Back with a new name – and minus just one core cast member – the 90s classic show will have to update its race and sexual politics for a very different world
Sex and the City is back, with a new name – And Just Like That … – and a new cast, which is to say, the old cast, minus Samantha (Kim Cattrall). Anyone who is surprised to see them recovered from the bruising experience of the movie sequel just has too long a memory. Sex and the City 2 was more than 10 years ago. The statute of limitations on awful moments in culture has long since expired.
To revisit that film for a second, though, its flaw was neither the excruciating dialogue nor the amateurish, uncertain plot; rather, its gorging consumerism, the signature shoe-fetishism of the series applied to every known item that a woman could buy. It held up a mirror to 21st-century excess and nobody, but nobody, liked what they saw. One IMDb reviewer called it a “terrorist motivational tool”. (In this it had a lot in common with the third volume of Fifty Shades of Grey; I have thoughts on that segue, from genuine lust to a sad, consumer simulacrum, as a metaphor for late capitalism, but I’m saving those for my PhD.) In the series itself, the shopping element was more of a running joke, a self-deprecating nod to the fact that intelligent, empowered, evolved women can still do really stupid things, such as spending their lunch money on earrings. There is no reason for the film to have stained the televisual side of the franchise.