Sex And The City Is Back, But Has Luxury Moved On?

What Happened: And “Just Like That,” “Sex and the City” is back… well, not quite. Loved for its high fashion and gossip-filled brunches, the seminal TV show is riding the current wave of 90s nostalgia with yet another reboot. But fans will notice one major omission: The acerbic and promiscuous Samantha (played by Kim Cattrall) will not be returning to the small screen.

The show’s three remaining leads shared promos for the new show, “And Just Like That,” on their social platforms, confirming that the streaming arm of HBO is giving the show a makeover that they’re hopeful will shoot this April. The original series ran for six seasons, won seven Emmys and eight Golden Globe awards, and spawned two feature films. It also catapulted the show’s stylist, costume designer Patricia Field, to global fame.

Jing Take: Known for its glamorous New York locations, a wide array of designer fashion labels, and always-lunching female leads, “SATC” attracted a loyal fanbase in China. Though #SATCreturnswithnewshow on Weibo only has 6.5 million views so far, the comments showed the depth of appreciation there (fans wrote how it represented their youth and how some even learned to speak English from it.) As many citizens grew up with the show, they now regard it with a certain fondness.

Hardly surprisingly, Samantha’s absence was the main talking point online. “Without Samantha, the show has no soul,” one fan wrote. Even the return of the show’s heroine, fashion-addict Carrie Bradshaw (played by Hollywood actress and the show’s executive producer, Sarah Jessica Parker), failed to console fans.

However soulless the reboot may prove to be, the original series has recently found a base with older Gen Zers, who are especially prone to Western entertainment. Yet, Carrie’s cloying personality failed to connect with this savvy demographic, who have dubbed her ‘green tea’: an insulting phrase once used to describe a seemingly sweet but manipulative woman. Videos on how to dress and behave like Emily from Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” a fashion-focused show with similar characters, are faring better with China’s youth (the show’s hashtag currently has 58 million views).

Unless it can somwhow be stopped, a post-pandemic “SATC” reboot will eventually materialize, albeit in a vastly different city. The original series’ premise allowed for the airbrushing of social issues; today, even fewer New Yorkers will be able to stomach Carrie’s privileged consumerism and indiscriminate spending though they might find her lifestyle to be a much-needed escape from reality.

In all likelihood, fashion’s names will still line up to dress the remaining on-screen characters. But, they would be better served by working with the empowered stars of homegrown shows like “Nothing But Thirty” and “Sisters Make Waves” via content commerce and endorsements rather than a show that revels in social inequality and white feminism. Kim Cattrall has wisely side-stepped the show. Perhaps we should, too.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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