Reactions were mixed when The CW remixed "Sex and the City" and took it back to the '80s as "The Carrie Diaries." And how could they not be? Droves of women gathered and drank cosmos just to watch "Sex," a pop culture phenomenon. The "Carrie" producers intend to sex things up by introducing the randiest of the four girls this season. (Let's face it, young Charlotte in a Liz Claiborne sweater set or Miranda in Casual Corner and Reeboks would be less tantalizing.) So, everybody, meet Samantha Jones (Lindsey Gort), '80s chick.
Once again, we have mixed feelings. The eyes on this new Sam are a little vacant and unknowing; Samantha is sharp and guarded. This new Samantha is so, 'Hey, wanna roller-skate?" and the Samantha we know would be more like, "Hey, wanna get naked in the locker room at the roller rink?" The earrings are right, dated, but the hair doesn't work. Samantha was CBGB — that hair should be huge, like Malin Akerman's in "Rock of Ages." The belt works, but the cat-eye shirt is a misfire; cat eyes are all over the racks at Forever 21 right now, in 2013. Samantha should be a little more Madonna — some rips in that cat-eye shirt — and a little less Julianne Hough in "Rock of Ages." And our No. 1 complaint: Where is the eyeliner?!
We're critical because that first portrait of AnnaSophia Robb as young Carrie was an endearing, thorough tribute to Sarah Jessica Parker's character. The spirit of Miss Bradshaw had been captured, which was, at least, a good start. We aren't going to judge the whole season on one photo. But man. It's not right.
It's nothing against Gort, who was just misdirected, but even the pose is wrong, the bend-me-shape-me-any-way-you-want-to dull gaze. It's a glamour shot; young Samantha would go edgier in appearance — like Catherine Zeta-Jones in the last scene of "Rock of Ages" — and attitude. Gort looks like she was told to think of a walk on the beach, and anyone who saw the "Sex and the City" movie knows that Samantha is bored by walks on the beach.
And Samantha was never one to stand around posing. She is a businesswoman who thinks holding hands is more risqué than bed-hopping. When she got sick as a little girl, her mom gave her cough syrup with Fanta Orange. She has done bad — she used Lucy Liu's name to nab a Birkin bag. And she has done good — she gave up a hair appointment to babysit for new mom Miranda. She didn't become tough overnight, so that toughness shoulda been somewhere in this photo. Instead, we're looking at a Forever 21 model.
It's a bad sign that we had to reference Forever 21 twice. But in the interest of second chances and the magic of New York City and the basic fun that Samantha, even in alternate form, is back on TV, let's hope for the best. Or the greatest. We all know how Samantha feels about the word "best."
What matters the most is the meta-cool immediate sisterhood that formed between Kim Cattrall and Gorton over Twitter. Original Sam got all big sisterly and tweeted some insightful words about the character:
@LindseyGort So happy u're playing Fearless Sam! The key 2 her is her heart. She never judges those she loves. Have a blast! Kimx— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) July 23, 2013
And New Sam replied:
@kimcattrall, thank you so much! what fabulous, amazingly sexy shoes to fill xoxo— Lindsey Gort (@LindseyGort) July 23, 2013
We wish Lindsey the most fabulous and best of luck (and shoes) this season.