12/01/2021 13:15 GMT | Updated 12/01/2021 13:17 GMT

And Just Like That: 5 Things The New Sex And The City Series Absolutely Has To Include

Times have changed, let's hope the show will too.

There’s little good news around at the moment, and just like that, Sex And The City is returning to our screens.

Well, kinda. 

And Just Like That, which references one of Carrie’s catchphrases, will see Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis reprise their roles as Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, but there’ll be no Samantha Jones this time round as Kim Cattrall has made it clear she has no desire to return to the show.

There’s no air date yet, but The Hollywood Reporter has said that And Just Like That will “follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate friendship in their 50s”.

But times have changed considerably since we bid farewell to the show in 2004, and we really hope Carrie and co have too, because for all of the show’s taboo-breaking, it was also chock full of missteps, cringey lines and predictable stereotypes.

Here are 5 things we want to see in the reboot...

1. A diverse cast

Three of the girls are due back on screens, although Kim Cattrall who plays Samantha will not return

New York is a beautifully diverse city. Its character, much like London’s, is unique because of the many different nationalities and cultures that inhabit it. So why are the vast majority of characters in Sex And The City white?

Black characters did crop up from time to time on the original show, but when they did, they weren’t always the most progressive representations. 

In season three’s episode, No Ifs, Ands, or Butts, Samantha starts dating a Black man called Chivon, but fetishsizes her new lover.

Equally uncomfortable is the role of his sister Adeena, who rages at Samantha in one scene because her brother is dating a white woman. Eventually, Chivon won’t stand up to his sister and so Samantha ends the relationship.

“It’s like, oh man, why did it have to be that way? Why couldn’t it have been a different story?” actor Sundra Oakley, who played Adeena, told Vanity Fair recently.

Lilly Lawrence via Getty Images
"Why did it have to be that way?" Actor Sundra Oakley has spoken out about the way her character was written in the show

As rumours of a reboot swirled, Kim Cattrall rallied for more diverse representation in the show, suggesting that her role of Samantha could be recast to a woman of colour.

“Another actress should play it. Maybe they could make it an African-American Samantha Jones, or a Hispanic Samantha Jones,” Kim told Daily Mail.

In terms of the wider BAME community, the show was equally unrepresentative, and jokes were sometimes made at their expense.

When Samantha was dating a wealthy man called Harvey in season two, his Asian assistant Sum became the butt of an inappropriate joke in Carrie’s voiceover after she booted Samantha out of his apartment.

Jarringly, there was no other major Asian representation throughout the series, other than in minor roles or as service workers, in places such as nail salons.

When it came to the first Sex And The City movie, the Angry Asian Man blog even wrote a damning list of the five Asians who appeared in the entire movie, mostly in fleeting moments, and none with fleshed-out roles.

There were plenty of other missteps too like when Samantha wore an afro wig after her chemotherapy in season six. And we still cringe at Carrie referring to her ‘Carrie’ necklace as ‘ghetto gold’? 

2. Be truly inclusive

Sara Jessica Parker poses with her Emmy trophy for outstanding lead actress in comedy series for her role as Carrie Bradshaw

Remember when Carrie totally freaked out because she was dating a bisexual man called Sean in season three? Meeting with the other girls, the conversation around bisexuality comes up and she shrugs it off as a “layover to gay town.”

Given Carrie is a sex columnist who spends much of her time on the show ruminating about relationships, we’d hope that she’s had some time to reflect on that perspective in the ten years since since the last film was released.

The show had other dealings with queerness. One of the most notable was in season four, when Brazilian actress Sônia Braga played Samantha’s girlfriend, Maria. Samantha also famously said: “I’m a ‘try-sexual.’ I’ll try anything once.”

That may have seemed progressive, but in another episode, Samantha uses a trans slur when she describes her new neighbourhood. 

3. And while we’re on the topic of inclusivity, what about all that wealth? 

Kim Cattrall has called for more diversity on the show before

Another offshoot of the whole diversity conversation is the wealth divide in the show, which did little to address the reality of life in New York for those less fortunate.

While some might say the series provides escapism, others would argue that it simply isn’t realistic that these four women would live the lives they do. Carrie is a columnist who goes on thousand-dollar fashion sprees, for instance - so why don’t they try to represent what life’s really like for people living and working in Manhattan?

“The girls live in a wealthy, white bubble – for a city as diverse as New York, the main cast was startlingly white - and the men they date are a veritable parade of investment bankers and lawyers,” says Sanjana Varghese, nailing one of the major issues with the show in the New Statesman.

4. Respect the memory of Samantha  

Kim Cattrall at the Japan Premiere of Sex and the City 2 in Tokyo.

Writing out characters or recasting them is a tricky challenge for any showrunner. There’s no official word yet as to whether or not Samantha will be recast – all we know is the three other original characters will return, as reported by Hollywood Reporter.

Different actors playing the same fictional role is not uncommon. Gregor Clegane, known as The Mountain on Game of Thrones, has been played by three different actors on the show, for instance.

And The Crown has built its brand around different actors playing the same role as characters age: the Queen was played by Claire Foy in the show’s first two seasons before Olivia Colman took over, and Imelda Staunton is due to play her next. 

Given the show is set two decades on, it wouldn’t be unprecedented if producers decided to cast a different Samantha altogether. But if they don’t, let’s hope they respect the legacy of the much-loved character.

5. Keep it real (and yes, we’re talking about the pandemic)

Sex And The City 3 is returning: it's been 10 years since the ladies were last on screen

Let’s face it, viewers of Sex And The City don’t want to watch the ladies negotiate the challenges of a Covid world. We want to escape from it. Or do we?

Perhaps it’d make good TV to put Carrie Bradshaw in a stylish face mask: after all, face masks have become symbols of expression, due to the pandemic.

It’s likely the show will have to confront the reality of life right now in some way, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the writers will put it front and centre, or just drop the occasional mention in here and there. Or will they avoid it altogether? Only time will tell.