It’s been a long few months for Sex and the City fans since the announcement of the new HBO Max reboot, And Just Like That… but the anticipation is finally over, and boy did the ending of the first episode deliver the tears!
The series premiered this week and kicked off with the death of one of our favourite characters, Big (or John James Preston, played by Chris Noth). The enigmatic long term love interest and husband of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) died in her arms after suffering a heart attack on his 1000th Peloton ride.
Though the death so early on in the series has shocked many viewers, some fans had been expecting it. James Miller from the Origins podcast revealed after speaking to the creators of SATC, that the cancelled third movie centred around Big’s death. The theories were only exacerbated after the trailer for the series was released showing very little Big scenes and appearing to centre around Carrie entering a new stage of life.
The series immediately begins by addressing the Kim Cattrall sized elephant in the room, with Carrie, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristen Davis) discussing the loss of their relationship with Samantha. The series attributed Cattrall’s departure to Samantha moving to London and cutting ties after Carrie didn’t need her publicity work anymore. However, Samantha was shown to have sent a large floral bouquet to Big’s funeral, possibly hinting at leaving the door open to negotiations for a return.
Charlotte’s character remains largely the same, living happily with her husband and children, and Miranda has gone back to school to study Human Rights while struggling to raise a teenage son. Stanford Blatch (played by the late Willie Garson, who died shortly after filming) has taken the fourth spot in the group and provides the comic relief.
The reviews for the first two episodes have been very mixed. Some fans were very disappointed that SATC would kill off such a major character, asking why we were so invested in their love story for years just for Carrie to lose him again. Others pointed out the forced wokeness that was awkwardly littered through the episodes, with the New York Times describing the series as “part dramedy about heartbreak, part awkward bid at relevance”; or thought the show was severely lacking Cattrall’s larger than life character.
The creators have taken a huge risk with the series and it will be interesting to see how it navigates Carrie’s life as an ageing widow. We have heard that Aiden (John Corbett) could be set to make a return which seems like it could be a silver lining!
And Just Like That… can be streamed on Binge. New episodes are released every Thursday!