Fed-up Sex and the City fans are calling out the bumbling storylines in the show’s disappointing reboot after finally twigging to Carrie Bradshaw’s toxic personality.
Set in the present day and starring a huge number of new supporting cast members, And Just Like That… has managed to divide fans and critics with its jagged plot and bizarre twists that clash with the sassy original.
Attention is now turning to the show’s creator Michael Patrick King and his habit of forgetting major events from the franchise’s past.
Case in point, the show’s current storyline has seen the return of Carrie’s on-again, off-again ex Aidan Shaw (played by John Corbett) who has been all but absent from her life for nearly two decades.
Despite their relationship ending on bitter terms on several occasions, Aidan is back having received a late-night ‘Hey stranger’ email from Carrie – and critics are calling ‘BS’ on the idea.
Carrie Bradshaw’s reunion with ex Aidan Shaw has riled fans of the Sex and the City reboot
Fans are unhappy that Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) would reunite with Aidan (John Corbett) in the spin-off series And Just Like That…
‘Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) must be going through an unidentified sixth stage of grief: memory loss. It’s the only explanation for why she would think sending her embarrassing “Hey stranger” email to Aidan is a remotely good idea,’ wrote Chicago-based PrimeTimer critic Brianna Wellen.
‘She seems to have completely forgotten what happened last time she attempted to resurrect a connection with the smug carpenter. Remember Abu Dhabi? That’s where Aidan showed Carrie a picture of his ‘jug band’ children, then kissed her despite it all, not to mention her husband was still in the picture.
‘This is a man who, when brought back from the past, only causes trouble – and if everyone’s being honest with themselves, the original relationship was riddled with more bad memories than good.
‘So why does Carrie keep going back? And why would she do that now?’
Culture bloggers The Fug Girls went after King personally over Aidan’s return, singling out comments he made on a recent podcast about his decision to reintroduce the character.
King had said on the Writer’s Room podcast: ‘So here we are now, bringing Aidan back, again, and we have tricks up our sleeves as to how he is new and what we can actually do with the storyline considering – and it’s a very big consider – all the water under the bridge, all the pain they’ve already been through, how much Carrie has hurt him in the past – according to fan boards… twice – and how badly he took the break-up.’
It was King’s reference to ‘fan boards’ that drew the ire of The Fug Girls, who pointed out it was past episodes of SATC – and not viewer opinions – that prove their point.
‘Point of order, sir: Carrie has hurt him twice according TO YOUR OWN SHOW. First, she cheated on him with Big, for months, and second, she accepted a marriage proposal she knew she wasn’t ready for just because he had gotten her a nicer diamond,’ they wrote.
Carrie and Aidan had a problematic relationship during Sex and the City’s original series
Carrie cheated on Aidan multiple times while Aidan exhibited toxic traits as well
Then there is the recent Valentine’s Day exchange between Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda, where Charlotte asked Miranda if she had any hot ladies on the horizon and Miranda wondered why she was assuming it would only be women.
Carrie, a so-called sex columnist of years past, blithely replied: ‘Should we NOT be assuming only ladies?’
‘This show has never been high on bisexuality; when Carrie’s boyfriend was bisexual, Miranda and Charlotte both negged on that idea and it was Samantha who praised his openness to experiences,’ the Fug Girls wrote.
‘Wouldn’t this have been a great time for Miranda’s friends – one of whom WAS A SEX COLUMNIST – to support her in the fact that she doesn’t HAVE to label it AT ALL if she doesn’t want to, because it’s freaking 2023 and we are supposed to have a richer understanding of the scope of sexual yearning?’
There are also some of the bizarre aesthetic inconsistencies, in particular Carrie appearing early in the reboot holding her infamous purple Fendi baguette purse – the same bag that was swiped by a mugger in Sex and the City.
