Is And Just Like That… Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

‘And Just Like That…’ is a romantic comedy-drama that revolves around Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York-Goldenblatt — three women in their 50s navigating their turbulent romantic and professional lives in New York City. Featuring a diverse cast and trying to authentically represent the highs and lows of NYC, the show sees Carrie and her friends tackling their middle age just as glamorously as they did their youth.

Helmed by Michael Patrick King amongst others, the HBO Max show is rife with familial drama, deep introspections, insightful yet raunchy conversations, and top-notch fashion choices. Since there aren’t a lot of shows out there that deal with middle-aged women who are stylish, realistic, and unapologetically themselves, many fans wonder whether the show contains elements of truth. So, let’s find out whether ‘And Just Like That…’ is based on a true story.

Is And Just Like That… Based on a True Story?

No, ‘And Just Like That…’ is not based on a true story. The limited series is a revival of the dramedy ‘Sex and the City,’ which was created by Darren Star and ran from 1998 to 2004. The show also spawned two critically panned but extremely popular films in 2008 and 2010. Additionally, ‘Sex and the City’ itself is based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 anthology of the same name. The essays featured in the book were originally dating columns, revolving primarily around single NYC-based women that Bushnell had written between 1994 and 1996, for The New York Observer.

Although the reboot and original are not based on true stories, the fact of the matter is that Bushnell’s columns borrowed directly from her own romantic life. In fact, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is an alter ego of sorts for Bushnell. “We’re [Carrie and Bushnell] the same in many ways,” confessed the author. She also admitted that her “life is pretty similar to Carrie’s.”

Carrie’s friends too are loosely based on Bushnell’s own friends and other characters in the show are rooted in people Bushnell encountered in the city during the 1990s. “We [The New York Observer and Bushnell] set out to write about things that we thought could only happen in New York, where for some people, it’s more advantageous to be single than it is to be married,” she said. In fact, Ron Galotti, esteemed publisher and Bushnell’s ex-boyfriend, is thought to be the inspiration behind Mr. Big (Chris Noth), Carrie’s husband.

Even though the characters and plot are fictional, most of the romantic and sexual incidents that form the crux of the original show are based on real stories. Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes) stated that the writers’ room for the original show had a rule that everything included in the episodes — especially the wacky sexcapades — had to be based on either the writers’ own experiences or that of those they were close to.

‘Sex and the City’ is a prime example of a show meant purely for entertainment, but it certainly did wonders for open conversations about single women, sex, and professional ambitions. However, many criticized how the women in the show oriented their lives around their romantic endeavors with men. “The TV show [‘Sex and the City’] 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,” stated Bushnell.

Although she isn’t a part of the reboot, Bushnell understands the massive and evergreen potential of ‘Sex and the City.’ She added, “I think it’s [‘And Just Like That…’] great. I think they’re reviving everything else. It’s really a spin-off show. It has a different title. It has some of the same characters. It has some new characters. It’s going to probably be a bit of a different show than ‘Sex and the City.’” Of course, both the original and the reboot do not hold back when it comes to exploring luxe lifestyles and the latest fashion trends.

“If it [‘Sex and the City’] was aspirational — aspirational apartments, aspirational clothing, aspirational people — it’s [‘And Just Like That…’] still aspirational,” stated King. However, the reboot does update the source material — which has often been criticized for its all-white cast — by including characters from diverse races, backgrounds, and sexualities. Thus, many women of color were hired to be a part of the writers’ room and contributed to the show’s fascinating new characters, such as Seema Patel (Sarita Choudhury), Dr. Nya Wallace (Karen Pittman), Lisa Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker), and Che Diaz (Sara Ramírez).

“We can talk about the elephant in the room that there were no fully fleshed-out characters of color [in ‘Sex and the City’], but now here’s the four of us [Seema Dr. Nya, Lisa, and Che]. We’re real people, and they’ve been great to work with, and some of our [storylines] deal with race and deal with real experiences. It’s New York City!” confirmed Parker (Lisa). Thus, ‘And Just Like That…’ is not based on a true story but it contains a few kernels of truth, sourced from the lives of Bushnell as well those in the writers’ room, which add to its entertaining and easily binge-watchable nature.

Read More: Where Was And Just Like That…Filmed?