Like it or not, they’re back. Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda (but not Samantha Jones) will strut through the streets of Manhattan in their manolos, discussing relationships and celebrating female friendship. HBOs and just like that … (AJLT), the promising Sex and the City comeback show, starts filming in May. (Kim Cattrall declined the offer to participate, essentially saying that life was too short.)
The original series, based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book, ran over six seasons from 1998 to 2004. But like a long-tailed comet, she had a living afterlife in reruns, pop culture references, New York bus tours, and an increasing global demand for cosmopolitans.
Two films followed in 2008 and 2010, which were mainly characterized by racist stereotypes and general dizziness. The show was groundbreaking for its camp depictions of love, money, singledom, and sex. But the world has changed in the 17 years since it ended. The audience enjoyed Fleabag and Succession and experienced a performative vigilance on social media. How will the new show fit all these years later? Or, like the movies, won’t even try? Here are five things the show could fix to make the second age better than the first:
More color: Sex and the city’s key figures were white throughout the run. Black men showed up from time to time, but only to serve the usual sexual stereotypes and be fired. Then, in the 2008 film, Jennifer Hudson was cast as Carrie’s designer-hungry assistant. She received a Louis Vuitton handbag in a gesture of grand patronage and was then expelled from the act. Since then, viewers have watched the musical Hamilton and Regency Bridgerton switch to color-blind casting. AJLT will hopefully find that they have to step into the American demographics of the 21st century.
Add More Of The Rainbow: When it first aired, the show had two gay characters in recurring roles. But Carrie’s friends Stanford and Anthony were caricatures – over-dressing, gesturing and clapping. Meanwhile, when one of her friends was revealed to be bisexual, Carrie stated, “I’m not even sure if bisexuality exists. I think it’s just a stop on the way to Gaytown. “Samantha once said she had a problem with the existence of a trio of transsexual sex workers. The other colors on the Pride flag have been answered with gasps and innuendos. Let comedies like Brooklyn Nine-Nine show the girls how to do better.
Dial the toxicity down: Carrie remains at the altar. Miranda is asked if she could have been too busy to play a role in her husband’s infidelity. Samantha is embarrassed when she gains weight. Sure, relationships are tough, but those storylines are hollow at a time when shows are more sensitive to loneliness, abandonment, body image, and problems faced by women in the workplace.
Let the real world in: The women of Sex and the City seemed to take no notice of a world in transition, of a society that is falling apart despite being more closely connected. Cynthia Nixon announced her campaign for the governor of New York in 2018. It would be interesting to know her character Miranda’s thoughts on reproductive rights, climate change and online privacy, as well as the pay gap or undocumented migrants. Even then, the female audience was startled because they were reduced to endless rounds of brunch and shopping. It’s not difficult to cover topics like adoption, surrogacy, family dysfunction, and childhood trauma – friends, for all their shortcomings, sometimes touched them all in a single episode.
Life Signs Show: Girls, HBO’s other show about four white women in New York after the recession, showed how hard it is to survive in the city. The luxury market shows that young women today are not crazy about collecting Hermes handbags. Dior’s t-shirts are now We Should All Be Feminists. AJLT might allow Miranda to find out what it’s like to be a partner in a law firm today and allow Charlotte to keep her bladder on the Upper East Side. Finally, tell us what love means to Carrie when it’s not embodied in a cardboard cutout from Mr. Big.