Kim Cattrall's character's "explicit, shame-free sexuality is far more routine for women characters today than it was in 1998, when Samantha’s refusal to censor or restrain herself when it came to sex was a deliberate shock to TV’s system — and for Sex and the City, a crucial cornerstone to the series’ success," says Caroline Framke. That's why Framke worries that the lack of Samantha Jones in the HBO Max revival "will be an insurmountable obstacle to recapturing what made the original show work," adding that "Samantha’s defiantly open, down for anything sex life provides a necessary counterbalance to the other three women who are way more uptight than they often care to admit." Without Samantha, Framke says, "Sex and the City just won’t have the pulse of enthusiastic sexual energy that made for some of its best moments. If Cattrall remains out of the picture, as seems likely, And Just Like That will have to do more than just catch up with Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte in order to recapture the series’ original spark. It will either have to undergo a shift in narrative focus, as is perhaps inevitable given the characters’ advancing age and more settled lives, or replace Samantha’s singular voice in a way that feels authentic. Maybe this comes in the form of a new character — preferably one in her sixties, as Cattrall is and Samantha would be — or else one of the remaining women evolving into more progressive views (which, frankly, would feel more unrealistic than Samantha’s sudden absence). No matter what, though, the worst thing the revival could do would be to dismiss Samantha like one of the show’s countless exes and move on without acknowledging why she was so important in the first place. Carrie Bradshaw may have made a name for herself by saying she 'knows good sex,' but it was Samantha Jones whose raison d’être was having it."
Sex and the City reboot will have to avoid being out of touch in wake of the pandemic: "This is not a great moment for a series about three upper-middle-class, white, post-feminist women partying their way through a city even they shouldn’t be able afford—amid an economic climate where the conspicuous consumption of thousand-dollar shoes calls to mind the excesses of Marie Antoinette, to say nothing of the damage our current global health crisis has done to the sex lives of single New Yorkers," says Judy Berman. "To have any chance of relevance in 2021, Sex and the City would need to lean hard on 60-year-old Samantha Jones as she navigated the increasingly app-based, gender-fluid, kink-savvy dating scene she helped to bring about. Better still, the show’s producers could have heeded some of their character’s wisest words: 'What happened was in the past. Leave it there.'"
There's only one way to bring back Sex and the City sans Samantha and have it recapture the spirit of the original: "Here’s my pitch: We open on Samantha’s funeral. Not a huge shock there, since she had breast cancer late in the series, and it wouldn’t make sense for Samantha to be alive and not be a part of this continuation," says Dave Nemetz, adding: "Her death rocks her three closest friends to the core, forcing them to take a hard look at where they are in life. Have they become too stale and set in their ways? Could they use a little more Samantha Jones-style spice in their lives? So Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte make a pact to honor Samantha by… ditching their husbands for a trial period and reentering the dating pool, single and ready to mingle."
Carrie Bradshaw’s world no longer exists, nor does her sexual landscape: The Sex and the City revival will only highlight the show's flaws, says Princess Weekes. "When I look at the fact that Gossip Girl, Dexter, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City are all coming back, it just feels so utterly disappointing," says Weekes. "We have worked so hard to create organizations and production companies that are trying to make new, inclusive content, and we are just making … the same things. We already watched how Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival only served to highlight issues that the show had with race, body issues, sexuality, class, etc., because despite the love people have for the series, it doesn’t need to continue or have a place today."