Is Uncoupled Sex & City? How do the characters compare


Warning: SPOILERS for Uncoupled.

If it’s not obvious that Netflix’s Uncoupled is the new Sex and the City, just take a closer look at the characters. Uncoupled is the newest romantic comedy series from creator Darren Star, who is perhaps best known for his previous work on Sex and the City. Given the two shows’ shared creator, locale, and obsession with dating, it’s no surprise viewers are not just comparing them but also calling Uncoupled a better Sex and the City reboot.

Uncoupled tells the story of Michael Lawson, a gay real estate agent in New York City whose partner of 17 years suddenly leaves him, forcing him back into the dating scene in his 40s. Alongside Michael are his friends Suzanne, Billy, and Stanley. The core group’s personal drama, medical scares, and dating woes make up the bulk of Uncoupled’s eight-episode run.

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The premise of a somewhat self-centered romantic navigating a daunting dating scene in New York might ring a few bells. Uncoupled is fun, engaging, and entertaining, and it certainly brings enough new to the table to make it enjoyable, but one needs to look no further than its main cast to see how much it is cribbing from Sex and the City. Every main character in Uncoupled fits nicely into a box built for them by a Sex and the City counterpart.

How Similar Is Uncoupled To Sex & The City?

While the actors in Uncoupled’s cast don’t look much like those in his original hit show, Darren Star and his writers have nailed the tone and feeling of Sex and the City in Uncoupled. It’s fun, sexy, raunchy, and unapologetic about all of it. Uncoupled’s cast is aged up a bit from where the cast of Sex and the City started, the episode count is considerably smaller, and the characters are largely gay instead of largely straight, but there’s something in the tenor of Uncoupled that makes it feel like a reboot of Sex and the City. The themes, conversations, and vibe of the show all hearken back to what Sex and the City introduced in the late 1990s: a look at dating and relationships that is all at once too honest and a sort of escapist fantasy at the same time.

How Uncoupled’s Michael Is Like Sex & The City’s Carrie

Uncoupled’s Michael is played by Neil Patrick Harris and brings a lot of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) to mind. Michael fills Carrie’s role as the show’s lead, a hopeless romantic who has always wanted something permanent in the relationship department, and as the character who is just a bit self-absorbed. Neither of them seems to notice their flaws until they’re called out on them and are held accountable. To both of their credit, Michael and Carrie are willing to do some introspection after being confronted, making the characters likable and relatable. Audiences want to root for a Michael and a Carrie because the characters’ hearts are good and their growth is palpable. Uncoupled is Michael’s show in the same way that Sex and the City is ultimately Carrie’s.

How Uncoupled’s Billy Is Similar To Sex & The City’s Samantha

Given the current climate of streaming and television, Uncoupled is unlikely to have the kind of run Sex and the City was afforded. While Uncoupled may well get a season 2, it probably won’t get anything like Sex and the City’s six-season run. In order to get meaningful character arcs, some shorthand is going to be necessary. Instead of spending seasons showing Billy (Emerson Brooks) as a player and purveyor of younger men before deciding to settle down, Uncoupled season 1 shows this in his relationship with Wyatt. Sex and the City’s Samantha (Kim Cattrall) was almost synonymous with the “sex” in Sex and the City. She was bold, successful, and enjoyed her many partners. Toward the end of the series, she meets Smith and ultimately settles down with him for a time before returning to her old ways, realizing that being true to herself is more important. Billy’s arc is shaping up in much the same way. While it’s not yet clear how it will end for him, that he and Samantha share many similarities is clear.

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How Uncoupled’s Stanley Compares To Sex & The City’s Charlotte

As explained in Uncoupled’s season 1 ending, Stanley (Brooks Ashmanskas) is the heart of the friend group. His cancer scare is a part of what shakes Billy up enough to become introspective about his hurtful choices. His relationship with Michael is foundational to Michael’s healing and growth after Colin leaves him. Stanley feels a lot like Sex and the City’s Charlotte (Kristin Davis) because of his loyalty and protectiveness. When Michael accuses him of being a bad friend because he goes to a dinner at Colin’s place, it comes out that he went to try and understand what happened for Michael’s sake. Stanley is also frequently the butt of jokes, something Charlotte could relate to. Despite their friends’ sometimes insensitive remarks, the two remain unfailingly loyal and dispense good advice when it’s needed.

Suzanne Is Uncoupled’s Version Of Sex & The City’s Miranda

Uncoupled constantly reminds its audience that Suzanne (Tisha Campbell) is unlucky in love, matching Cynthia Nixon’s character Miranda’s history of failed relationships in Sex and the City. The two are perhaps the most pragmatic of their respective groups — and the most judgmental. They’re both also fiercely loyal and willing to show up for their friends no matter what. Suzanne’s conversation with Colin in the Uncoupled season 1 finale is something one could envision Miranda doing, just with a touch less flair. Both characters are the members of the group one would go to in order to get straight talk and real answers. Like Miranda, Suzanne is looking for something more permanent than a fling and perhaps she’ll find it in Uncoupled season 2, given the end of her arc in season 1.

Uncoupled might share a lot in common with Sex and the City, but don’t think for a minute that it’s all just derivative. From breakup-induced heartbreak to hilarious scenes about a well-endowed dermatologist botoxing buttholes, Uncoupled has charm to spare and a lot to offer fans of the original tone and style of Sex and the City. Uncoupled has enough to offer that’s fresh to keep even those well-versed with Sex and the City entertained. For those looking for more of Darren Star’s hit ’90s HBO series, Netflix’s Uncoupled is a reboot of the heart and spirit of Sex and the City, where other reboots may have fallen short.



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