The New “Sex And The City” Is A Giant Bummer


Sarah Jessica Parker in And Simply Like That…

Within the extremely anticipated restricted sequence reprisal of Intercourse and the Metropolis, HBO Max’s And Simply Like That…, no person’s having a very good time — Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw least of all.

Poor Carrie. By the top of the primary episode, she’s suffered a few tragic losses — yet one more ambiguous, one sadly definitive — and she or he not is aware of what to do with herself. Although she’s apparently engaged on one other e book, it doesn’t appear as if writing stays a central focus of her life, which is a disgrace; her iconic voiceovers have been diminished to a single “And similar to that…” on the finish of each episode, with a brief fill within the clean. (I received’t spoil it, however the first one is so surprising and silly that I laughed aloud.)

As an alternative of pouring herself into her column, 55-year-old Carrie is attempting to up her social media sport and get extra candidly raunchy on a intercourse and gender podcast, her solely recurring gig. She’s “representing the cisgender girls” on the present, which is helmed by nonbinary comic Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), who’s, sadly, not very humorous.

There aren’t loads of laughs available typically all through these first 4 episodes (two are streaming now on HBO Max, and the following two have been made accessible to critics). At round 45 minutes lengthy, they appear to fall extra firmly on the drama facet of the comedy-drama spectrum, whereas the unique sequence stored installments brief ’n candy, and general exuded extra gaiety, extra enjoyable.

Initially of the pandemic, I binged all of Intercourse and the Metropolis, for most likely the fourth or fifth time in my life, and I felt instantly at house amongst a gaggle of girls who have been all the time attempting to make one another giggle, even and particularly when instances bought exhausting. In fact, I didn’t really feel too at house; escaping into a much more elegant and thrilling universe than my very own was additionally one of many sequence’ nice attracts. However as has been the case with different reboots from the previous couple of years — Gossip Lady and The L Phrase come to thoughts — modernizing the unique’s much-beloved and intensely glamorous world has for some purpose meant making it drearier, extra awkward, and general much less joyful to inhabit.

Like these different reveals, And Simply Like That… has a extra numerous solid than its supply materials: 4 new characters are all folks of coloration. However thus far, they appear to exist principally in service of the unique white girls. Che, for instance, encourages Carrie to let her freak flag fly, offers a studying expertise in gender range for Charlotte, and stirs some long-dormant sexual emotions in Miranda. (That final half I can get on board with, and never solely as a result of so many people have needed our favourite bossy short-haired lawyer to discover her queer facet for ages now: Bear in mind the “intercourse” within the unique Intercourse and the Metropolis? I’d prefer to see a few of that, please!!!)

In my least favourite plotline, Miranda is taking lessons for her grasp’s diploma with Dr. Nya Wallace (Karen Pittman), and the 2 have turn into mates even though Miranda retains dumping a bunch of weird racial microaggressions throughout Nya at any time when they work together. Neither am I a fan of Charlotte’s budding friendship with Lisa Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker), a documentary filmmaker who forces Charlotte to appreciate that she has no different Black mates. It feels true to each Miranda and Charlotte’s characters that they’d be clueless although well-meaning Karens on their respective journeys towards some sense of racial consciousness, however their blunders don’t make for nice tv.

Modernizing the unique’s much-beloved and intensely glamorous world has for some purpose meant making it drearier, extra awkward, and general much less joyful to inhabit. 

Probably the greatest issues concerning the unique present was how expansive the world felt. You needed to reside in Carrie’s New York: one the place there’s all the time some scorching new bar or restaurant to strive, the place traversing to a distinct borough means ill-fated adventures with handsome strangers. Within the reboot, we’re postpandemic — I envy these characters, for whom COVID is historic historical past to quip about reasonably than the present-day nightmare it stays for us in the actual world — which ought to imply the town coming joyously alive once more, again and higher than ever. The present does make its approach round Manhattan, however solely as a result of Carrie is just too depressed to eat or sleep, so she simply glumly walks in every single place. Within the course of, New York has been diminished to mere backdrop: Not solely is there barely any intercourse on this new Intercourse and the Metropolis (besides the teenaged form had by Miranda’s son, Brady — gross), there’s barely any metropolis, both. Its most distinguished position now could be as a classic appeal on Carrie’s necklace, a top level view of New York state changing the gold nameplate of her youth.

Okay, the great: Carrie nonetheless appears to be like fabulous, if slightly bonkers, which feels good. Longtime costume designer Patricia Subject didn’t return for the reboot — she’s too busy engaged on Emily in Paris, which solely needs it was nearly as good as the unique SATC however her legacy lives on in Carrie’s signature maximalism. My favourite outfit thus far has Carrie colorblocked in a swimsuit of various shades of blue, topped off with a string of pearls and a necklace studded with a giant blue gem within the form of a coronary heart, à la Rose’s in Titanic. Stunning, on the verge of cheesy, fully excessive, particularly for an off-the-cuff weekday podcast taping — that’s Carrie. That’s enjoyable! It’s too unhealthy many of the present’s lightness and whimsy is confined to the garments.

You’d need to think about that the women can be having extra enjoyable — and extra intercourse — if Samantha have been nonetheless round. Sadly, it appears extremely uncertain that the present’s most convivial character will ever return, since Kim Catrall retired the position when she turned 60, her long-running feud with SJP and different solid members seemingly spurring the choice. I virtually want the present had determined that the women had merely drifted aside, reasonably than turning Samantha’s absence into yet one more bummer for Carrie to be unhappy about.

There’s nonetheless time for the sequence to show itself round: for the brand new characters to get their very own devoted plotlines, reasonably than driving all people else’s; for Carrie to determine what comes subsequent; for Miranda to hopefully have some scorching homosexual intercourse. Clearly I’m going to observe it doesn’t matter what. However I hope morale improves, for each these characters’ sakes and for ours. ●

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