art imitates life or life imitates art?

In 1998 a little show launched on HBO called “Sex and the City” based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book of the same title.

That show spoke to so many women. I was 34 when it launched. So 23 years have passed and I still watch re-runs of the show. With the show you also had all the fabulous New York City settings and the clothes…and the shoes…. I still can love the shoes and still not be able to walk in them!

The show back then was not only a fun escape, it also provided humor into the lives of women then. As far as TV goes it was ground breaking in its own right. We identified with some aspects of the life situations (though a lot of it was often portrayed in a campy unrealistic fashion), and wished we had the clothes, shoes, and even apartments and more.

I remember some of my friends and I knew a guy we used to call “Mr.Big” (like one of the characters from the show.) We didn’t date him, he used to come down from NYC and visit other friends sometimes for things like Radnor Hunt. Expensive cars, expensive cigars, big career. At the time it was kind of amusing. Always fun to be around, and if you ever happened to be in New York City, and he was free, he would always take you out for a fabulous dinner or drinks. I remember having dinner with him one time at The Monkey Bar, which was definitely New York City iconic, and closed during COVID in July, 2020. The guy we laughed at being a very “Big” and larger than life died in 2008 in NYC. He was 48.

Sex and the City ran as a series until 2004. Then there were two movies, one in 2008 and one in 2010.

Meanwhile, time passes for all of us. Some of us got married, others divorced, and some of us were liberated from bad relationships and were fortunate to find the relationships we should have waited for life to show us in the first place. Some of us had kids, some of us didn’t. Some of us got sick, had things like breast cancer. Some of us were widowed and lost life partners.

We’re not kids anymore. So it makes sense that some of the TV characters some of us followed for years would also grow and change, yet parts of them like parts of ourselves remain the same. Enter the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That.

I watched the first two episodes early this morning, before I even had coffee. Yes, I know, ridiculous at 57, but I loved that show. I wanted to see where they went.

I wasn’t disappointed, and if you loved the show, you will too. It’s real, it’s funny, and the first two episodes, much of it is bittersweet. They covered the no Samantha thing as actress Kim Cattrall chose not to reprise her role. Her part was pretty iconic, so I’m glad they did not try to recast her because I don’t think it would work .

Spoiler alert: they moved Samantha to London. And like happens to many of us as we age, some friendships don’t stand the test of time, and this is what is alluded to here. But the biggest spoiler is literally kill off Mr. Big in the first episode. That was fairly realistic and so sad. And a shock. Throughout the first series we always rooted for the off again and on again relationship of Carrie and Mr. Big. But I guess that is the case with real life, with age, also comes loss.

But even within this kind of television earthquake is so much of what we love about the original series. The characters are just older. They are dealing with different things: career shifts, kids growing up, dealing with teenagers of both sexes, being parents. And the clothes. Still great. And the sets? Still amazing. It’s adulting with flair, and they still have the clothes, cool apartments and houses that made the original show so fun.

I think this show is going to be a nice escape this winter and I hope it does more than one season. It is not Shakespeare, and it’s not the world that most of us live in, although certain situations with touch us, but it’s still entertaining to watch. And it reflects bits of our world as it now exists.

Life doesn’t stand still frozen in time, so I am guessing our TV shows can’t either.

Here are some articles about it:

Hollywood Reporter: ‘Sex and the City’ Boss on His HBO Max Revival: “This Isn’t What Was; It’s What’s Next”

Washington Post: ‘And Just Like That …’ is ‘Sex and the City’ for 2021: A bloated, laugh-free comedy about grief

Time: Why that Big twist was necessary

New York Magazine: And Just Like That … Series-Premiere Recap: A New Start
By Maggie Fremont

1 thought on “art imitates life or life imitates art?

  1. I’m a decade older then you are and I have been waiting for this show to start too! I’m so excited! I also like watching it to see the places that they go. I love NY! I would always watch The Real Housewives of NY, for the same reason. I also watch Curb Your Enthusiasm. The last episode of CYE had Tracy Ullman in it. I had seen her in a Jewish deli a few years back. It’s a wonderful city and we are so lucky to be a two hour drive from it. My granddaughter just moved to the upper east side. I can’t wait to visit her there. Now, I’ve got to watch the show tonight! Thanks for writing about it.

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