What Is ‘Sex And The City’ Without Samantha And Mr. Big?

And just like that, we got our reboot. Yet as I read, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this new saga of SATC really the reboot we wanted?

Here’s the thing: we need to tackle the elephants missing from the room. The shocking and fundamentally disturbing absences of Kim Cattrall and Chris Noth. Is there even a Sex and the City narrative without Samantha Jones? Moreover, what’s the point of watching without the promise of Mr. Big—suave, suited-up, tycoon-powerhouse—sweeping into the third act and taking our breath away with that sexy Cheshire smile?

Or maybe, just maybe, it could actually work out. Here’s what we know for sure, in reality: guys like Mr. Big never really change. As whimsically romantic as the finale of our beloved show was, the most whimsical and fantastical aspect of the plot was Mr. Big suddenly turning earnest and overcoming his commitment issues in one fell swoop. Showing up in Paris like he did for Carrie is the stuff fantasies are made of—especially when we’re dealing with a character who fears commitment. In reality, Mr. Big would probably have intentionally repressed his relationship-y feelings for Carrie (avoidant attachment style, anyone?) with an endless parade of faceless Fashion Week models rolling in and out of his apartment like it’s Cipriani on a Sunday. He’d order them an Uber Lux, promptly forget their names, and read the paper solo with his coffee each morning where it’s safe—where the messiness and complexity of real commitment can’t hurt him.

So let’s be real—Big’s quickie character arc from commitment-phobe to committed fella is something that most people with avoidant attachment style never fully accomplish, even after years of therapy and dedication. But we reserve judgement and reality in that Season 6 finale as we watch Carrie Bradshaw finally get the guy who got away again, and again, and again and again and again. It gives us hope that our elusive toxic situationship will eventually turn into a healthy, glowing example of what it really means to be in blissful, fulfilled, committed love. (Spoiler alert: in real life, that never actually happens. Get yourself as far away from that toxic love as you possibly can. Darren Star is lying to you—lying to you.)

Perhaps this lie told by the writers to uphold the fantastical storyline and indulge viewers’ happily-ever-after hankering will be dealt with a little more realistically in the reboot. Mr. Big’s absence just might be explained because, despite his “gettin’ old” and “settlin’ down,” he never truly overcame his Big Issues. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to imagine a world in which Big—in his Wall Street suit, looking like he’s just been dry-cleaned—is sat up in a therapist’s office, finally taking accountability for his emotionally obtuse maneuvering? Rather than stomping all over Carrie’s heart again, I like to imagine Big’s absence can be explained by an agenda of personal growth. Now wouldn’t that be truly fantastic?

As for Samantha Jones, there’s little I can say to mend that heartbreak. Kim Cattrall’s unforgettable portrayal of the Cosmopolitan woman’s love child with Mae West is iconic and will surely be missed. Is it worth watching without Samantha’s quips, her comic adventures, her crystallized advice? Samantha’s non-judgemental attitude towards herself and others truly positions her as before-her-time. Charlotte and her PC approach to life is too often lauded as the progressive pioneer, but no one can deny that Samantha’s open-mindedness is the way of the new world.

So here’s to our missing superstars—Big and Sam—and how much we’re going to miss them. Still, I know I’ll be tuning in. Won’t you?

Writer, poet, provocateur, critic, author.

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