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Sex and the city

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The Sex and the City (SATC) revival debuted on HBO Max Thursday (Dec. 9). And Just Like That dived straight into Kim Cattrall’s absence as Samantha Jones.

Within the first two minutes of the premiere, guest star Julie Halston’s character Bitsy Von Muffling asks famed Sex and the City characters, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, Kristin Davis’ Charlotte York, and Cynthia Nison’s Miranda Hobbes, “And where’s the fourth Musketeer? Where’s Samantha?”

Charlotte implies that Samantha died saying, “Oh, she’s no longer with us.” Miranda attempts to clear things up and Charlotte adds, “Oh, no, I’m so sorry, I just meant, she’s not, with us.”

Carrie reveals that she moved to Europe with a simple response, “She’s in London.”

Time has passed and the women converse about the transformations and trials they have all gone through.

“Oh, thank God,” Bitsy responds in relief. “After the horror show we’ve been through, I assume anyone I haven’t seen in a while has passed on or moved to Palm Beach.”

The ladies exchange words about the drama of their missing friend over lunch. Carrie shares why Samantha left for London after the author fired her as her publicist.

“You know, it is kind of like she’s dead, Samantha. We never even talk about her,” Miranda admits.

“Well, what is there to say?” Carrie responds. “I told her that, you know, because of what the book business is now, it just didn’t make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist. She said, ‘Fine,’ and then fired me as a friend.”

Carrie claims that she reached out several times, but Samantha stopped taking all calls from everyone.

“I understand that she was upset, but I thought I was more to her than an ATM,” Carrie says. “I always thought the four of us would be friends forever.”

The second episode also revealed that Samantha didn’t reach out after Big’s death but sent flowers despite Carrie asking no florals be sent to the service. Carrie allowed Samantha’s to remain there. She eventually texted her to thank her but didn’t receive a response.

Cattrall’s absence from the revival comes as no surprise to SATC fans. The 65 year old actress appeared in all 94 episodes of the original series, which aired on HBO from 1998 to 2004, but after going on to star in both of the movies, she chose to step away from the third film. The movie was scrapped as a result.

“And Just Like That was never four [characters],” showrunner Michael Patrick King told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, December 4, when asked about the new show. “It never was on the radar as four because Kim Cattrall, for whatever reason, didn’t want to play Samantha anymore while we were doing the [third] movie.”

Cattrall has been entangled in a media frenzy due to her feud with Parker, who she publicly referred to as “cruel” in 2018 following the death of her brother.

Parker added, “I’ve never publicly — ever — said anything unfriendly, unappreciative about Kim because that’s not how I feel about her.”

Davis also commented on Cattrall’s absence during an interview with the Today show on Wednesday (Dec. 7). “We love Samantha. Samantha is never not going to be a part in some way, right?” she said at the time. “There is respect for Samantha. … It’s part of the story. We would never disrespect Samantha.”

Check out the revival, And Just Like That, with new episodes airing on HBO Max every Thursday.