the salaciousness, the whip smart dialogue, and did I mention– THE SEX. Yes, Sex and the City did revolutionise sex on TV and stimulated discussions off-TV about female pleasure, dating and companionship in all its forms. Whether you saw yourself as a ‘Carrie’, ‘Charlotte’, ‘Miranda’ or ‘Samantha’, the show, despite its glitzy big Apple setting, was relatable in its congenital atmosphere of empowering sisterhood. 

The reboot lacks severely in that department. Starting with a caustic nod to the large Samantha shaped hole in the show, we’re left with a pretty hollow explanation. Carrie’s sighing footnote to her decades long friendship, “I guess I thought I was more to her than an ATM”, deals a heavy blow to an unfair and harsh assessment of Samantha. I could go on about how the writers have completely ignored the fact that Samantha was the one that doled out the ‘mani-pedis’ and expensive holidays that Carrie and the girls enormously benefitted from, but we’ll leave that for another time. 

Aside from the tongue in cheek remarks about the funniest retired character on the show “She’s not with us anymore”, Miranda poignantly remarks that Samantha’s voluntary absence amongst the quartet is equivalising to her symbolic and literal death; ”It’s like she died”. I can’t help but agree with Miranda here. Not only does Samantha feel truly dead, but so does the magic of the show. Samantha (as many would agree) was actually the beating heart of the show. She represented the prime illicit substance of voracious and rapturous womanhood; the capital B in Bitch, who throughout the show’s six seasons and two movies called out sexist and double standards even amongst her own female fraternity. The show’s remaining trio are and were always confused, conservative and conventional in many ways. The show, without her, pales in comparison to its much superior original series. 

The characters are all joined by diverse counterparts who are there to add some flavour and contemporary colouring to the show. We have the “black version of Charlotte” played by Nicole Ari Parker (I mean, really?); Sara Ramirez playing Che Diaz, the queer comedian celebrity who catalyses Miranda’s lesbian awakening; as well as Seema Patel, the urbane and fabolous real estate agent who becomes Carrie’s new Samantha. Played by Sarita Choudhury, who provides some of the funny filth quota that’s noticeably missing from the sequel, she too is severely underutilised. The show directors give us a two minute scene of Carrie’s experiences at Seema’s parents’ Diwali party and that is it. Nothing really interesting is said or explored. The non-white characters feel peripherial and the trio’s stunted awareness of gender labelling is tagged on artifical, trying to be too woke and self aware. 

Along with the new additions to the cast, even the old characters feel cheated. Sweet Steve, played by David Eigenberg, is now reduced to being deaf and boring because when you hit 50 that’s supposedly what happens? Chris Noth’s ageing “Mr Big” Pelotons to his death in the first episode. It’s not the shocking decision to kill a much beloved character so soon that irritates me. It’s the response of his widow. Apart from an immaculately white funeral with Todd Rundgren’s ‘Hello It’s Me’ playing in the background, we don’t and still haven’t felt the devastation of this loss. Cruelly snatching away a man Carrie had longed and fought for throughout SATC and its two films felt callous. Although it provided an arc for the over privileged author to ‘rediscover’ herself and redefine happiness, it feels unnecessary. 

The show and its characters are just not fun anymore. Maybe it’s their age. Maybe it’s because they’ve so callously disregarded its standout characters like Samantha or its supporting cast like Big and Steve. Although the finale slightly redeemed itself with Carrie finally saying goodbye to Big (still no excruciating howling of grief about losing the love of her life, but we’ll move on) and some surprising elevator tonsil tennis, it’s hardly the sweet satisfactory ending we had in 2004. 

They probably want to renew it for another season. They’ve certainly left a possibility for that. Carrie is open to new love and possibilities. Samantha might return for more than just cocktails on London time. Maybe Miranda will really love L.A., and Charlotte… well she’ll just probably stay as incredibly rich and untroubled as before.

And just like that, you realise that you’ve said goodbye to SATC, even if they haven’t.

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