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Criticism | ‘And Just Like That…’ is driven by incredible performances, but fails to recapture the essence of ‘Sex and the City’

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In 1998, the romantic drama “Sex and the City” made its debut on HBO and, in a short time, became one of the biggest hits of the era and helped increase the channel’s popularity to a stratospheric level. With Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall, the production has won no less than seven Emmy figures and eight Golden Globes, while putting the careers of its protagonists in the spotlight. Now, nearly two and a half decades later, audiences who have fallen in love with the adventures of Carrie Bradshaw received an unexpected invitation to return to New York with the revival “And Just Like That8230; “.

The whole structure leading up to the premiere of the first two episodes on HBO Max followed a very interesting path that promised to follow a two-way street – saving the original fans of the work and introducing characters that were imprinted in the pop culture for a new generation. However, despite the fabulous performances of a cast that has aged like wine, the same cannot be said for the excessive and teeming storyline, swept away by unnecessary dialogue and overly melodramatic appeal. Of course, we can’t hurt creator and showrunner Darren Star by revisiting the glamorous and playful microcosm he designed, but even his best intentions aren’t enough to overshadow the myriad shortcomings that continue into a frustrating start.

Parker returns as Carrie, a mature woman who owes no one anything and now seeks to adjust to the tech frenzy of millennials and Gen Z, leveraging her background as a journalist and communist to step into the podcast world and realize that the life I used to know has completely changed. Next to her is Miranda Hobbes (Nixon), back to get her JD and make society a better resort; and the always emotional Charlotte York (Davis), who reconciles time with friends and family, trying to help everyone with her unique way of being. And maybe leaving Cattrall out as the iconic Samantha Jones wasn’t the best decision – after all, all of the comic essence seems to have been drained and transmuted into a lighter, sleeker version too much to be absorbed by one. audience who may not understand the doubt of jokes.

Regardless, it should be noted that the chemistry of the cast remains more alive than ever and, for this reason, we are transported to a universe alien to the truth itself, but without abandoning it. Amid luxurious apartments, expensive dinners, and stunning costumes, the trio in question deals with personal issues that take a surprising and touching turn. In the very first chapter, titled “Hello It’s Me”, a poignant evocation of the eponymous song by Todd Rundgren, Carrie finds herself in the center of a whirlwind of emotions that bids farewell to her husband John (Chris Noth) and plunges into the dangerous scene of intimate introspection.

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It’s remarkable how Michael Patrick King, responsible for both storytelling and directing, isn’t afraid to take risks – but building something different ends up giving way to a sinister atmosphere. that tarnishes the pace of iterations, if only for a few moments. King finds ample room to salvage the classic elements of the original series and add them with a passionate refinement that makes great use of imagery elements such as the color palette, understated photography, and a strong motivation that seeks references. at the top of the genre. But her concern isn’t as focused on the story itself as it might be, abandoning a plot that brims with limitless potential of inconsistent and redundant lines – for example, the pilot’s poor opening sequence.

Even with so many stumbles, we’re endowed with instincts for vulnerability and a clever breaking of expectations, especially when Parker and Nixon embark on a narcotic stunt. Parker faces the aforementioned loss of her husband, seeing her life turn upside down, adding more layers of complexity to the character; Nixon is at the center of a generational conflict and a minority community that opens our eyes to the ethnic multiplicity that now dominates the world. On top of all that, we have some welcome introductions to the cast, which include Sara Ramirez as Che Diaz, Sarah’s boss, and someone very open to discussing issues such as gender identity and direction. sexual; Nicole Ari Parker as the witty and enthusiastic Lisa Todd Wexley; and the systematic Karen Pittman as Nya Wallace.

In spurts, the opportunities to shine are not enough to hide the misconceptions that pervaded throughout the early episodes of “And Just Like That8230”; – and in the end, die-hard fans of the original production will benefit the most. Thankfully, we’re enthralled with some jaw-dropping surrenders and memorable daring, oozing a taste that things could get a lot better in the weeks to come.

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