LOS ANGELES – Michael Patrick King wanted the record to show that “Sex and the City” had a “slowly burning love” with viewers on its way to becoming a hit favourite.
The executive producer’s motives: that his HBO Max sequel, “And Just Like That…” has a chance to prove itself. After releasing two episodes last week, the remaining eight episodes will premiere on consecutive Thursdays.
“You’ve watched a few episodes of our show; you’ve seen six seasons” of the original 1998-2004 comedy about 30-person friends in New York City, King, who was a writer, director, and director. Actor and executive producer on “Sex and the City.”
“I feel confident going back to these actresses – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon – because I know they can play anything we and the screenwriters come up with,” he said. I said.
A “bold storyline” aimed at grabbing the audience’s attention also led King to believe that a sequel was a good idea. Spoiler alert: That audacity covers a major plot twist in episode one and its aftermath, mentioned below.
King, interviewed the day after the show premiered, could be forgiven for a certain defensiveness. Critics and some audiences have taken issue with its sombre tone as it revisits their characters in their 50s, in contrast to its sizzling predecessor.
Viewers have much to lament and ruminate on in the first few episodes. Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall in “Sex and the City,” was named only in the sequel. Willie Garson, part of both series (and movies) as Stanford, died of pancreatic cancer after taping part of the sequel. And in this version, diversity has a certain place.
Here’s what King and the cast had to say about their revival adventure. Yes, the characters still enjoy the indulgence of a giddy fashionista, but there’s also a new, sometimes downright awkward awakening.
A BIG GOOD WOMAN
The first episode ends with John aka Mr. Big (Chris Noth) suffers a heart attack after an intense Peloton workout and dies in the arms of his wife Carrie (Parker). Her failure to call 911 disappointed many, while jokers called the scene the worst product placement ever.
Peloton, who claims to not know how to use the machine and protect its health benefits, hastily launched a clever commercial with Noth and Peloton’s trainer Jess King (also seen in the episode) sitting. lit a fire after practice and decided to do another spin.
Big – cigars and known heart conditions – really have to end soon?
“Yes, I have to kill Big,” King said bluntly. “The reason I’m back is to kill Big, because I want Carrie and the audience to feel, is it better to love and lose than never to love?”
He vowed that he would never leave Carrie in “a dark forest without a flashlight and a lantern on the way out. I would never do that to an audience.”
Darren Star, the creator of “Sex and the City,” said the change opened “a new chapter” and also affected commercial counterfeiting: “I love it. I have a Peloton and I don’t believe the bike killed Mr. . . Big.”
WHERE IS SAMANTHA WHERE IN THE WORLD?
In London, and giving her once close friends the treatment in silence after Carrie removed Samantha as her poster – a story that seems to echo the social media post of the year. 2018 by Cattrall, in which she criticized Parker and said, “You’re not my friend.”
When the series minus Cattrall was announced last January, Parker brushed aside a fan post hinting at a feud. “No. I don’t hate her,” Parker replied. “I never said that. Never will. Samantha is not part of this story. But she will always be part of us.”
Davis, an executive producer on the series with Parker and Nixon, said they found the scripted explanation for Samantha’s absence “very real”, adding, “You can’t be forever. you with everyone in your life…Things change.”
King said Cattrall decided that “she didn’t want to play Samantha anymore. She finished it.” But the characters were real to him, he said, “so we created something in the writing room to happen with a lot of friendships where you’d break.”
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
New York is a melting pot of ethnic diversity, but “Sex and the City” is all white. That changed in “And Just Like That…”, which added characters of color played by Sarita Choudhury, Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, and Sara Ramirez.
Nicole Ari Parker (“Empire,” “Boogie Nights”) enjoyed watching the original series about women’s relationships but thought it would be beneficial to be more inclusive.
“I’m glad that as the adults on this iteration of the show, they know it’s important,” she said. “But at the same time, they weren’t trying to be like, OK, we made it. It was perfect.” No, it was a bumpy ride. … And something beautiful can come out of it. “
Corporate lawyer Miranda (Nixon), who has decided to switch courses and get a master’s degree in human rights, makes a splash with the Black professor played by Pittman (“The Morning Show”).
“It’s funny. It’s funny, we take the air out of the race and the race politics conversation to just send it up,” Pittman said. But what “ends up happening is the two become friends and don’t see enough of it.”
There are also more genders: Ramirez’s character is a podcaster and comedian who is neither bisexual nor bisexual.
Ramirez (“Grey’s Anatomy”) said it’s exciting “to be invited in right now and show that there’s always space for a character to challenge our own inner impressions, breaking through the structure that so much many of us used to live under … structures like gender and gender roles.”
FAREWELL, STANFORD BLATCH ONLY
Garson’s death in September hit his co-stars hard.
“It’s almost impossible for me to say, except to say you have to get through it because you have to. But it’s so painful,” Sarah Jessica Parker said, calling him “my dear friend. for more than three decades.”
Mario Cantone, who plays Stanford’s husband Anthony, thinks about him every day on set.
“We’re just getting together and doing this and moving forward with Willie in our hearts,” Cantone said. “This is bittersweet. It’s really because he should be here. But he’s so glorious and hilarious, and you’d never know he was sick.”
Nixon reiterated Garson as a warm, funny person and was “a bright light on the show”, while Davis said that she hopes that fans “will laugh and enjoy him for the first three episodes”. hey, that’s what he lived for.”