‘And Just Like That …’ Was Not a ‘Sex and the City’ Reboot – and Why Samantha Jones Is Like a ‘Star Wars’ Character

Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell never saw And Just Like That … as a series reboot but instead as a spinoff.

She recently reflected on the show’s evolution and how multiple factors, including the Mr. Big character, helped to grow the series audience. Bushnell also addressed Kim Cattrall’s absence in the current series, sharing that simply recasting the role doesn’t work. She then compared characters in the series to those in the groundbreaking Star Wars film series.

‘And Just Like That …’ is a spin-off, not a reboot

Bushnell said while HBO may have referenced the new series as a reboot, she views it as a spin-off. “I don’t really look at it as a reboot. I really look at it as a spinoff,” she said on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast.

Sarah Jessica Paker as Carrie and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda in 'And Just Like That...' sit on steps together.
Sarah Jessica Paker as Carrie and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda in And Just Like That… | Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max

“They’re calling it a reboot, but it’s really a spin-off series,” she reiterated. “It’s like some of the same characters, some new characters, it has a different title. And Just Like That … And you know, I mean, it’s a spinoff, so I think they can kind of do whatever they want to do.” 

“I mean, come on,” she added. “If HBO did not do a reboot, which is what they’re calling it, all these shows for Sex and the City, you would be like, come on guys, you’ve got to be kidding. This is a huge franchise for you. I mean, it’s one of their big properties. I know how much money they’ve made off of it because I get the statements and, you know, these are big, big properties for them that they’re going to exploit. That’s just business.”

‘And Just Like That …’ wasn’t a simple recast choice, like ‘Star Wars’

So if Bushnell had the authority to handle Cattrall’s absence, what would she have done? “You know, I can’t even answer that question,” she asserted. “I feel like those characters have kind of become so big that they’re, you know, they’re like characters in Star Wars. So I don’t know.”

“What I do know is that there are just so many different women who identify as, you know, one of those characters,” Bushnell said. “I couldn’t even answer that.” Cattrall refused to return to the series, so Samantha Jones’ storyline took her to London after she and Carrie Bradshaw had a falling out.

Viewers tune to see what happens next

And Just Like That … is receiving mixed reviews from Sex and the City fans. Some fans complain about how the series took a significantly darker route. But that’s why the reboot moniker may not be appropriate. “The rules of the old TV show don’t have to necessarily apply,” Bushnell explained. “I think that’s really what it is. It’s like that TV show had very specific rules and a very specific structure. And you know, all of these shows have their inherent rules, so I don’t know what their rules are. I’m not involved. So I don’t know, but I’m sure that Michael Patrick King knows he’s probably got it under control.” 

Bushnell said in the past, viewers tuned in to see what would happen. “And, you know, as more people tuned in, you know, the show just got bigger and bigger. So nobody, you cannot predict that you cannot predict what’s going to happen. And, you know, I mean, I think people tuned in to watch the show, because it was really about specifically this new kind of woman, which is something that I outlined in the book.”

She also acknowledged that actor Chris Noth, who played “Mr. Big” was also an important part of the series. “The other thing is, Chris Noth. A lot of people tuned in to see, Chris Noth,” she said. “You know, that’s another sort of like unknown factor, you know, you don’t know. He didn’t even particularly want to do it either. I mean, he only signed up to be a guest star. And I think he was only in, you know, he would only be in maybe eight shows out of the 12 or 13.”  

Since And Just Like That … premiered, Noth was accused of sexual assault by several women. Even though his character was killed off in the first episode, he was supposed to appear in flashback scenes. Those scenes have since been edited out.

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