AND JUST LIKE THAT: SEASON 1 – Review by Susan Granger

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Six sassy seasons and two movies later, Sex and the City is back, streaming on HBO Max in its new incarnation: And Just Like That. Yes, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York-Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis) have remained close friends.

The awkward absence of spunky Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is addressed, explaining that she’s in London. Actually, these mid-50s ladies-who-lunch are far more concerned with aging: specifically, their hair. Miranda’s gone gray, Charlotte maintains brunette, and Carrie finances extravagant streaks.

But that’s not the big surprise. Since there’s been extensive news coverage, I don’t think it’s a ‘spoiler’ to report that Carrie’s husband, beloved Mr. Big (Chris Noth), dies in the first episode after an exercise session on his pricey Peloton bike. An unfortunate product placement, Peloton responded immediately: “Mr. Big lived what many would consider an extravagant lifestyle – including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks – and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6. These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”

Significantly, Peloton’s stock price fell over 11% the day after the series premiered. In full damage control, Peloton produced and released a parody commercial with Chris Noth and instructor Allegra (Jess King) within 48 hours. That’s crisis management!

Back to the series: Grief-stricken Carrie remains as self-centered as ever. The former newspaper sex columnist has become a social media maven, podcasting with a weed-smoking, bisexual, non-binary comedian (Sara Ramirez).

Attorney Miranda wants a Master’s degree as a human rights advocate but stumbles awkwardly when she discovers her professor (Karen Pittman) is Black. And social-climbing Charlotte is guilt-ridden for shaming Carrie into attending her daughter’s piano recital instead of vacationing with Big.

FYI: Actor Willie Garson died during production, which is why his character, Stanford Blatch, is written off in the fourth episode.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, And Just Like That is a somber 6, streaming on HBO Max.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.