Why Sex And The City Won't Be The Same Without Samantha
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In news that has unfortunately been rumoured for over half a decade, it was confirmed this week that Sex and the City will be rebooted.
Titled And Just Like That, the revival will follow Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) as they navigate love and friendship in their fifties.
The announcement confirmed that over-sexed PR guru Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall, will not be returning to the series. It's unsurprising, really, seeing as Kim has spoken openly and repeatedly about an alleged feud with her "mean-girl clique" co-stars, and has flippantly suggested they just kill the character off - which would be a tragic ending for a lauded character and arguably a huge mistake.
But choosing to bring the show with just three of the famous foursome is an even bigger one.
Samantha Jones was the sex in Sex and the City, with the chaotically horny character so outlandish she boarded on cartoonish. There was no limits to her sexual conquests - from the "sex-swing" in season three, the threesome in season two, to the sex tape in the final season, Samantha was truly uninhibited and unapologetic in her approach to sex. While these scenes may not be particularly shocking to an audience in 2021, in their time they were ground-breaking - and Samantha was a pioneer amongst women who were open about their sex lives and rightfully proud of their conquests.
However, it wasn't just her sex-positive, anything goes attitude that made Samantha so popular - it was her steadfast loyalty to her three best friends. With her bold demeanour and assertive nature, Samantha was a woman you wanted fighting your corner - which she did on multiple occasions in the show. From giving Miranda her coveted hair appointment with a top stylist and offering to babysit (a big feat, considering Samantha is not particularly child-friendly) to saying judgement "wasn't her style" when Carrie admitted to cheating on Aidan, Samantha stood in stark contrast to some of Sex and the City's most self-absorbed and vapid characters (remember when Miranda was thinking of having an abortion and somehow Carrie made it all about her once having dated a waiter? Nice one, Carrie). What stands at the very heart of Sex and the City is the unflappable female friendship the four women share. Fans were made to feel like the fifth girl in the group, sat around the brunch table and gossiping about last night's dates. The men (and in Samantha's case briefly, women) in their life were always fleeting - it was their love for one another that was the constant. To reboot the show with one of the four missing seems to betray the friendship that lay at the core of the show.
It should also be considered that, paraphrasing Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, while the makers of Sex and the City can do a reboot, that doesn't mean they should. The 2008 film and its 2010 sequel, which followed the foursome after Big and Carrie reunited in Paris ,were widely and rightly panned. Gone were the women who went on dates, parties and dinners, only to be replaced with vapid, unrelatable storylines like buying a penthouse apartment and flying super first-class to Abu Dhabi. Its witty wordplay had been replaced with dialogue so clunky it sets your teeth on edge ("Laurence of my labia" from SATC2 is a particular low point). The series most recent outing was a shockingly poor effort - essentially plotless, we followed the women on holiday and causing trouble in the Middle East, with some elements of the plot openly Islamophobic and roundly patronising. It wasn't fun to watch anymore, just awkward and embarrassing.
Simply, we just don't need Sex And The City anymore. While it was ground-breaking in its day, there are now a myriad of shows more topical and thought-provoking than this relic of the Nineties, such as Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You, Lena Dunham's Girls and The Bold Type - they do what Sex and the City set out to do, are more relevant for its time. If we ever fancy catching up with the Sex and the City foursome for brunch, we can just one of the show's 94 episodes back. A reboot is not necessary.
We fell in love with the world Sex and the City built for us over 20 years - but the sex and dating landscape has changed massively since then. Fans don't deserve a watered down version without one of its key characters. Make a brand new dating show about sex and relationships with rich new characters to enjoy, and leave Sex and the City well enough alone.
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