John Corbett, the actor behind Carrie’s ex-fiancé Aidan Shaw, was one of the first to offer up any details about the then ultra-highly anticipated Sex and the City reboot that went on to be titled And Just Like That… Just like the actor, we were “very excited” for him to reprise his role of Aidan Shaw, the carpenter who was once engaged to Carrie Bradshaw. For ten weeks straight, we’ve kept our eyes peeled. Would he catch Carrie on one of her eccentric smoke breaks? Would he fall for Seema, only to again decide that cigarettes were a deal-breaker? Well, now that the finale has aired, we feel like fools: At no point throughout the 10 episodes is Aidan even mentioned.
Behind the scenes, the writers were as certain that Corbett would not step foot on set as they were with Kim Cattrall. (They could have given us a heads up!) Julie Rottenberg didn’t mince words when revealing as much, essentially calling Corbett a big fat liar. “John Corbett should be writing personal apology notes,” she told Deadline on Thursday. “We didn’t say anything.” Executive producer Michael Patrick King was a bit more diplomatic. “The fact of the matter is, we never said anything about Aidan, just like we never said, Steve and Carrie are getting together.”
King had bigger fish to fry when envisioning And Just Like That. “We always try to be very restrained and look at the reality of what people are experiencing and it has nothing to do with Aidan coming or not coming,” he continued. “It really just felt like this was a lot for Carrie. This season was a lot.” (It sure was!) “We wanted to get her through this and into the light—the last episode is called, ‘Seeing the Light,’” King went on. “We wanted to get her out. [Aidan’s return] is a big storyline that everybody at home wrote that we had never intended.”
Sure, we never saw photos of Corbett on set. But you can’t blame us for expecting at least a teeny cameo. After all, Corbett had said he expected Aidan to appear in “quite a few episodes,” and there appeared to be quite a few hints that he was correct. Why else would Seema mention to Carrie that she’s attracted to carpenters? The plot practically writes itself: Obviously he would nag her endlessly about smoking like a chimney, ultimately threatening to stop lending her his expert handmade furniture for apartment stagings if she didn’t quit.
Add it to the list of And Just Like That-related mysteries. (Seriously, what went down on Miranda’s surprise visit to Cleveland?) At least one thing’s for certain: After reading Rottenberg’s response, we can state with full confidence that Aidan will not be appearing in the rumored season 2.