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Peloton is trending again thanks to a death in the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot

Warning: Spoilers ahead about "And Just Like That...," which debuted Thursday on HBO Max.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in "And Just Like That..."
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in "And Just Like That..."Craig Blankenhorn / HBO

Warning: This article contains major spoilers.

Remember that pre-pandemic Peloton ad that had everyone mocking the fitness company?

Well, the brand is trending again.

HBO Max on Thursday debuted the first two episodes of “And Just Like That...,” its highly anticipated "Sex and the City" reboot.

And ... there's no easy way to say this: John James Preston, aka Big, the husband of beloved scribe Carrie Bradshaw, dies. He suffers a heart attack after a Peloton ride with a fictional instructor named Allegra (played by real Peloton instructor Jess King).

The show and Peloton were trending topics on Twitter on Thursday.

Denise Kelly, a Peloton spokesperson, confirmed that the company approved King's portrayal of a fictional instructor in the episode, which was first reported by BuzzFeed.

However, "due to confidentiality reasons, HBO did not disclose the broader context surrounding the scene to Peloton in advance," Kelly said.

Kelly also sent an additional statement from Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist who is a member of Peloton’s Health & Wellness Advisory Council.

"I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack," Steinbaum said. "Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle — including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks — and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6. These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event."

Lifestyle changes can help prevent most cardiac-related deaths, Steinbaum said. She also recommended that people talk to their doctors and have prevention strategies.

"More than 80% of all cardiac-related deaths are preventable through lifestyle, diet and exercise modifications," she said. "And while 25% of heart attacks each year are in patients who already had one (like Mr. Big), even then they are very, very treatable."

Still, diehard fans of the show weren't happy with Peloton.

"Mr. Big deserved better than death by Peloton," a user wrote on Twitter.

"Was mid-tweet about how much I love Big in the reboot and how well the peloton narrative tracks so well #AndJustLikeThat I stopped mid tweet and sobbed until the end of ep 2. Somebody help," another Twitter user wrote.

And, inevitably, Big's death after using a Peloton spawned a lot of memes.

"#AndJustLikeThat producers emailing the @onepeloton marketing department like...," a Twitter user wrote, sharing an image from the iconic “Sex and the City” episode in which Carrie gets broken up with by a sticky note.

In the episode, Carrie's boyfriend at the time, Jack Berger, bails on her in the night, leaving her with just the note, which reads: “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

Another Twitter user posted an image of Bradshaw at her laptop and jokingly captioned the tweet: "as i looked at the ruins of the broken peloton, i couldn't help but wonder: had he been soul cycling when the cycle had taken his soul?"

Others simply mocked Peloton for trending once again (but not in a good way).

King, the Peloton instructor, hasn't commented on the plotline. However, she did share a message of gratitude on her Instagram story and encouraged people to watch the show.

“Thank you for all of the messages,” she wrote, sharing a screenshot of a text message about her cameo.

A spokesperson for HBO Max didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The first episode of the reboot ends with a classic voiceover from Bradshaw.

“And just like that,” she says, “Big died.”