New York Post

All hail Carrie 'drag' queen

‘SATC’s gone woke, but at least we’ll get our nic fix

- KIRSTEN FLEMING kfleming@nypost.com

THE “Sex and the City” reboot, “And Just Like That . . .,” has all the hallmarks of 2021: an in-yourface effort to make its cast more diverse and a humorless rift that led to excluding the only genuinely fun character: Kim Cattrall’s Samantha.

It’s disappoint­ing but not entirely surprising. After all, the last few years have been devoted to think pieces pointing out that the show is, ahem, “problemati­c.”

Even co-star Cynthia “Cinnamon Raisin and Lox” Nixon did her mea culpas on the “Today” show in 2020: “That was something that I was aware of at the time and said at the time, and I think a number of us said it,” she professed of the almost all-white cast.

All of the inclusivit­y bluster made this new iteration seem more like reparation­s than mustsee entertainm­ent. Fans of the show want good television, not paint-by-numbers safe spaces wrapped up in couture.

And then I saw some promising smoke signals that perhaps all is not lost.

Those signals came from Carrie Bradshaw herself. This week, a photo surfaced of Sarah Jessica Parker on set as Carrie cranking on a cancer stick from the back seat of a very shiny car, her perfectly wavy hair framing the beautiful burning butt. Her new co-star Sarita Choudhury was beside her, puffing away, as well.

Thank goodness! The ghost of former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop might now be haunting the sets, but boy, what a bright spot for us romantics who love old-school vice.

Don’t misunderst­and — I’d never touch a cigarette myself. But the fact that Carrie’s still lighting up means that there’s a chance that the reboot won’t be a total drag.

Why? “SATC” was always a fantasy. Carrie lives an impossibly glamorous life, in a lovely, spacious apartment with a seemingly unlimited shopping budget. More, she’s a writer! In pre-pandemic times, most of the real writers I know used their fancy credential­s to elbow their way into parties so that they could fill up on free hors d’oeuvres and have a one-night reprieve from whatever Fancy Feast crap was on sale at Key Food.

Carrie being an unrepentan­t smoker was the most relatable thing about her. This entitled socialite — for whom almost everything came easy — also had a dirty, filthy habit that causes cancer, wrinkles and horrific, graphic smoking-cessation ad campaigns featuring people with voice boxes.

In other words: Her most trusty accessorie­s were Jimmy Choos, Manolos, Fendi Baguettes and a pack of Marlboro Lights. It was enough to make even this cigarette virgin swoon.

Sure, sometimes the habit served as a plotline, like when Aidan asked her to quit so they could date. But mostly, it was just a delightful­ly gross character flaw — a nicotine stain on her otherwise perfect visage.

For those of us who are old enough to remember a more vice-ridden NYC, Carrie’s addiction was also a lifeline to another era of the Big Apple, before it was a perfectly shiny Whole Foods apple (looks great, but tastes like a mealy fistful of nothing). The show premiered in 1998, five years before the city’s smoking ban went into effect in 2003 — yet a cigarette dangling from her mouth remained as ever present as the group’s

bawdy brunch talk.

Now the real Gotham’s gritty charm has been washed over by a tsunami of boutique fitness spots and juice bars. The city that never sleeps is sterilized and preachy. Wellness porn is everywhere.

That’s why I love to see Carrie taking a deep inhale, like she’s breathing in all that was once great about New York. If it were up to me, she’d never quit: Carrie Bradshaw will continue to take her cosmos with a side of carcinogen­s, thank you very much.

 ??  ?? BACK IN THE HABIT: Sarah Jessica Parker, reprising her role as Carrie Bradshaw, blows a jet of cigarette smoke while filming a scene with co-star Sarita Choudhury on Wednesday for “And Just Like That . . .,” the “Sex and the City” revival set to be released as an HBO Max miniseries.
BACK IN THE HABIT: Sarah Jessica Parker, reprising her role as Carrie Bradshaw, blows a jet of cigarette smoke while filming a scene with co-star Sarita Choudhury on Wednesday for “And Just Like That . . .,” the “Sex and the City” revival set to be released as an HBO Max miniseries.
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