(Spoiler alert: This article contains plot details from the premiere episode of the HBO Max series “And Just Like That…”)
Michael Patrick King hasn’t read for himself but has been told about the comments a Peloton spokesperson issued after the shocking death in the premiere of “And Just Like That…“ — and he agrees with most of what they said.
“First of all, it’s true. The Peloton can lengthen your life,” King said when TheWrap paraphrased the comments Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum gave on behalf of Peloton at end of last week. In part, she suggested Mr. Big (Chris Noth) died due to his lifestyle choices and not his stationary bike workout, adding, “Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”
King explained that Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) now-late husband was working out on a Peloton, in part, because he was keeping up on trends.
“Secondly, Big was on a Peloton to prove that he was current and life-affirming. I put Peloton in the show the same way I would put Gucci in the show, because that’s what is happening right now in life,” King said. “I have a Peloton; people have Pelotons. It’s just always reflecting where society is now. So that’s why it’s in. It’s true. It’s where people are. The death is a fiction; the Peloton is reality.”
Asked for clarity on Big’s death and if it was due to his poor lifestyle (as the Peloton doctor’s statement suggested), King explained that the groundwork for Big’s heart attack was paved in earlier seasons of “Sex and the City” and in the premiere episode of “And Just Like That…”
“Mr. Big died because of his heart, which was established in the series way back in the day,” King told TheWrap. “He had a heart problem… and Carrie cried when she heard it. I even say in this first episode, ‘I thought you were reaching for your emergency nitroglycerin pill.’ The heart is the story, not the bike.”
Several years ago, there was talk of a third “SATC” movie, which didn’t happen, but TheWrap couldn’t help but wonder if the idea of killing off Mr. Big was originally planned for the potential film, or if it had to do with Noth’s other acting commitments (he’s in CBS’ “The Equalizer”).
King said, “Just the generic thought that Carrie would be alone is sort of the DNA that would have been the third movie, but would never become this, because a movie is so short, in theory, you can’t really do the nuance of what we’re doing. I would have never been able to bring in the journey from the dark to the light that I can in the series, and I wouldn’t have any time to bring in the world right now.”
As the executive producer, writer and director continued, he said what was originally planned for another big-screen outing couldn’t work in “And Just Like That…”
“Society has changed so much. None of what we’re doing in ‘And Just Like That…’ would ever have been in the third movie — it just is impossible. And also, the world wasn’t where it is now. The world five years ago was not where the world is now. Completely not,” he said. “So, the idea of trying to reflect society as it is now, the way the series reflected the society — that window of society when they were 35, where they are now, how their lives have changed, who comes into their lives because of how they’ve changed — that’s what’s exciting.”
As the series continues, throughout its 10-episode first season run on HBO Max, King says they are exploring a “more nuanced version of the idea of Carrie without” Mr. Big.
“It was that Carrie – is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. That’s the question,” he explained. “She doesn’t do voiceovers. She doesn’t ask questions in ‘And Just Like That…’ the way she did in ‘Sex and the City.’ So, the question implied, to me as a writer, is, is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
New episodes of “And Just Like That…” drop on HBO Max on Thursdays.