Will Anyone Even Watch a Sex and the City Reboot Without Samantha?

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Few American television series have remained as relevant as the cultural touchstone that is Sex and the City. Trying to figure out which of the main characters you most identify with is still a common pastime, and real ones know that the original HBO show is canon and the first film is an acceptable addition, but most agree the sequel movie is an offensive abomination that should probably never be screened again and altogether forgotten. (Though, if you must be a media consumption purist, go ahead and try to get through it.)

But TV Line and the New York Post speculated in December that HBO Max has decided they might as well keep things moving with a seventh season of Sex and the City. In this limited series update, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon would return as Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda. However, Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha in the original series and subsequent films, will not join the revival.

HBO Max has also confirmed that there is indeed more to the story. Parker shared the announcement video on Instagram, in which the (presumably Covid-less) city hustle and bustle is on display with Carrie’s narration, alongside the words “And just like that…” appearing on a computer screen. According to Variety and other outlets, And Just Like That is the title. We’re getting 10 half-hour episodes, and production starts in just a few months. It’s possible that it could appear on HBO Max by the end of the year, though no official release date has been set yet.

Nixon and Davis also shared the teaser on their respective social media accounts (with Cattrall noticeably not tagged in any of the posts), and Parker tweeted that where things pick up will be “exceeding all expectations.”

Parker also spoke a little bit further about And Just Like That in February, revealing details to Alina Cho, at the Central Park Conservancy’s Inaugural Playground Partners Galentine’s Celebration, that if everyone can get vaccinated in time, production on the series might start this spring. Parker also revealed that the reboot had not been introduced as an idea until the “early days” of the pandemic in April. She was listening to a podcast when she realized that she and show runner Michael Patrick King had never really spoken publicly about their experience producing Sex and the City, and initially thought they might record a podcast about the process. But then, the two decided it was time for a full reboot instead, now that Miranda and Charlotte are mothers of teenagers, and one could imagine Carrie might be dealing with social media now as part of her writing career.

“I think a lot of it was because this city was experiencing something so unimaginable, so unique. And every city and every community in every city had its own story and their own singular experience of the pandemic,” Parker told Cho. “New York shut down in a way that also affects lots of other people, because it’s the center of finance, it’s the center of culture, one could argue. So its silence was deafening. And I kept thinking, ‘Where are these women? Where are they? Can they find one another? Can they be together? What is their life like?’ And as the political climate and the social climate started changing, in terms of calls for justice and racial equality, all these conversations were becoming a huge part of our experience inside of our homes, Michael and I just became really interested. And thus was born And Just Like That.”

On social media, everyone couldn’t help but wonder what on earth happens to Samantha in this revival of the series. Will the first scene open with her funeral or will they just recast her? Could this possibly work if there is no Samantha Jones?

We knew this would happen, though, to some degree. In fact, Candace Bushnell, author of the original source material that the television series is based upon, wrote a spiritual follow-up book in 2019 called Is There Still Sex in the City? This sequel book ostensibly focuses on life after 50, though with different character, which includes getting divorced, having children, and aging. The author quickly sold the book’s rights to Paramount Television.

There had also been talk of a third film, in which Big would die from a heart attack, and Cattrall had openly refused to participate due to a salary disparity. However, many speculate her departure was really a result of the years-long feud between her and Parker, who, for what it’s worth, remains adamant that the two were never in a fight, and in 2018, insisted she couldn’t imagine working on a sequel film without Cattrall, and what good is a Sex and the City sequel without Samantha, anyway? In reality, it was the film’s “bad script” that sent Cattrall packing—plans for Samantha allegedly included sexting with Miranda’s teenage son, Brady.

Surely, fans of the original series are curious about what Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha are up to in this decade. And some series reboots at HBO Max, like Gossip Girl, are shaping up to be quite promising. But why bother rebooting this particular series when we already have Instagram bibles like @everyoutfitonsatc dedicated to the subject, and there’s no chance of seeing Samantha in a revival?

A cursory social media search will show that it’s probably safe to say fans don’t want a revival, but perhaps Twitter user @CeciaATL said it best when she tweeted, “This won’t work due to the fact that we’re all grown women now so nobody identifies with anybody except Samantha.”

This article will be updated as more information is made available.

Related: Candace Bushnell Has Had Enough of Talking About Carrie Bradshaw