There is no “Sex and the City” without Samantha

There are many reasons And just like that the upcoming HBO max Restart of Sex and the City, is a terrible idea. There’s the fact that the latest edition of the franchise, Sex and the City 2, was released more than a decade ago, around the same time as Eyjojakfull Volcano or eons ago in Internet years. There is the fact that Sex and the City 2 has been criticized for its bloated two and a half hour runtime, inherent Islamophobia, and clunky script with such a brilliant play on words as “Lawrence of My Labia”. And there’s the fact that, while critically acclaimed and hailed as subversive at the time of publication, Sex and the City herself has aged pretty badly and presents a New York City fantasy in which everyone is white, thin, straight and tends to wear strangely positioned belts.

But the main reason for that Sex and the City Rebooting is a bad idea is the blatant absence of one of its four main characters – the one who made the heart and soul and arguably the moral center of the entire franchise: the sexually insatiable publicist Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall.

Cattrall has partnered with the other major players in public Sex and the City Cast – if you just woke up from a coma: Sarah Jessica Parker as navel gazing author Carrie Bradshaw; Cynthia Nixon as an uptight attorney Miranda Hobbes; and Kristin Davis as WASPy gallery owner Charlotte York – for years she accused her of forming a mean girl clique that left her out at every turn. (Of course there was an argument at some point over being invited to a rental apartment while filming in the Hamptons.) She repeatedly told interviewers that she would not be participating in any other part of the franchise. Whether or not you think your stance is justified depends on a number of factors, such as: B. whether you tend to associate yourself with the underdog (in this case Cattrall) or be a fan of celebrity brand shoes (SJP). Regardless of who is active after a. seeks SATC reboot knew in their hearts that without Samantha it would be the last week’s release of the And just like that Teaser confirmed.

But a Sex and the City Rebooting without Samantha is no Sex and the City at all. It’s a skimpy cash grave, a facsimile of his former self, a screenshot of a Xerox copy of the elements that have spawned such a loyal following to this day. Because like even the greatest SATC Critics know at the core Sex and the City it’s neither about sex nor about the city, neither about shoes nor about Chris Noth’s cleft chin, nor about the inexplicable wearing of belts around the waist – it’s about the lasting power of female friendship. And the lack of one of the core groups of girlfriends in her heart betrays this very idea.

In another world, in another series, and with another actor, Samantha would not have gotten beyond a mere caricature. She’s libidinal to an odd degree, with a level of horniness rarely seen outside of MILF porn or tweets about Jon Ossoff. She has a penchant for snappy, Mae West-esque one-liners (“dirty martini, dirty bastard,” she purrs as she splashes a drink on a rowdy ex-lover) and a level of self-confidence that seems chemically borderline forty version of a homophobic idea of ​​a drag queen. In fact, more than one person has referred to the character as effectively a gay man in drag, although that perspective tells a lot more about a person’s views of gay male sexuality than it does about Cattrall’s portrayal.

But despite the character’s caricature nature and some of the politically incorrect wrongdoings for which the show has been retrospectively scourged (see: the one time Samantha dated a man of color and referred to his “big black cock”), Samantha has one too an abundance of admirable qualities. She does not apologize about her lifestyle and constantly rejects judgmental health professionals and snooty society wives. In the face of adversity, she is tireless, as was seen last season when she gave an open, vulgar speech at a cancer aid organization in the fight against breast cancer, which culminated in all participants proudly throwing their wigs in the air. Above all, she is extremely loyal to her friends and also takes sides in small skirmishes. When Charlotte accuses a pregnant woman at a baby shower of stealing her future baby name, Samantha doesn’t hesitate to call the pregnant woman a slut and lead Charlotte out of the party; When a fragile Carrie tells her that she is having an affair with her shitty ex, Samantha is steadfast and coolly tells Carrie that it is “not” to convict her of such a transgression [her] Style. “Critics have blamed the four women at heart Sex and the City being pathologically superficial and self-centered, but that is least true of Samantha. In fact, while being the most hedonistic and sassy member of the quartet, she is arguably the most ethical.

It’s hard to emphasize just how big a role Cattrall’s accomplishment will play in this. A less skilled actress would play Samantha as little more than a man-eating cougar, Mrs. Robinson meets Jessica Rabbit with a pinch of RuPaul as an encore. But while Cattrall’s cheesy sayings like “You’re going to meet Mr. Big, I’ll meet up with Mr. Also Big “is not beyond parody (and Christina Aguilera did this with perfect effect in an old episode of Saturday night live), it always gives it a fragility that goes beyond the material given to it by the authors. There’s no better example of this than being betrayed by Richard (James Remar), the lustful hotelier who is the only man who really climbs Samantha’s steely exterior. After catching him having oral sex with a random woman, she smashes an image of a heart above her knee. “There. Now Your The heart is broken too, ”she sobs. In the hands of a minor actor the line would be ridiculous. But Cattrall delivers it with such exquisite sorrow and conviction that it’s hard not to let your heart break along with hers.

Critics are not afraid to point this out Sex and the Citys multiple weaknesses, including his attitudes towards race and sexuality (remember when Samantha turns a lesbian?), as well as his wholesome doses of Catskill comic puns. Few have highlighted Cattrall’s virtuoso performance, how nimble she fills a wolfish cartoon with warmth and panache – which is even more impressive when you consider how miserable Cattrall says she has been throughout the length of the series. (She claims to have received the worst treatment of all from Parker; the fact that Parker has only publicly reacted in a friendly and annoyingly friendly manner makes Cattrall look terribly petty – and makes me believe she’s telling the truth.) People are often singles Nixon’s low-profile, Emmy-winning performance as an example of real “acting” on the show, but nothing will ever make me laugh or my heart more than Samantha triumphantly defends her life choices to Carrie by announcing that she will blow everyone up as long as she can breathe or kneel.

There has been a lot of discussion about how that SATC reboot will deal with Samantha’s absence. Cattrall has said that she would love to see the character rewritten, perhaps with a woman of color or a non-binary person, a laudable goal if not one that glosses over the character’s privileged, white femininity. Meanwhile, Parker has responded to fan objections by bluntly saying, “Samantha is not part of this story. But it will always be part of us. No matter where we are or what we do. ”This leads me to believe the writers probably killed her, perhaps from the breast cancer she so valiantly fought last season of the show. This strikes me as betraying both the character and Cattrall himself. All of the main characters on the show are fantasy versions of women, and fantasies by definition don’t die, especially one with as much vibrancy as Cattrall gave Samantha. Casually murdering the woman she has embodied for almost two decades – at a great personal price, as she says – seems like a slap in the face. But mainly, SATC without Samantha is an insult to the fans who fell in love with the world that built the show and the women who lived in it for 20 years – and they shouldn’t accept anything less than the full version of reality.

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