Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell has mixed feelings about HBO’s hit TV adaptation of her book. With the revival debut right around the corner, she’s publicly sharing her biggest issues with the SATC universe for the first time.
While it may come as a shock to some, Bushnell told the New York Post she doesn’t advise following in Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahnik-clad footsteps. Nor is she excited for the reboot.
Here’s what she had to say.
She Says The Series Was “Not Very Feminist” in the End
Candace Bushnell is well aware that some fans use the series as a dating “guide,” but she notes there’s much more to life than landing one’s own “Mr. Big.” Bushnell believes the series lost sight of that–and in the process, they lost some of the show’s substance.
“The TV show and the message were not very feminist at the end. But that’s TV. That’s entertainment. That’s why people should not base their lives on a TV show,” Bushnell said.
As many avid fans know by now, Sex and the City was adapted from Bushnell’s popular confessional column — based on her love life — for the New York Observer. Once Darren Starr secured the TV rights, the HBO smash hit was born, running from 1998-2004, and churning out two feature films.
Popularity aside, Bushnell says the message SATC ultimately sent to women about what matters most in life wasn’t the right one.
The reality is, finding a guy is maybe not your best economic choice in the long term. Men can be very dangerous to women in a lot of different ways. We never talk about this, but that’s something that women need to think about: You can do a lot less . . . when you have to rely on a man.New York Post
While she doesn’t support the ending, Bushnell liked and still likes the show overall. “I don’t look at the TV show the way other people look at it. I don’t parse every little bit. It’s a great show, it’s really funny. But there are fans who . . . it’s like, that show really guides them,” she said.
Bushnell Defends Cattrall’s Decision to Leave SATC
HBO Max’s revival And Just Like That… follows Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) now in their 50s. Much to fans’ dismay, Kim Cattrall is not reprising her original role as Samantha.
Many suspect Cattrall’s reasons for not coming back relate to the highly-publicized — and seemingly never-ending — feud with Parker. They’ve famously had creative differences for years, especially when it comes to crowning who is the “true” SATC star. Reportedly, cast tension with Cattrall reached an all-time high while filming the movies.
Speculation aside, it’s not clear (or 100% confirmed) why Kim Cattrall said no to the reboot, but Bushnell supports her decision.
“I absolutely love Kim. But it seems she wants to do other things, and she doesn’t feel like doing the show. Maybe she doesn’t want to be that character anymore,” Bushnell said.
She’s Just Not That Into The Reboot… And Neither Am I
While Bushnell doesn’t know what the storyline will look like, she wasn’t surprised HBO Max greenlit a revival.
“HBO’s going to make money on it. They’re going to exploit it as much as they can,” she said.
As a forever fan of the OG series, I’m on Bushnell’s side with this one. SATC was never a “guide” for me but remains a truly great show I keep going back to, even if the “he finally chose me” ending left something more to be desired.
For those who love the show similarly, Sex and the City‘s in the same vein as The Office or Seinfeld for its eternal binge-ability, true-to-life humor, and irreplaceable cast.
Above all else, it’s better left alone.
With each new installment, they’ve seemingly chipped away at the HBO hit’s initial poignancy in favor of its bankable popularity. The first movie wasn’t bad, but frankly, they should’ve stopped after that. Storylines seem more and more driven by the fashion and the men, but without as much meaning and “I couldn’t help but wonder” Bradshaw-style introspection to carry it through. Sadly, SATC now lacks its trademark za za zsu.
All ill feelings aside, Bushnell says she’ll be watching the revival anyway. She also admits there’s still something in it for her, but it has little to do with the storyline. “Of course I’m going to watch it. … I hope it runs for six seasons. I get paid a little bit of money.”
I too will be watching the reboot. Hopefully, when they bring Sex and The City back this time, they really bring it back. But I’m not sure how they can do that without Samantha.