It’s So Frustrating That a Sex and the City Revival Is Really Happening
Well, it’s official. Despite the fact that Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones in the original Sex and the City series, will not be returning, a Sex and the City revival is happening at HBO Max. And I couldn’t help but wonder … what the hell are they thinking?
According to Variety, the series will follow “Carrie Bradshaw (Parker), Charlotte York (Davis) and Miranda Hobbes (Nixon) as they navigate love and friendship in their 50s.” The series will have 10 half-hour episodes and is set to begin production in New York City in late spring.
The new chapter is titled “And Just Like That…” and honestly that ellipsis speaks volumes for me.
I have stated in the past, and I will reiterate again: I am a fan of Sex and the City. It is one of my favorite shows to watch for comfort and is a huge part of my friendship pop culture love language with my close group of female friends. Despite its white, cis, heteronormative focus, the show touched people across many demographics and remains relevant in the pop culture conversation. That is what makes the news of this revival so frustrating.
Sex and the City was groundbreaking, in its time, because of how it allowed its female characters to create a wish-fulfillment image of what New York City was like. That New York is dead—not because of the reasons that the media says, but because all the Carrie Bradshaw-inspired writers have come here and realized that being able to own your own apartment in Manhattan while still having a drink every night and designer shoe lifestyle is unrealistic.
Brooklyn is now the seat of yuppie power and, with it, conversations about gentrification, the serious segregation of schools, and Black Lives Matter—none of which are conversations the show is ready to have. Carrie Bradshaw’s world does not exist, nor does her sexual landscape. A sex and romance writer who was confused by bisexuality and still processing trans identity is not going to be equipped to handle non-binary discourse, pronouns, and the asexual spectrum—not to mention the way open and polyamory is more common today. I mean, The Ethical Slut was published in 1997 and it didn’t even get a mention in the entire Sex and the City run. Carrie was behind.
The only character who would be at all in the dating pool right now would be Samantha, and since she’s not returning, what is the show going to offer us? More terrible Steve cheating on Miranda stories? (WHICH STEVE WOULD NEVER DO!) Adding in token BIPOC queer characters to awkwardly correct the original run’s whiteness?
Even as I watched the series in my early 20s, I accepted the show for what it was and the limited scope it presented because we’ve moved on. We took what was good from the show and created newer shows that reflected our world today. Insecure, Broad City, and even Girls have all built upon that foundation, and new Sex and the City is not needed. As the terrible movies have taught us, our girls are better served in the memes and think pieces we craft for them than new content.
I’m also frustrated that none of these women have better projects to do. I was invested in Cynthia Nixon’s political career, and honestly, after having her be this queer legend for so long, I don’t want to see more heterosexual Miranda. Kim Cattrall has probably faired among the best, and when it comes down to it, Samantha is a necessary part of the formula that makes the series work. The fact that they think this show can go on without her ignores that you need all four of them. Period.
When I look at the fact that Gossip Girl, Dexter, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City are all coming back, it just feels so utterly disappointing. We have worked so hard to create organizations and production companies that are trying to make new, inclusive content, and we are just making … the same things.
We already watched how Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival only served to highlight issues that the show had with race, body issues, sexuality, class, etc., because despite the love people have for the series, it doesn’t need to continue or have a place today.
I only hope that they don’t kill off Samantha. She doesn’t deserve that.
(via Variety, image: HBO)
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