the nostalgic appeal of sex & the city.

Sex and the City ran from 1998 to 2004 and was regarded as one of the most beloved series of all time. The story followed four New York-based women as they explored the challenges of sex, love, and relationships.

On 11 January, HBO Max announced a reboot of the legendary show Sex and the City.

The limited series, titled suggestively And Just Like That…, will follow Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) as they ‘navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.’ While many await its release with hopeful anticipation, others can’t help but wonder: does the world of Sex and the City really need to be revived in 2021?

A few days after the announcement, fans were disappointed by the news that Kim Catrall, who played business savvy Samantha Jones, will not be joining the cast. Last month, Page Six reported that Chris Noth, who starred as Carrie’s love interest Mr Big, will also be absent from the new series.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sarah Jessica Parker addressed these changes. She denied speculation that the new series will replace Samantha. Instead, she reflected, they ‘have New York City as the fourth character.’ Parker also mentioned that the show’s writers will invest the story with new ‘life experience, political world views, and social world views,’ and that COVID-19 will ‘obviously be part of the storyline.’

This seems to come a long way from the light-hearted tone of the original series and its detachment from political issues. After all, Sex and the City captured New York at the turn of the century but never mentioned 9/11 overtly. Moreover, the series, which has also long been criticised for its lack of diversity, failed to address broader questions about the nature of living in the Big Apple.

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By Iasmina Voinea: Culture Columnist.

But for Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, it is precisely the show’s escapism that restored the city’s image after events like 9/11. She argues that the episode ‘I Heart NY’ accidentally became ‘one of the sweetest 9/11 elegies television had to offer,’ depicting the timeless magic of New York City in the aftermath of a tragedy.

In many ways, the episode reflects the cyclical nature of life. Charlotte starts dating again after her divorce. Miranda gives birth to her son.

Carrie finds out that Mr Big will move to California. Life carries on. ‘Seasons change,’ the voiceover tells us. ‘So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.’

Many fans are concerned about Samantha and Mr Big’s absence from the story, suggesting that there is no point in making a reboot without some of its most beloved characters. But change – the series reminds us – is inescapable.

Perhaps the reboot will explore what it means to be human in the aftermath of yet another tragedy – the COVID-19 pandemic. But it remains to be seen whether And Just Like That… will manage to retain the nostalgic, comforting feel of the original series while simultaneously addressing issues relevant in today’s society.

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MACKAYAN: the nostalgic reality of sex & the city.