No matter where viewers stand on Max’s And Just Like That…, it’s clear fans of the Sex and the City franchise are showing up every week – the series ranks as the #1 Max Original overall and is the most-watched returning Max Original to date despite its mixed reviews. But among every nuanced perspective on the series, we can all agree on one thing – we miss Samantha Jones.
So when news leaked in May that Kim Cattrall would be reprising her iconic role as Samantha, the internet was abuzz with comments, theories, and appropriately-dramatic reactions. Though her cameo was known to be only a brief phone call scene in the season finale – Cattrall elected not to see or communicate with any of her original costars – it was nevertheless highly-anticipated, and with good reason. Prior to the announcement, viewers were almost certain Samantha Jones would never grace our screens again – but never say never.
“It’s very interesting to get a call from the head of HBO saying, ‘What can we do?’ and I went, ‘Hmm, Let me get creative,’” Cattrall quipped during her appearance on The View earlier this summer.
Working with famed costume designer Patricia Field was at the top of Cattrall’s list. The Emmy-winner rose to prominence while styling Cattrall along with the rest of the Sex and the City cast during the original series’ run from 1998 to 2004 along with its two spin-off films in 2008 and 2010, but notably did not return to And Just Like That… due to a time conflict while working on Emily in Paris.
“I just thought that if I’m going to come back, I gotta come back with that Samantha style,” Cattrall teased. “I gotta push it. And we did.”
And within the first few minutes of the Season 2 finale, it was evident that Cattrall and Field successfully achieved their goal. Wearing a metallic silver trench coat over a bright red ruched dress, the look was reminiscent of the character’s signature style while also feeling fresh. But the accessories were the outfit’s focal point – most notably the lime green Fendi First clutch sitting in her lap. Field also didn’t skip out on the jewelry – with a stack of exaggerated silver cuff bracelets and an oversized cocktail ring, the look felt quintessentially Samantha Jones.
Like the styling, the dialogue was reminiscent of Samantha’s essence – complete with more than one use of her unmistakable signature phrases like “honey…” and “fabulous,” and even a classic Season 6 joke – “Who’s Samantha? This is Annabelle Bronstein!” – referring to the British woman whose identity Samantha assumed to obtain access to Soho House in the summer.
After taking some time to hit its stride, And Just Like That… may have found a sweet spot towards the end of Season 2 – evoking nostalgia without trying to perfectly emulate the original series and instead becoming something new. And if the fan response is any indication, more Cattrall cameos will be in high demand for the recently-announced Season 3.