Watch: John Oliver Says 'And Just Like That' Needs Samantha

Monday August 2, 2021

On Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver discussed workplaces shutting down due to the loss of an essential worker. "During a deep dive into emergency medical services and the challenges they are facing, Oliver showed a report where an ambulance squad leader in a rural North Dakota town noted that they were 'literally one person away from closing down. If we lose one of our EMTs, one of our care providers, we will have to look at shutting down and closing our doors,'" reported the Hollywood Reporter.

While acknowledging that "no workplace should be in danger of shutting down because it loses one person," he did cite one exception: "And Just Like That," the HBO-produced follow-up to "Sex and the City" currently filming in New York City with three of its original co-stars, Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie), Kristen Davis (Charlotte) and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) returning. However, Kim Cattrall, the fourth member of the original quartet who played the sex-positive Samantha, chose not to return.

Watch John Oliver talk about "And Just Like That" at the nine-minute mark in this video.

"What are you thinking? It's never gonna work without Kim Cattrall. It's not that any of you are bad — it's that you only work together," Oliver said. "I can't appreciate my puritan Charlotte if I don't have my naughty Samantha, and I live for Miranda Hobbes, but if she's not serving side-eye while Samantha is using penne pasta to describe her Italian lover's dick, what is the point?"

The new series looks at the trio's lives some 15 years after the original series ended. It also spawned two film versions. HBO Max's official synopsis for "And Just Like That..." reads: "[The series] follows Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s."

"Since the last feature film," THR writes, "the cast has been open about spats between Cattrall and the other stars, notably Parker. Cattrall†lashed out at Parker on social media†following her brother's death in 2018 and the†cast and crew opened up†about behind-the-scenes drama in a podcast later that year."

Michael Patrick King, who wrote and executive produced the series, as well as wrote and produced the two†"SATC"†films, said "that tensions between Cattrall and the other women started early on in show, largely over money and competition for the spotlight," THR wrote. "He explained that when the show began, Parker was by far the biggest name of the four, and was taking a risk as a movie star moving to an HBO TV show. Because of her star status, she was paid as such."

King spoke to†James Andrew Miller on his Origins†podcast about his experiences with the show.

"As the show progressed, the characters, everybody grew, it became a family," he said. "Kristin, Cynthia and Sarah Jessica became one group, and Kim never joined mentally."†

He continued, "Kim fought and said, 'I'm everyone's favorite.' ... [Parker's] name was contractually, legally, righteously, the only name on the poster due to the fact that she was a movie star in 1998 when the series started and she did a leap to do a show about sex on [HBO], the channel that did the fights, and it doesn't matter how popular you are. I guess for Kim it didn't matter how much the raise became if there was never parity, but there was never going to be parity."†

He also explained how Cattrall's salary demands for the proposed third film in the franchise led to the film project falling apart.

For her part, Parker said of the feud in the podcast. "I'm not in a catfight with anybody. I've never publicly — ever — said anything unfriendly, unappreciative about Kim because that's not how I feel about her."†And she added that the show would not have functioned in such a contentious atmosphere.

"Nixon didn't answer questions about Cattrall on the podcast, and Davis said that she isn't in a place to play peacemaker between Cattrall and the†SATC†team. "I think there's other issues that have to do with other people's personal things that are none of my business in some ways," Davis told Miller.

"It's tough when you've worked with someone for 20 years," said Davis. "You want to have respect and I have respect. ... It's very hard because we were crushed by not doing that third film. It's so hard to get a film starring four women greenlit, even when you are a household name around the world."