And Just Like That

And Just Like That… Showrunner Says He Was Happy to Be Samantha and Doesn’t Expect Kim Cattrall to Ever Return

Sarah Jessica Parker also says she wouldn't want Kim Cattrall to return at this point.

Spoilers for And Just Like That… season one

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The first season of the Sex and the City revival series And Just Like That… has ended. Carrie has tossed Big’s ashes over the bridge where he once told her she was The One. Miranda is off to Los Angeles in the name of love for an undisclosed amount of time. Charlotte continues to live her best life with her family after taking Rock’s place at their “They Mitzvah.”

And Samantha? Well, she’s texting Carrie.

While there’s no word on where the series goes from here, many have been questioning whether or not the door has been left open for Kim Cattrall to return to the show. On the one hand, it’s kinda exhausting to see folks asking the cast and crew as if Cattrall hasn’t already explicitly stated, multiple times, that she was done with all things Sex and the City.

On the other hand, as I watched the final episode I realized… they made Samantha so crucial to Carrie’s story that people can’t help BUT ask about Kim Cattrall, especially considering how they left things between the two women.

I guess Carrie and Samantha are friends again?

I’ve already talked about the one-sided explanation we got about Samantha’s disappearance from the series and how petty it felt. Now that the season has ended, it especially feels disingenuous, because we only see Samantha when Carrie texts her.

Samantha only exists to make Carrie feel better. We don’t see Charlotte or Miranda getting text messages, don’t have a moment where Samantha expresses how Carrie made her feel during their fight, she’s just a series of messages that pop up when Carrie needs her.

Embarrassing podcast story? Text Samantha.

Going on a date after the death of Big? Text Samantha.

This is especially apparent in the final episode, where Carrie goes to Paris to discard Big’s ashes. She tells Miranda and Charlotte that she needs to do it on her own (or rather, Miranda’s going with Che to Los Angeles and makes Carrie feel bad for questioning her decision, so Carrie decides to keep the peace by wishing Miranda well and telling Charlotte she’s going solo). As to be expected, having such a final goodbye with Big is an extremely difficult thing for Carrie to do, so she ends up texting Samantha.

And then the two decide to meet up.

We don’t get to see how that goes, of course, because there’s no Kim Cattrall, but the fact that things are left on a positive note feels odd when we don’t actually get to see things from Samantha’s perspective. Samantha is, according to the very first episode, so hurt by Carrie firing her that she moved to a different country. Shouldn’t we, maybe, get something that shows how she’s handling things?

A text to Miranda or Charlotte?

An admission to Carrie that she hurt her?

We get nothing of the sort.

I know that lifelong friends are absolutely capable of patching things up rather quickly, but I feel some kind of way about Samantha, an important character of the series, only being seen in Carrie’s plotline as if her presence wasn’t felt by everyone.

Like. What is Samantha even DOING right now?

Is no one going to ask?

What the showrunner had to say about it

In an interview with Variety, the executive producer, writer, and director of the series, Michael Patrick King, talked about handling Samantha without Kim.

It was a big day for me as a writer when I realized that even though Kim Cattrall didn’t want to be in the series, Samantha could be — because of texting. I was like, “Right! Samantha can be in the show.” Because she should be: She’s part of the show and people love her. And I wanted to respect the legacy, wanted to respect the fans.

King is, technically, right. It’s not like Kim Cattrall owns Samatha Jones even if it certainly feels like she does. I just kinda feel like it would’ve been better if Samantha was just gone instead of having her 1) leave the country and have Carrie boil it down to Sam seeing her as an ATM (girl, seriously?!), and 2) not being interested in showing her perspective AT ALL as if she couldn’t text her other friends.

We couldn’t get a single message from Samantha to Miranda or Charlotte? Or even have one of them texting her to see how she was doing? Why is Samantha isolated from everyone but Carrie?

King went on to say the following:

I feel when someone’s in your heart and in your soul and friendships, how do your friends support you when you’re going through the worst thing that can happen? I found it interesting that Carrie would reach out to Samantha in certain specific times. And it’s kind of magical that all of a sudden on a text, Samantha makes a Samantha joke. And you feel like she’s there again.

It’s the power of writing. It’s all make-believe. It’s all pretend! There is an obstacle: Kim Cattrall doesn’t want to do the series. What do you do with that? It’s a normal writing problem. So I love the idea of the dance — the true love being the reach. Carrie says, “Do you want to talk?” And Samantha goes, “Soon.” Like, they’re getting ready. It might as well be Carrie and Aidan.

Yes, but the appeal of Samantha has always been us seeing her entire story, not just her interactions with Carrie, and certainly not just when Carrie reached out to her.

Also, and I cannot stress this enough, Samantha was so upset that she LEFT the country. Why is no space being held for her?

Despite that, King is happy with what they did with Samantha. “I’m happy to be Samantha,” he said when asked if writing her scenes felt loaded. “We use it sparingly and well. I love Samantha! I’m happy when she’s in the show. It was important emotionally for everybody. Me and the fans; me and the viewer.”

Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t want Kim Cattrall to come back (not like she was going to in the first place)

In that Variety interview, the question was asked, “Is the door open for her to come back?” Again, an obvious question to ask since the series ends with Carrie and Samantha agreeing to meet up. “No. Just like there was no thought that Kim would ever participate in And Just Like That… because she’s said what she had said,” was King’s response.

King went on to say, “The only place I participate in magical thinking is in fiction. You take people at their word, and you’re a smart producer — you don’t back yourself into a corner. Magically thinking, it’s great to have Samantha. I have no realistic expectation of Kim Cattrall ever appearing again.”

In a separate Variety interview, Sarah Jessica Parker expressed similar sentiments, going so far as to say she doesn’t want Cattrall to return at all. When asked if, by some miracle, Cattrall decided that she wanted to be Samantha, Parker said she wouldn’t be OK with that. “I don’t think I would, because I think there’s just too much public history of feelings on her part that she’s shared,” Parker said. “I haven’t participated in or read articles, although people are inclined to let me know.”

Ok.jpg.

Knowing the tumultuous feelings Cattrall has expressed in the past in regards to her treatment during her time with Sex and the City, it feels in poor taste to create this narrative where Carrie and Samantha resolve things, especially since it’s all told from Carrie’s perspective. We’ll never know how Samantha felt about anything that happened, hell, we never even got an apology from Carrie about her actions toward Samantha. There was no discussion, no attempt to understand where Samantha was coming from, she was just there to send flowers to Big’s funeral and chat about Carrie’s life.

I said it before when they revealed why Samantha left and I’ll say it again now that the series is over: Samantha Jones deserves better.

(Image: HBO)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)