Pop Culture with Tatiana

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Sex & the City: the story continues and will it work without Samantha Jones?

Sarah Jessica Parker has said “This is not a reboot, it is a revisit”. Whatever you want to call it, the iconic show is coming back! The series will consist of 10 half-hour episodes, it will air on HBO Max (Max just means online FYI), and it will be titled “And Just Like That…”. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon have signed on as executive producers, and will bring back their characters; Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. But one integral part of the foursome will be missing; Kim Cattrall who played the very lovable, funny, loyal and sex-obsessed Samantha Jones. This article will explore how this “revisit” will play out. As we all know this is 2021 and not 1998, and the history of the show and its cast, how and why have we gotten to this point? Let’s delve right in.

At the beginning we all thought the same thing “But like, they’re kind of older now no?” Yes obviously. The new series will follow Carrie Bradshaw, Charlotte York, and Miranda Hobbes, as they navigate love and friendship in their 50s. SJP has said that they will embrace how the world has changed since the early 2000s, for instance there was no social media, the culture around sexual politics was different, and now is the era post #MeToo movement. Also, SATC was previously criticised for representing New York City without including its well-known diversity of cultures, so fans are hoping the new cast will be more diverse and inclusive. But just as a side note, many, if not all of the shows of the 90s/early 2000s, including Friends and Seinfeld, had a diversity problem. Thankfully, that this is changing.

I do not think there was a single group of girlfriends born before the 2000s that didn’t ask each other at some point “Are you a Carrie, a Samantha, a Charlotte, or a Miranda?”. Personally my answer has always been “All I know is I am definitely not a Miranda”. Let me know in the comments below which one you identify with!

Sarah Jessica Parker officially announced the return of Sex & the City on her official instagram on January 11 and didn’t shy away from replying to a few comments. Fans wrote “We will miss Samatha” and she replied; “Us too, we love her so”. Another question fans had on their minds was; “Will Mr. Big come back?”. Chris Noth who plays Mr. Big, back in 2017 said that he was done with the show and franchise but when asked if he will return, SJP replied “Wait and see…”. I am very curious to see how they will introduce the fact that Samantha is not there. Did she move to live on a farm in Wisconsin? Did she die like Charlie in Two and a Half Men? One thing is for sure they will not recast the role of Samantha Jones.

Before I carry on with the history of the show, I’d like to give you my personal take on this “revisit” of SATC. Let me make it clear I am a big fan of the show, I have seen every episode and the movies multiple times. Although I loved the movies, as they were enjoyable to watch with my gal-pals and included great fashion, their cinematic value was abysmal. I mean Sex & The City 2 is rated 16% of rotten tomatoes, it is bad (Also why was Sarah Jessica alone on the movie’s poster?). BUT the first movie grossed $415 million, and the second almost $300 million. So you cannot convince me that Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon are not doing it for the money. None of the actresses had a big career post SATC; Parker had a shoe line we barely heard about, Davis was hosting a reality show (I only remember her in Friends as the girl that hits Joey), and Nixon tried to get into politics. Plus now, they are executive producers, so yes, big money to be made since the show still has a cult following. So I think they are milking the show a little bit too much.

They are pushing it. Seeing them navigate through life in their 50s could be interesting, especially for the audience of that age group. This is not about ageism, but they are making a show that was about one thing, about something else, will it work? will it be the same? I have my doubts (I hope I am wrong). I am just sure about two things: it is going to be a fascinating fashion show, and the Botox and facelifts are going to be way too real not to gossip about.

Now, why doesn’t Kim Cattrall want to be involved in Sex & the City anymore? I invite you to take a journey back to 1998 with me (do not worry without the Ed Hardy fashions). When the show premiered, it was a game changer, and the four main characters became part of Pop Culture lexicon. On-screen they were best friends; off-screen, it was a different story. The New York Post reports that Clifford Streit, the real-life inspiration for the character Stanford Blatch, said that “tensions on set began because Cattrall was a natural comedienne, and a scene-stealer in the best possible sense — the camera went right to her. This was, it seems, a problem, given that Parker was playing the show’s heroine, Carrie. A clique began to form, leaving Cattrall out in the cold.”

This is an excerpt from the New York Post article titled Inside the Mean Girls culture that destroyed Sex and the City, which explains the history very well:

“Parker and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda), who’d known each other since their days as preteen Broadway actresses, gravitated toward each other and pretty quickly included co-star Kristin Davis (Charlotte) in their group. For the first couple of years, Cattrall had a real ally on set in the form of series creator and producer Darren Star. But when he left after the second season and was replaced by Parker’s friend Michael Patrick King, Cattrall was completely isolated. Page Six reported how, during an Atlantic City, NJ, location shoot, “Sarah Jessica rented a house for herself, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. Kim was left out on her own.” (An HBO spokesman said, “Kim stayed in a different house because she was married at the time, and her husband was supposed to come.”) Running up to the end of the series, there were stories filtering into Page Six almost weekly about the on-set tensions. By the end, no one would talk to Kim. “Not even in the makeup room,” one insider said.

It was also reported that Sarah Jessica Parker was paid more than her co-stars. Many saw that as unfair as Kim’s character was an integral part of the show. And that by the time the first SATC movie starting filming the actresses didn’t speak to each other at all, creating a very uncomfortable atmosphere on set.

Kim Cattrall was tired of being vilified in the press for being “difficult” and a “diva” who wanted more money. She was also on the receiving end of a lot of hate when she turned down doing a third movie. She said she’d get messages from fans of the show saying; “I hate my job, I hate the hours, I hate the people yet I still do it! So just do your job!”. She took matters into her own hands and expressed her side of the story in a groundbreaking interview with ITV’s Piers Morgan.

“It i an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another. It is not about me wanting more money or more scenes”. – Kim Cattrall

“We’ve never been friends. we’ve been colleagues” is the quote that we remember from this interview. She also said “I think she could’ve been nicer. I don’t know what her issue is”, talking about SJP. She said she couldn’t even remember the last time they spoke. Her fellow cast members have children, she doesn’t. She mentioned that one of the reasons she did not have children was because she was working up to 19 hours a day, including weekends and she is ten years older than them. Their common ground was the show and now it is over. Sarah Jessica Parker responded that she was “heartbroken” after Kim’s interview.

Tensions between the two ladies reached a boiling point in 2018 when Kim’s brother unexpectedly passed away. Sarah Jessica Parker commented on Kim’s instagram “Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours, and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xxx” And Kim’s response was quite harsh:

I did a poll on my personal instagram page asking whether people thought the new series would be successful. The results were 31% yes and 69% said it would not work.

Overall, the story will go on without Samantha… The new series will begin production in the Spring of 2021 and I cannot wait to watch it and bring you my take on the “revisit”. Get your cosmopolitans ready!

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