Carrie saw her beloved purple Fendi baguette swiped by a mugger in Sex and the City episode ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ from season three
The stolen purse makes a comeback in And Just Like That… during episode three of season one
‘So, how does one get their hands on another baguette from Fendi’s Fall/Winter 1999-2000 collection? Did someone find it and return it? Or did the mugger suddenly have a change of heart?’ asked WatchMojo.com.
Another strange blind spot is the casting of actors from the original Sex and the City but in different roles.
In season one of And Just Like That, we see actor Ajay Mehta playing Seema’s dad.
However, flash back 20-odd years and the same actor was playing a busboy who came on to Samantha when she was feeling particularly lonely.
Or there’s actor William Abadie, who appeared in season six of Sex and the City, playing the spunky Prada sales assistant Tony.
However, in And Just Like That, he reappears as ‘Zed’, the suave nightclub owner who briefly sweeps Seema off her feet.
Ajay Mehta originally played a lovestruck busboy who attempted to woo Samantha
Mehta (centre) returned 25 years later to play Seema’s dad in And Just Like That
More recently Carrie managed to knock a handsome tech mogul off his bike in what ultimately served as a weird kind of foreplay before the pair started dating.
That man, George Campbell, is played by actor Peter Hermann, who also played a one-time romantic interest of Charlotte’s back in season six of Sex and the City.
He appeared in one episode, ‘Hop, Skip, and a Week,’ as David, a man whose mother set him and Charlotte up on a blind date after she broke up with her boyfriend Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler).
Harry, meanwhile, is central to another major timeline snafu in episode two of the latest season of And Just Like That, titled The Real Deal, in which he makes reference to his late mother.
Replying to Charlotte’s gripe that she hadn’t heard back from a fashion recycling company that had bought a Chanel dress from her daughter Lily, Harry remarked: ‘Good luck. I’m still waiting for any acknowledgement from my mother and she’s been dead 10 years.’
However, eagle-eyed fans were quick to note Harry’s mother actually died more than 20 years ago.
Charlotte converted to Judaism in order to be with Harry and fulfil his mother’s wish to see her son marry a fellow Jew before she died. That storyline took place in 2004.
Eagle-eyed fans and critics were quick to note Harry’s mother passed away before he and Charlotte were married 20 years ago. In AJLT, he says she has been dead for just 10 years
‘Harry’s mum died before he met Charlotte – that was the whole reason she converted to Judaism so they could get married after he broke up with her because she wasn’t Jewish. It was a huge story arc in SATC and not one person spotted this error?! Terrible writing,’ seethed one Twitter user.
Another added: ‘The complete and utter lack of continuity is doing my head in.’
Meanwhile, fans have also taken to Reddit message boards to skewer King, who was a stand-up comic before turning his hand to television writing.
‘I’m starting to be convinced that Michael Patrick King is extremely out of touch and hence AJLT is a messy reflection of him rather than the women,’ complained one.
‘He was fantastic 20 years ago within the culture of NYC at the time. He’s not the right person for storytelling in today’s world. AJLT feels like a failed thesis in modern relationships of all kinds – romantic, professional, friendships, families, etc.
Fans have also taken to Reddit message boards to skewer show creator Michael Patrick King (pictured), who was a stand-up comic before turning his hand to television writing
King is ‘extremely out of touch and hence AJLT is a messy reflection of him rather than the women’, said one fan of the franchise reboot (pictured)
‘Four strong women have been turned into disempowered confused individuals. Feels like MPK channeling his own inner struggles too much and getting it all wrong.’
King took over the SATC franchise upon the departure of creator Darren Star, who moved away from the show towards the end of the final season in 2004 and later expressed his dislike of the direction the show was beginning to take.
Specifically, as Star later told Vogue, he wasn’t a fan of the ending that saw Carrie finally bag her ‘Mr Big’.
‘I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage,’ Star said in the 2016 interview.
‘Not that they can’t. But the show initially was going off-script from romantic comedies that had come before it. That’s what had made women so attached. At the end, it became a conventional romantic comedy.’
And Just Like That… has two episodes remaining in its second season.