“Sex and the City” has come quite far from its relatively humble 1998 beginnings. Six seasons, 94 episodes, two movies and who knows how many pairs of Manolos later, and now a reboot titled “And Just Like That . . . “ has hit the small screen! Though it’s not exactly garnering much praise. HBO Max debuted the first two shows of the highly-anticipated ten-episode mini-series on Thursday to what, ultimately, amounted to a very loud collective social media womp-womp. Drawing massive pans from viewers, fans and critics alike (not to mention Peleton), the show is being called everything from “cringe” to a “hate watch at best” to a “bloated, laugh-free comedy.” Yikes! Not that the jeers aren’t well-deserved.
The reboot sees leading lady Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) now working as a podcaster (because writing books is so 2010) and – major spoiler alert! – mourning the loss of longtime love, John James Preston, aka Mr. Big (Chris Noth), who dies of a heart attack in episode one. To say the storyline is depressing is a vast understatement – and an odd directional choice considering the trying times the world has been faced with over the past year and a half. Instead of glamorous locations, high fashion, endless cosmos and escapism, “And Just Like That . . . “ is supplying audiences with dramatic death scenes, funeral plans and endless tears. As James Poniewozik of The New York Times succinctly opined, “If you were expecting a frothy cocktail to take your mind off the world’s troubles, the premiere throws that drink in your face.” And, for the record, it’s not anywhere near as satisfying as the drink-throw Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) tosses Richard Wright’s (James Remar) way in season five!
Speaking of Samantha, the show certainly feels lacking without the acerbic-witted publicist, whose absence is brusquely explained away in a brief scene. (Jones moved to London following an argument with Carrie and no longer returns any of the women’s calls.) Another element largely lacking? The Big Apple, which, during “Sex and the City’s” run, was a fundamental component to each and every storyline. Despite Parker’s promise to TMZ that “And Just Like That . . . “ would feature “New York City as a fourth character,” that has not yet been the case, with the city barely figuring into the background of the first two episodes. While fans will, no doubt, be excited to reunite with the women’s various apartment interiors, all of which are sets that were re-created for the reboot at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, only a handful of actual Manhattan locations have been featured thus far. Read on for a list of them. But be forewarned – there are more spoilers ahead!