HBO Max unveiled its “Sex and the City” sequel series “And Just Like That…” overnight and we finally learned what happened to Samantha Jones.
Kim Cattrall, who played the character on the HBO series and in the two feature films, bowed out of the franchise before a proposed third movie, and didn’t sign on for the sequel series, so the show had to tackle Samantha’s absence. And it did, almost immediately.
Bitsy von Muffling ran into Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) at a restaurant within the first few minutes of the first episode of “And Just Like That…” and noted Samantha’s absence.
Here’s how it played out:
While Charlotte stutters in response (which ends up being a hint at a greater explanation), Carrie explains that Ms. Jones is in London, with Miranda adding, “She moved to the U.K. – for work.”
After the trio spend lunch together, Carrie and Miranda have a bit of a heart to heart while walking in New York City, and go in depth on the Samantha storyline, finally revealing there’s a rift between the girls.
“It is kind of like she’s dead,” Miranda says. “We never even talk about her.”
What we then learn is that at some point since the second “Sex and the City” film, Carrie made the business decision not to have a publicist anymore, the book industry being what it is, and times being what they are.
“It didn’t make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist and then she fired me as a friend,” Carrie says.
“I understand that she was upset, but I thought I was more to her than an ATM,” she adds.
Miranda notes that Samantha was no doubt embarrassed.
We then learn that Samantha has stopped returning Carrie’s calls and left texts from Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda unanswered. Although, despite Samantha’s absence in the premiere, in the second episode she sends one of the characters flowers following a traumatic event.
So there you have it. That’s how “And Just Like That …” explained Samantha’s absence.
Cattrall previously said she was done playing Samantha. In a 2019 interview with the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, she explained that after the second movie, she’d finally “had enough” of playing the sex positive public relations maven and was ready to move on. “I went past the finish line playing Samantha Jones because I loved ‘Sex and the City.’ It was a blessing in so many ways but after the second movie I’d had enough,” she said at the time.
Rumors of a feud between Cattrall and Parker floated over the years. In 2017, in an interview with Piers Morgan, Cattrall said of Parker, “she could have been nicer.” At the time, she also addressed rumors she was holding out on doing a third “SATC” film.
It’s quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I’ve been saying for almost a year of ‘no’ that I’m demanding or a diva,” Cattrall told Morgan at the time, according to the Daily Mail. “The answer was always no and a respectful, firm, no.”
For her part, SJP denied bad blood between the two, telling People in 2018: “But I never responded to the conversation Kim had with Piers Morgan, where she said things that were really hurtful about me. We had this experience and it was amazing, and nothing will ever be like it. We had a connection with an audience, and we had a connection with the city and with this crew, and we got to tell these crazy stories with each other. So I don’t want to mess with that. I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing that part. So there was no fight; it was completely fabricated, because I actually never responded. And I won’t, because she needed to say what she needed to say, and that is her privilege.”
The first two episodes of “And Just Like That…” are currently streaming on HBO Max.