It was recently announced that Kim Cattrall will be reprising her most famous role for one episode only in season two (which returns to Binge today) and the audience is thrilled to hear they're getting a long-awaited Jones sighting. But let's face it, for the favourite woman of the SATC four, one cameo is just not enough.
To explain her absence from the revival in season one, it was established that Carrie and Samantha had a business-related argument that essentially eviscerated their friendship. It's a plotline that seems woefully out of character for Samantha and betrays some of her best qualities like loyalty, generosity and prioritisation of her female friendships above all else. Add to that the fact that there wasn't much said about her relationship status with Miranda and Charlotte, whom she seemingly hadn't fought with, and the plot holes were vast.
Her confidence and self-assuredness mixed with compassion and love for her girlfriends have hallmarked Samantha Jones as a truly timeless and influential woman for decades. So much so, that people across the world have, even now, chosen to emulate and channel her attitude in their aforementioned "Samantha era". While you're sure to find groups of people whose favourite SATC character was one of the other lead women, it's undeniable that Samantha has no real competition for the top spot overall.
Just like the characters who lead SATC, the original TV series also had many questionable takes on race, class structures, and gender (to name a few). Often, the women of SATC voiced problematic and conservative ideas during their long brunches — and Samantha was definitely not exempt from these. But she was certainly the most liberated, open-minded and non-judgemental of the group when it came to all things sex and sexuality. And in their group of white upper-middle-class women, that type of character is desperately needed; she put the sex in Sex and the City.
Samantha understood pansexuality and sexual openness well before the rest of the world did. While her character never openly came out as any sexuality in particular, many of her sexual experiences and relationships pointed to genuine and sincere fluidity. Proving time and time again that she was ahead of her time when it came to sex and often relationships, Samantha's views and opinions frequently gave the show a refreshing (and necessary) push into the 21st century. She also, more regularly than we would have liked, had to fight slut-shaming from within her very own circle of best friends (!) and despite the judgement she faced, never stopped being who she was.
Luckily, we have some characters like Che Diaz now in AJLT to challenge Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte on their traditional beliefs and educate them on matters of queerness and compulsory heterosexuality. But having spent decades watching and rewatching SATC and just loving Samantha so dearly, we have to wonder — even if we're given great and much-needed new characters, can a TV show ever really be the same or even survive without its best characters (or in this case, with just a fleeting cameo)?
Of course, as is the way with many reboots and sequels, they're never going to quite live up to the original, with many people believing in the "quit while you're ahead" mentality when it comes to recurring TV series and movie franchises. (There's a reason Friends, which was beloved but equally problematic, has been left firmly in the past.) It's possible the SATC reboot falls into this category, and Samantha Jones' absence has done nothing to help its case for revival. But we've come this far and invested in these characters for so long, so we're going to see it out — and we can thank our lucky stars that, in this season, we'll at least get to see our beloved Samantha one more time.
And Just Like That is streaming on Binge weekly, from Thursday, June 22.