The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
Processing the Huge And Just Like That… News
It is finally June. Summer is here. It’s Pride Month. And, perhaps most meaningful of all, it is nearly And Just Like That… time.
The Max series, a continuation of the Sex and the City TV show and films, premieres June 22, which means that June 22 now officially among the holiest and most hallowed of holidays. Some people worship the day that Jesus was resurrected. I observe the second coming of Che Diaz.
With the Season 2 premiere of the series rapidly approaching—and yet, still so cruelly far away—Max teased fans this week with a new trailer, which was followed by a reported, tantalizing bombshell: Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha in the original series, will appear in the Season 2 finale, after famously being vocal about her lack of interest in ever returning to the character.
This is huge news! How do I properly contextualize it? I already made one Jesus reference—though, to those for whom Sex and the City is tantamount to religion, it wouldn’t be an outlandish comparison. Who needs a Holy Trinity when you have the Fab Four: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and, now, Samantha once again.
Now, brace yourself for this, and promise to hear me out: I hate that this is happening! I’m not happy that Samantha is coming back, at least in this way.
For context, Cattrall announced in 2016 that she would not play Samantha again, as she felt that plans for the character in a proposed third film weren’t up to par. Then, in the ensuing years, she made comments about Parker that were portrayed in headlines as a “feud” between the actresses. When the first season of And Just Like That… premiered, both Parker and Michael Patrick King, the series’ showrunner, said there was likely no scenario in which Cattrall or Samantha would return.
Everything about the behind-the-scenes drama and the (misogynistic) way it was covered was quite ugly, and that the reports and comments were dredged up incessantly in relation to the show was rather unpleasant. Would we ever know peace from the Samantha chatter?
Apparently not. According to Variety, Samantha will appear just briefly in the Season 2 finale of And Just Like That… Cattrall already filmed the scene, which will see Samantha speaking on the phone to Carrie. Apparently, Cattrall shot her cameo “without seeing or speaking with the stars of the series,” and Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field, who has not been a part of And Just Like That…, dressed her.
In the Season 1 finale of And Just Like That…, Carrie texted Samantha about possibly reconciling and meeting up. Their phone conversation suggests that the two characters are still smoothing over their rocky relationship, but it’s certainly not a meeting!
This is such a let down, to me. It’s not worth it!
After all of this controversy and negativity, Samantha coming back at all seems odd. But if you’re gonna do it, then do it iconically! Samantha appearing for a brief phone conversation, without sharing the screen with any of her former friends, feels deeply unsatisfying!
There’s a pettiness to this—not filming with anyone; bringing back Fields just to dress yourself—that the small part of me who loves mess is enjoying. And maybe the pettiness is earned; I don’t know these people personally or have some indisputable account of their history together. But if Samantha is going to come back, it should be far more spectacular than this. There should be fanfare! It should be an event! Have a cosmo with the girls. Gossip with them over a fabulous brunch. Why make a cameo in something so small?
Generally speaking, I thought there was a certain, poignant loveliness to how And Just Like That… addressed Samantha’s character: She and the girls grew apart, which was triggered by a misunderstanding and solidified with time. For all the indignities that there were in the show’s first season—we are a population forever bonded by surviving the episode in which Carrie pisses herself, while Che fingerbangs Miranda in the kitchen—there was admirable dignity to how the show explored how aging and time affects friendships.
I liked that in small, spontaneous moments, Carrie would text Samantha, the way a person messages a friend they are estranged from, but with whom you still share a rich history. It was nice to know that Samantha still exists in the Sex and the City universe, and I felt the series did a nice job of honoring the character, her legacy, and fans’ attachment to her. Maybe Cattrall was never going to come back, but at least we had those moments.
There’s no sign of Samantha in the new Season 2 trailer that came out this week. There is a sight that’s perhaps even more shocking: Carrie Bradshaw cooking. There promises to be enough Che-Miranda content to terrorize or delight, depending on your view of that particular relationship. And there’s actual footage of a former Sex and the City cast member making a triumphant return—and he’s actually sharing the frame with Parker, too.
John Corbett is back as Aidan, a treat for the Sex and the City fans who always felt that Aidan was Carrie’s soulmate, not that monster, Mr. Big. “Sitting here with you, it’s like 10 years, just…” he says, snapping his fingers. Here’s hoping Carrie’s conversation with Samantha is half as pleasant as that reunion seems.
