But if you were expecting a frothy cocktail to take your mind off the world’s troubles, the premiere throws that drink in your face. Here is your last warning if you care about spoilers: Big dies of a heart attack after a workout, in Peloton’s most unfortunate product placement.
And just like that, “And Just Like That” becomes an after-happily-ever-after story.
The second episode, set largely at Big’s funeral, is oddly paced and grim without quite managing catharsis. But at least it’s unexpected, in an era of TV revivals that pander to give their audiences more of what they already like. Maybe this could also be the funeral for “Sex and the City,” after six seasons and two movies, and the start of something new.
It is — a little. The original series was deft at unpacking emotional mess, and Parker brings Carrie new gravity as she deals with her unexpected anger, jealousy and sense of unmooring. The show’s tone changes to match; gone are the wry, punny voice-overs as Carrie gazes at her laptop and muses, “I couldn’t help but wonder …”
But much of the rest of the series relies on a kind of cultural time-travel comedy: What do you get if you reboot “Sex and the City” into the social and TV culture of 2021? Here, things get cringey, fast.
The original series was groundbreaking for its sexual frankness and complex female friendships. It was also, like much TV of its time, very straight and very white. The series finale of “Pose,” set in the late 1990s, points it out when Elektra (Dominique Jackson), the Black transgender matriarch of the ballroom scene, surveys a room of wannabe Carries downing cosmopolitans: “I refuse to let some TV show about white girls define how we eat, drink and gather as girlfriends.”
“And Just Like That” wants to address this history and have its cancel-culture jokes, too. Miranda, returning to school for a master’s degree, spends her first day of class nervously dropping microaggressions while her younger classmates glower at her. Later, she says that class is going fine “now that I know everyone’s pronouns.” There’s a bit of an Unfrozen 1990s Caveperson vibe to it all.