“And Just Like That”, the long-awaited sequel to “Sex and the City” still starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, is available today on Salto, in US + 24. Discover our opinion on the first episodes.
Eleven years after the theatrical release of Sex and the City 2, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis reunite with their iconic characters of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte on the occasion of And Just Like That, a revival event of Sex and the City composed of 10 episodes, which debuted yesterday in the United States on HBO Max and which is available from this Friday, December 10 in France on the Salto platform, in US + 24.
A sequel inevitably eagerly awaited by fans, but which should not fail to divide the public. And this from the very first episode, marked by the absence of Kim Cattrall, who did not resume her role of Samantha Jones due, among other things, to her complicated relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker. But also by the death of an important character in the franchise, who promises to upset – in part – the established order. For the best or for the worst.
So, was this reunion with our favorite New Yorkers really necessary? And what remains of the DNA that made Sex and the City such a cutting-edge and important series? This is what we thought of the first episodes of And Just Like That, unveiled in preview to the press a few hours before they were posted on Salto.
Three heroines standing the test of time?
When HBO Max announced the order for a new season of Sex and the City a few months ago, it was impossible not to be perplexed and not to ask questions about the usefulness of such a project. . After all, with a season 6 partly weighed down by the presence of Aleksandr Petrovsky, a rather average first feature film, and a downright atrocious second, the adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and her best friends had not been on top since almost twenty years.
And if And Just Like That is far from perfect (we will come back to it), this sequel has at least the merit of immersing us almost instantly in the daily life of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte with a somewhat disconcerting ease and a certain pleasure. . Seeing this quartet that became a trio again during the decade between these new episodes of the second film will indeed bring back the smile of the hard-core faithful of the series. And too bad if this feeling of satisfaction is not very rational, given the fairly average quality of the first episodes.
However, whether it’s lunches with girlfriends, cocktails, magical visions of Bradshaw’s countless pairs of shoes in his dressing room, or walks in the magical streets of New York, everything is there or almost. Including some dialogue that manages to recreate the illusion of the first seasons – like when Charlotte reassures a Miranda exasperated by her seventeen-year-old son’s very active sex life with an “At least he’s protecting himself” and which Carrie then throws a tasty “This is called seeing the condom half full”.
But like the original title of the series, replaced by And Just Like That, sex seems to have disappeared from the lives of its heroines and has given way to more mature issues and conversations relating their daily life as wives. very fulfilled, locked for some in a marriage plan-plan, without being completely unhappy for all that.
And as they face the passage of time and the evolutions of a society that did not wait for them to move forward, Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte, somewhat stuck in the early 2000s – like the writers and producers of this revival – struggling to find their place in the New York of 2021. Whether it’s as a model mother for Charlotte, as a newly-educated activist lawyer for Miranda, or as a star columnist from the past who now tries with more or less ease in podcasts against a background of sexuality for Carrie.
Often criticized in recent years for being too white and heterosexual – when she was a reflection of an era and one should not forget how pioneering she was in terms of portraying sexuality and female friendship on screen – Sex and the City here tries to make up for its shortcomings. But unfortunately tries too much, without real finesse or relevance.
By wanting to be more political and more “woke”, And Just Like That makes gravitate new female characters of color in the friendly or professional circle of each heroine, but these women, embodied by Nicole Ari Parker, Sarita Choudhury, Karen Pittman, and Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy), never really manage – for the moment anyway – to integrate into the group and above all seem to serve as a pretext to reassure Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda. And the producers of the series at the same time.
Even though the plot of Miranda, who accumulates blunders and micro-aggressions with her black college professor, is quite interesting on paper, and Che, the queer, non-binary podcast host played by Ramirez, shows more potential than the other characters.
Less “sex” than before, and much less daring and uninhibited, Sex and the City has calmed down and finally looks quite like its heroines, who struggle as they can with their fifties and the disillusions that sometimes go with it. But the attempt at diversity of this revival – which should however be applauded – never really takes and sometimes even proves embarrassing because it is badly brought up, with its big hooves.
And Just Like That … you miss one and everything is depopulated
Attention, the following paragraphs contain important spoilers on the first episodes !!
In parallel with its discourse on the passage of time, And Just Like That is also and above all a series which deals with loss and death in a frontal and rather unexpected way. First, there is the “loss” of Samantha, who walked away from the band after a professional “break-up” with Carrie and left the United States. Leaving her old friends without news of her. “It’s as if she was dead, we don’t talk about her anymore”, admits Miranda at the turn of a very beautiful sequence. All is said. Although the ghost of Samantha Jones continues and will always continue to hover over the series. Whatever happens.
Presented primarily as a comedy, or a drama, in its debut in 1998, Sex and the City is today deprived of its funniest character, who dared everything, and allowed himself all the excesses. Without Samantha, And Just Like That, with its 42-minute episodes, therefore looks more like a drama in which the authors have inserted a few jokes from time to time (punch lines that we often owe to Anthony or Stanford for that matter. ).
And the shock to which the first episode closes only increases this impression of a more dramatic “reboot” of the series that we have loved so much. Indeed, while she postponed their weekend in the Hamptons for a day to be able to attend the piano recital of Lily, the daughter of Charlotte, Carrie returns home to find Mr. Big (Chris Noth) lying on the floor. , struck down by a heart attack. And like that, all of a sudden, the great love of his life died.
Where too many reboots and sequels to cult series fall into the easy fan service that offers viewers exactly what they were entitled to expect, And Just Like That takes risks and kills from its first episode one of the most emblematic figures of the franchise. And if Big has always been a bit of a problematic character – he often treated Carrie badly but was still presented as the great love of his life, the only one capable of pulling her out of her loneliness and bad luck in love – her death will not be missed. to forever change Carrie’s life trajectory.
And this is perhaps why this sequel to Sex and the City is justified. While one could have the impression that the six seasons of the original series and the two feature films had already told everything, by multiplying in particular the breaks then the reconciliations between Carrie and John James Preston (the real name of Big), the revival ultimately writes an unexpected new chapter in the life of the heroine portrayed with ever so classy Sarah Jessica Parker.
After a second episode oscillating between the upsetting and the depressing, devoted to Big’s funeral, And Just Like That will have to portray the difficult mourning of Carrie, before focusing on telling the way in which she will (we hope) achieve to get up and move on. With her friends, always. With new encounters, such as Che and Seema, who could just be the new Samantha of this event season. And, who knows, with a new love story? Or the return of a former lover? Everything seems possible in the kingdom of Manolo Blahnik, Cosmo with girlfriends, and eternal optimists.
So, if Sex and the City is no longer really Sex and the City, and if the authors do not always manage to make their scriptwriting choices relevant, these first episodes still make you want to see where Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are going. take us. And if these 10 episodes, which seem to tell of Bradshaw’s “after-happy end”, will take the form of a true final conclusion. Because, whatever happens, the deep attachment that connects these three women to their audience remains intact. And then, let’s be honest, despite its flaws, And Just Like That is a thousand times more successful than the dastardly second feature film in the franchise.
The first two episodes of And Just Like That are available on Salto. The following episodes will be posted every Friday at the rate of one per week.