By Emma Bullimore
It’s like trying to imagine The Beatles without John Lennon.
Despite two critically panned films, the demand for more Sex and the City has been huge ever since the credits rolled on the girls’ Dubai adventure 11 years ago. No other show has managed to connect with single women in the same way, striking the right balance between heartbreak, friendship and ridiculously aspirational fashion choices.
Now the fans are getting what they wanted – but not quite the way they pictured it. Sarah Jessica Parker was always keen to push on with SATC, hinting at a planned baby plot-line for Carrie, saying, ‘There’s one more story left to tell,". But Kim Cattrall made it crystal clear she didn’t want to be part of it, insisting, "I played Samantha past the finish line and then some."
So, what happens now? New 10-part series, is coming to streaming service HBO Max (more on how to watch Sex and the City: And Just Like That here), and will pick up the story of Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. We’ll watch the women navigating their lives in New York City, but Samantha won’t be there.
Everyone is talking about how she will be written out – here are the big questions and everything we know so far.
Is Samantha dead?
It seems very unlikely that Kim Cattrall will do a U-turn now. So, if she’s definitely never coming back, perhaps Samantha will be killed off? It would certainly give the series some dramatic thrust to work with. After all, the show is about single women and fans will riot if Steve cheats again/Big has another commitment crisis/Harry goes AWOL. They are going to need a plot of some sort – maybe we’ll see the girls coming to terms with grief over their Cosmopolitans.
Will Sex and the City just forget about Samantha?
When Samantha was battling breast cancer, Carrie told her annoying then-boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky that Sam was "My friend. My family. My insides." Pretty close, then. But is it possible she’ll just be erased from history, perhaps with a brief mention in episode one, or the odd email (presuming Carrie has finally mastered inbox management)? After all, Samantha moved to LA for much of the first film and nobody batted an eyelid.
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Has Samantha married Smith?
If they’re going to brush Samantha under the carpet, it would be the decent thing to give her a happy ending. We always thought there was more life in her relationship with Smith; maybe they could be living it up in a different city (that’s a spin-off we’d love to see). Or perhaps Samantha Jones PR will open a London office, and Sam can work her way round the bachelors of Chelsea and Kensington? Either way, we hope she’s busy being just as fabulous as ever.
Will they recast Samantha?
Kim Cattrall poured cold water over a comeback during her infamous Life Stories interview with Piers Morgan, but she did give her blessing for Samantha to be recast. "Another actress should play her now. Maybe they could make it an African-American Samantha Jones, or a Hispanic Samantha Jones?" Diversity has always been a problem for the show, and this could be a good solution. Sam’s an amazing character, why not hand her over to another actress? It’s been done before.
Will Sex and the City bring in a new Samantha?
Despite recasting being a genuine option, it seems unlikely fans will accept Samantha being played by a different actress. It’s one thing recasting a supporting role, but Kim made Sam an icon. Many would argue she’s irreplaceable, and anyway, the point of Sex and the City is that these characters feel like real women. A change of actress would be hugely jarring.
But! That doesn’t mean they can’t bring in a new friend, one who shares Samantha’s zest for life. Maybe she’s a divorced cougar mum at Brady’s school or a running buddy of Charlotte’s? Samantha was the one character who was happy to be single, who didn’t actually crave a relationship, which was crucial for what the show stood for. There needs to be another woman like her in the new series. And, with SATC often facing criticism for how it portrays gay relationships, perhaps the new friend could be LGBT+?
Will Samantha return after all?
Maybe this is all a double bluff? Perhaps SJP called Kim during lockdown, they realised life is too short to argue and the pair made up over socially distanced shoe shopping and lunch at Pastis? Perhaps they’re saving a big surprise for episode three, and Sam will turn up in an outfit more outrageous than ever before? OK, it’s a ridiculous fantasy, but a girl can dream.
If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.