Drag Me to Dinner Will Make You LOL
There are many reasons to recommend a TV series, and sometimes it’s because it is gloriously, unapologetically, deeply silly. So, in that vein, may I recommend that everyone watch Drag Me to Dinner?
The new reality series premiered this week on Hulu, and it’s my perfect idea of what Pride Month programming should be like.
The premise is that famous drag queens compete in teams to throw the most entertaining dinner party, with Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka, Haneefah Wood, Murray Hill, and Bianca Del Rio as their hosts, judges, and guests. There is something not-so-deceptively important about the series’ representation of LGBT+ stars and their careers, spotlighting the art and hilarity of drag performers at a time when anti-LGBT legislation and drag bans are being introduced throughout the country. The humor about and references to gay culture fly freely. But the series is also a glittering example of one of the most crucial aspects of Pride: the permission to be absolutely ridiculous, joke around with your community, and celebrate the fun of LGBT+ culture.
The premiere episode, of which I pretty much giggled for the entire running time, featured Drag Race alums Jinkx Monsoon and Bendelacreme as one team, with West Hollywood legends Sherry Vine and Jackie Beat as the other. Don’t be fooled by the characterization of this show as a competition; the “hosting a party aspect of it” is ludicrous and treated with little seriousness by the contestants. Drag Me to Dinner is actually about the most talented drag performers and allies in the country bantering with each other and being hilarious.
Take, for example, the bounty of prizes that Hill, who emcees the series, lists: a baby bottle full of babies, a nutsack, duct tape, a Cher-cuterie board (meats and cheese in the likeness of Cher), a bathtub of butter, a jar of “eau de Harry Styles,” 55 gallons of lube, a high five from Bianca del Rio, all the crackers you can carry, and the Golden Grater, “because one team is great, but the other is greater.”
In a preview of a later episode, drag queen Alaska mocks stereotypical reality-TV speak and says, “I didn’t come here to make friends. I came here to make dinner.” This show is silly. Enjoy it.
I Saw Muna! At Stonewall!
I often do not have the energy for Pride Month celebrations. I can’t hang at the parties, I can’t afford the incessant stream of vodka sodas, I am missing the crucial New York Pride accessory (abs), and I sweat too much and sunburn too easily to spend so much time outdoors. But in doses, I can make it work!
On June 1, I attended a Pride kick-off event at the hallowed Stonewall Inn, thrown by the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative. It was inspiring, with a slew of rousing speeches serving as calls to action for the community. The night was capped off with a performance by queer indie pop band Muna. I do not often know what music the youths are listening to these days, but I do know Muna! (Round of applause for me.) And seeing them perform at Stonewall, in such an intimate space, felt really special.
Somebody Somewhere Has Been Renewed
Will I ever shut up about how wonderful the HBO series Somebody Somewhere is, or stop insisting that everyone watch it and threatening the Television Academy with legal action if they fail to nominate for Emmy Awards this year? No! I will not, especially now that it was announced that it has been renewed for a third season.
I interviewed star and co-creator Bridget Everett about the recently concluded, really special second season. (Read it here!) Now, watch this show!!!
Congrats to Oppenheimer?
I don’t presume to know what is a normal size for a film print that theaters use to project movies. But this announcement about Oppenheimer, the new Christopher Nolan film hitting theaters this summer, cracked me up.
Eleven miles! Six-hundred pounds! Excited to arrive at the theater and know that what I’m watching is apparently the size of a small island.
More From The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
There are a lot of shows to watch this summer! We have a guide for them! Read more
It already feels like the Succession finale was several years ago, but, in fact, it was this week—and quite good! Read more.
John Englund has been playing Freddy Kreuger in the Nightmare on Elm Street for 40 years, and he’s got some great stories about it. Read more.
What to watch this week:
Past Lives: A truly special, deeply meaningful film that deserves to start a lot of conversation. (Now in theaters)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: This movie is perfect. We’re not exaggerating. (Now in theaters)
I Think You Should Leave: Tim Robinson’s Netflix sketch series is the wackiest thing on TV, in the best way. (Now on Netflix)
What to skip this week:
The Idol: This show has been mired in ugly controversy, and was ripped apart when it premiered at Cannes. Maybe we can all skip this one! (Sun. on HBO)
The Boogeyman: It may just be me, but I think a Boogeyman movie should actually be scary! (Now in theaters)
Post source: TDB