Samantha left the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot and took all the sex with her
And just like that, all the sex was gone from the city.
Now just over halfway through the first season of And Just Like That, quite a lot has happened so far. Big’s dead. Carrie spent an entire episode stalking Natasha around NYC… again. Stanford left for Tokyo. Charlotte has been hit by new parenting troubles and Miranda is back in school to get her master’s in human rights.
As I said, a lot has happened. There has been a very noticeable drop in the amount of sex being had on the show though, and save for Miranda’s risqué kitchen encounter with Carrie’s boss, Che Diaz, there’s been very little of it happening throughout. Seems to me like Samantha Jones left the building and took all the sex with her…
Kim Cattrall may have decided to forgo the reboot, but her character lives on and Samantha has already been mentioned quite a few times throughout. Living a new life over in London, she apparently cut ties with the group after Carrie dropped her as her publicist. It’s all very “dear diary” drama and I don’t think many believe the explanation that Samantha would ever really let business interfere with her personal life. But that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
Deciding to push forward with the reboot, even without Cattrall, was a brave move. The series may be about Carrie Bradshaw, but Samantha Jones gives her a run for her money. For many, she was actually the real pull all along. Carrie was the sex columnist, but Samantha was generally the one having all the sex – or most of it at least – and her escapades were always much more entertaining than whatever was happening between Bradshaw and Big at the time.
Perhaps this came down to the fact that SJP had drafted a no-nudity clause into her contract, but even so, Kim Cattrall’s was the most sex-positive character of the bunch. I mean, she famously called herself a “try-sexual” and even had a brief, passionate tryst with a woman at one point. She slept with Charlotte’s Irish doorman (in Charlotte’s apartment, while Charlotte was sleeping!), got with a fireman in his firetruck, and even helped Carrie pull her diaphragm out when it got stuck. Talk about being a good friend.
You could always count on a story so long as Samantha was around… and now that she’s not? Well, things are far less interesting. The only one who seems to be having any sex is Miranda and Steve’s 17-year-old teenager Brady. To which I say, please make it stop – that’s not the kind of thing we signed up for when we agreed to a Sex and the City reboot. Great, he’s having fun, but I don’t think we need to see quite so much of it.
Maybe we should have seen this coming (no pun intended). Samantha is gone, and they even changed the name too. Taking “sex” out of the title was probably a very pointed move and what else could it mean if not “don’t expect anyone to get the ride here, ever”. It’s disappointing all the same though. Sex is what made the original series so revolutionary – it was set in the late 90s/early naughties when matters of intimacy were still a taboo… until suddenly, they weren’t anymore. If Carrie and her friends could discuss orgasms over breakfast, why couldn’t the rest of us? That’s not to say we always do, but it’s reassuring to know that the option is there.
The sexual exploration and freedoms were what made Sex and the City so ground-breaking in the first place – without it, where is the new series supposed to sit in the culture? If they’re attempting to be the most “woke” show on TV they’re falling well behind, despite their obvious attempts to correct the white, heterosexual criticisms of the original.
And Just Like That is breaking boundaries in its own right, but the distinct lack of sex could also speak to a wider issue. Kristin Davis already hit back at claims that the idea of a reboot was unnecessary, admitting that people questioning why she’d agree to it irks her to no end. “People are like, ‘Why should they come back?’ and it really bugs me. Are women’s lives not interesting now? Nobody ever asks, ‘Why would you do this violent remake over and over again?’ For me, that’s so indicative of our reluctance to sit and watch women’s lives develop over time.” Making the series with (most of) the original cast was a huge jump forward in this department. The women don’t look as they did over 20 years ago, which is ultimately the point… but them not having sex kind of suggests that there’s a cut-off point and these women have passed it.
Carrie is still grieving Big’s loss, so we’ll give her a pass (for now)… but a sexless SATC reboot just won’t do and with only three weeks left to the season finale, producers would want to turn the heat up fairly lively. Carrie Bradshaw knows good sex, after all.