And Just Like That should’ve seen fan favourite Stanford Blatch finally get justice with his own storyline, according to Sarah Jessica Parker.
Even as we meet him again in the first episode of the new series, he’s throwing a tantrum (in a periwinkle suit no less) and arguing with long-suffering husband Anthony (Mario Cantone) at Charlotte’s daughter’s piano recital.
While Carrie Bradshaw’s best friend and better dresser, played by the late Willie Garson, may have been a background character, he made a big impact with his clever quips, bold outfit choices and penchant for a martini in every situation.
Tragically, his story was cut short as he left the series after episode three to focus on his health and passed away from pancreatic cancer in September, aged 57.
“I knew before we started shooting that Willie was sick,” Parker told Vulture. Referring to the filming of a particular character’s death (no spoilers here), she described it as “difficult for me and for all of us”.
“At that point, he shared with his fellow cast that he was sick. That day was excruciating, to be in a fictional world of the loss of a life, but in the real world, of somebody that you knew was sick.”
While Parker stopped short of sharing what storyline had been in store for Stanford in fear of “hurting people’s experiences of the story we are now telling,” she said: “He intended and wanted to complete the entire season. He had a very significant storyline, more so than ever, so it was my fervent hope that he would be able to do it all.”
“And for Willie to have to leave, you knew that it was serious. If Willie could be there and do one more episode or one more scene, he would have done it. But he knew what he needed to do to take care of his son and of himself, and I am so glad that he did that because when he passed away, he wanted to do so in an environment and circumstance that made him feel safe and comfortable.”
Cynthia Nixon, who portrays Miranda Hobbes, also shared that many considered Stanford “the fourth girl” in And Just Like That, after original cast member Kim Cattrall didn’t reprise her role as Samantha Jones.
But despite Garson’s real-life struggles, Stanford continues to show up, fabulously dressed, for Carrie in And Just Like That, accompanying her to the funeral and staying for comfort martinis.
However, we can’t help but wonder what could have been if Garson had lived to see out the series. Would a messy divorce from Anthony that culminated in a lavish vow renewal to match their white swan-filled first wedding be on the cards? Or the couple adopting a child and leaving the big city?
We can only begin to imagine what theatrics a Stanford-led storyline would have brought, but we know it would have been exactly the joy we need.
The first three episodes of And Just Like That are available to watch now on Sky and NowTV. New episodes will be released every Thursday.