And just like that, the Sex And The City reboot is over. Love it, hate it (or fear the possibility of a second season), the show has undoubtedly got people talking, for maybe more of the wrong reasons than the right ones. Whether you were outraged by the unfair treatment of Steve, terrified of the intensity of Che Diaz or wondering why on earth some of the fashion choices were made, there was a lot to digest.
Out of all the questionable moments, one thing I couldn’t help but wonder was, why were there so many references to Samantha?
From the get-go, Kim Cattrall made it clear that she had zero interest in rejoining the original cast for the project, and was seen liking several Tweets which not only praised her for the decision, but also bagged out the reboot. Most recently, Sarah Jessica Parker spoke with Variety, where she revealed that regardless of Cattrall’s stance, she wouldn’t have wanted her there.
“There’s just too much public history of feelings on her part that she’s shared,” Parker revealed, before going on to add that Cattrall wasn’t even approached to participate in the reboot, given her feelings about the third movie.
“We didn’t go to Kim for this, you know. After we didn’t do the movie and the studio couldn’t meet what she wanted to do, we have to hear her and listen to her and what was important to her. It didn’t fit into what was important or needed for us.”
So if Kim didn’t want to be there, SJP didn’t want her there and the producers never asked her to participate, why then, was the reboot so obsessed with Samantha?
Throughout the season, we see Carrie reach for her phone to send Samantha a text. The conversations aren’t groundbreaking, nor do they add much to the plot, but for some reason she keeps coming back to her. Then, right at the end of the season finale, we see Carrie send Samantha yet another text message, asking her to meet for drinks in Paris. Shockingly, Samantha agrees to the plans, to which Carrie replies ‘FABULOUS.’
While it’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia, and the hope that these two may somehow rekindle their friendship, this particular scene (out of all the texting scenes) felt very out of place. The season’s final moments were about Carrie coming to terms with Big’s death, and deciding on a final resting place for his ashes, it wasn’t the right moment to drop a potential reunion between her and Samantha, especially given how disinterested Samantha seemed in catching up with Carrie throughout the entire season.
In fact, it felt like a desperate attempt to cling onto the show’s original storyline and satisfy diehard fans who were disappointed by Cattrall’s absence. Some have theorised that the producers are setting the stage for Cattrall’s potential return in season two, but most would argue that this seems like a highly unlikely, if not impossible pipe-dream. Why leave the door open for someone who has made it abundantly clear that they won’t be walking back through it? At this point, it feels disrespectful to Cattrall and the legacy she built around Samantha Jones. None of us were expecting her to make a surprise appearance in, And Just Like That, yet the show continued to dangle the carrot anyway.
While I understand that Samantha Jones was a fictional character whose thoughts and feelings were created in a writer’s room, Cattrall is the woman who brought her to life. Without her, there is no Samantha. It doesn’t feel right to have a faceless enigma engaging in these text conversations that feel cold and impersonal. It doesn’t give enough credit to the incredible work Cattrall did in personifying Samantha in all her feisty, fiery glory. The series would have benefitted from cutting her character out entirely and moving on, which is what Cattrall likely would have wanted, and probably expected after declining to participate.
The show is not the same as it once was, and while it attempted to make up for its previous wrongdoings, it still fell down in a few key areas. It made a concerted effort to leave the lack of racial diversity, heteronormative ideals and classist attitudes in the past, but for some reason, clung onto Samantha, who had asked to be left in the past, too.
If the show is renewed for a second season, we can only hope that they respect everyone’s wishes, and leave Samantha alone. It’s high time we let Kim Cattrall get on with her life —and her career — outside of Sex And The City.