Even "Sex and the City," which I did not watch.
Kim Cattrall gracing the SiriusXM Studio in 2011.CreditRob Kim/Getty Images
Because I'm one of the youngest people alive (29), I was not old enough to be interested in a program with "sex" in the title when "Sex and the City" premiered on HBO in 1998, 20 years ago today.
Consequently, beyond the broadest outlines of the plot — there are four friends, having sex, and the city — the only detail I know firmly about the show is: Sa-MANh-thAH TAL-hkss hLike thIS.
If you have ever seen even one second of the actress Kim Cattrall in character as Samantha Jones, the vamp of "Sex and the City," you know what I mean. From Ms. Cattrall's larynx, the words of Samantha slunk and shimmied across the Manhattan of the early aughts, her voice sliding around ribald puns as if extra lubricated.
Even I, a person who doesn't know my Aidan from my Other Male Name, can instantly conjure that bawdy drawl in my head. It's the voice of a woman who is perpetually unbothered about being perpetually hot and bothered.
What you might not know is that Kim Cattrall's real voice is as unlike the voice of Samantha Jones as a late October morning is unlike a Fourth of July high noon. I know this. I know this in my bones. I know this so well the knowing will be imprinted in the DNA of my descendants for a hundred generations — because I am unable to stop listening to the same four podcast episodes featuring Ms. Cattrall, over and over.
They're very relaxing.
It's hard to recall exactly how I began listening to these same four podcasts, all guest-starring a performer with whose film and TV work I remain only passingly familiar, over and over. (I remember enjoying a 2015 episode of the PBS program "Shakespeare Uncovered" that Ms. Cattrall hosted on the topic of the play "Antony and Cleopatra." It's possible that, after watching, I typed "KIM CATTRALL" into the search bar of Apple's podcast app in pursuit of more information from Kim Cattrall about topics other than the play Antony and Cleopatra.)
But it's better to focus on why I did it: Listening to Kim Cattrall speak as herself is one of life's little pleasures.
In the pantheon of Earth's most soothing sounds, Ms. Cattrall murmuring "I was being forsaken by those Greek twins, Hypnos and Thanatos" (while discussing her insomnia on a BBC program) takes its rightful place between the rustle of dry leaves in an autumn wind and the purling of cool water from a clear, sweet mountain stream.
Hearing Ms. Cattrall analyze the pejorative implication of the term "childless" (while discussing modern womanhood on another BBC program) feels like pressing a cold compress into the hot, black space behind your eyes. Listening to Ms. Cattrall recount a story about wanting to sing "Jingle Bells" onstage as a child (in a discussion about her favorite songs on a different BBC program — the BBC loves her) will make you want to be about to fall asleep forever.
Radio is an even more intimate medium than premium cable television with a Mature Audiences content rating, and Ms. Cattrall's speech, isolated from other sounds, conjures those sedative tickles of faint euphoria associated with the phenomenon known as A.S.M.R., or autonomous sensory meridian response. Her real voice is breathy like Samantha Jones's, but less fluctuant in pitch and volume. It rushes up from her diaphragm full of theatrical resonance and then hums along at a soothing, slow register. It is crisp. When Ms. Cattrall says the word "didn't," she respects each and every D and T.
Indeed, it could be said that alveolar plosives — the consonant sounds made by tapping the tip of the tongue to the alveolar ridge, just behind the teeth, as when hitting one's D's and T's — are some of Ms. Cattrall's best work. She is a careful enunciator who takes time to pronounce distinctly every element of a consonant cluster. Her diction might be described as intricate.
Most native speakers of North American English don't distinctly pronounce their alveolar plosives (in other words: stops) when they occur at the end of a word. Take, for example, this very sentence, which starts with the word "take" and ends with the word "it." For many Americans and Canadians, the T of "it" sounds semi-swallowed. Linguists debate whether this muted effect is the result of a failure to release a final, teensy puff of air, or of something happening way down inside the throat, in the space between the vocal cords called the glottis. The point is, the sound is different — smaller sounding — than the T in "take." Not so for Ms. Cattrall or, as Ms. Cattrall might say, noT so for Ms. Cattrall.
And this is just one tic of the hypnotic swinging-watch pendulum of Kim Cattrall's radio voice. We could linger here all day attempting to deconstruct precisely what makes Kim Cattrall's speaking so appealing, but self-care begins with you and ends with Kim Cattrall describing the vitality of stage performance.
With that in mind, here is my curated playlist of the top four easily accessible podcast appearances by Kim Cattrall. They will soothe you and educate you about her life. May she one day host a six-hour daily podcast of her own.
A discussion of stage and screen and her friend Lalla with her other friend, the French actress Isabelle Huppert.
A dramatic narrative account of her life-altering battle with chronic sleeplessness.
"Kim Cattrall" on Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4
She reveals the eight songs she would bring with her to a desert island, one of which is Aretha Franklin's "Respect."
"Takeover Week: Kim Cattrall" on Women's Hour, BBC Radio 4
She guides a discussion on topics about women, including life as a single woman over 50.