Once upon a time, a generation of viewers couldn’t wait to see what wild antics a group of female friends would get up to as they lived out their 20s and 30s on the stylish streets of Manhattan.
The ground-breaking HBO series Sex and the City launched its first episode, way back in 1998, with that traditional fairytale intro “once upon a time...” but went on to be decidedly unconventional in its no-holds-barred approach to sex, relationships, female friendships and ambition.
So when news broke this week that SATC was back, I couldn’t help but wonder... will this new series ever be able to fill the shoes (Manolos, obviously) of its predecessor?
The 10-part miniseries, due to start production in spring this year, will be called And Just Like That and, according to a statement from WarnerMedia, it will “follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte 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.”
Wait, hang on, they’re FIFTY now?
Since SATC is still running on several channels, I, like many, will be used to the stars suspended in time, forever as they were, sipping Manhattans, running in heels and dealing with scenarios I could never imagine myself in: being wooed by an elderly millionaire, learning to be a trapeze artist, dealing with how best to discuss sex toys with your housekeeper.
For all that SATC beat its own drum for being authentic and relatable, it was the escapism of it that has always been its greatest appeal, then and now.
But what will this new chapter look like? Will Manolos and Cosmopolitans make way for marriage woes and conflict over who deleted the last episode of Billions off the Sky Box? Will we see Charlotte and Miranda battle with home-schooling and Carrie leap from drooling over high fashion in Vogue to browsing deals on air-fryers and flex-free vacuums? From weekly brunches, will the challenges of everyday life make it impossible for the friends to schedule more than a bi-annual catch up? I don’t need to tune in to see the ‘complicated reality’ of what life looks like once you grow up, I’m living it.
Other aspects too lend what Miranda once dubbed the ‘ick factor’ to the SATC revival. One of the best qualities about SATC was that it championed new writing and faces rather than trading on established names and successes.
There’s a distinctly commercial whiff off And Just Like That and more than a hint of desperation. Sarah-Jessica Parker (Carrie) has her wine label and starred in various films, Kristin Davis (Charlotte) is a goodwill ambassador for a UN refugee agency, Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) had a foray into politics with a failed bid to become governor of New York. But none of them has exactly set the screen alight since their stint on SATC.
And where’s Samantha (Kim Cattrall)? For many, she was the real star of the show who delivered the best lines and the one who pursued the most feminist agenda. But Cattrall said she will not be part of the new show. What of Big (Chris Noth)? Who else will be missing?
Nostalgia is a powerful thing and you mess with it at your peril. SATC ran for six seasons, winning seven Emmys and eight Golden Globes. It has a huge place in many people’s hearts. But for all that fans might think they want to know ‘What happened next...’, the reality of that vision rarely lives up to what they hoped for.
Of course I’ll tune in, but I’ll be keeping my expectations low. Each time Bridget Jones returns to screen, there’s a feeling of diminishing returns. There’s often something vaguely tragic to the rebooted careers of boy-bands — not least the ever more pressing irony of that name.
We might think of a show’s stars as old friends we long to see again, but when that rendezvous finally happens it’s awkward and uncomfortable. Rather than making you feel all warm and fuzzy, there’s often nothing like seeing an aged symbol of your youth to make you feel abso-f***ing-lutely ancient.
Move over Normal People and Connell Waldron’s reign as the TV sex symbol of Lockdown One. There’s a new lockdown and a reign has begun, or dukedom at least.
The Neflix series Bridgerton has now been streamed by 63 million households and has been riding high in the charts in more than 70 countries, thanks in no small part to the commanding screen presence of the Duke of Hastings.
Played by Regé-Jean Page with smouldering aplomb, the Duke’s sexual prowess on screen — whether he’s lavishing his attention on a lady or a spoon — has viewers swooning and launched a thousand saucy memes.
Following on in the same vein as Connell’s infamous chain, we even have a dedicated accessory Instagram account,
@thedukesspoon, which has already notched up an impressive 11.4k followers, still some way behind the 177k followers hooked by @connellschain.
Sadly it transpires that the reality of filming those gloriously passionate love-scenes was a far less graceful experience for His Grace, with Page revealing to InStyle: “When you’re talking about all of the less clothed scenes — of which there were a couple — they tend to involve more tape. So it’s kind of like reliving that scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin over and over again, because when the tape comes off, that is not a pleasant time for anyone involved.”
Ouch, that takes his memorable ‘I burn for you’ line to a whole different level.
There has been a deluge in former Donald Trump supporters seeking to distance themselves from the outgoing US President this week.
Vice President Mike Pence had reportedly “gotten a glimpse of POTUS’s vindictiveness” while Twitter (somewhat belatedly) suspended Trump from Twitter over fears that his social media dispatches carried a risk of further incitement of violence.
But isn’t it very easy to be brave and call out irresponsible behaviour when the person in power is already halfway out the door.