Jun 21, 2023

TV Review: ‘And Just Like That’  

And Just Like That, the second season of the Sex and The City is here and it’s okay. While the show continues to tap into the nostalgic love of these characters, it doesn’t quite live up to the original’s…well orginality.

Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘And Just Like That.’ HBO (MAX??? What are we even calling them nowadays)

Someone has to address the elephant in the room, And Just Like That’s crimes against stand-up comedy. Or how much of the script seems to hinge on their pursuit of gold in the Identity Olympics of television programming, or the way they make one of the leads Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) walk on egg shells whenever she’s breathing the same air as her same-sex (they pronoun), generations younger lover. Sara Ramirez’s Che is smarmy and self-absorbed. They’re ostensibly a comic by profession, but have no clue how to produce or wield humor and it kind of kills the show. It’s a poorly idealized character that detracts from what could’ve been done with better storylines, we digress. As for the rest of the show we’ve seen so far, all the women have these storylines that are fairly toothless. Each narrative of the women’s arcs are wrapped around the semi-dull theme of “getting back to me” following the end of a relationship or an identity. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is still mired in confusion following the death of her husband last season and struggling emotionally with the publication and promotion of her Joan Didion-esque grief memoir. Couldn’t she have had a fling with her young hot neighbor? that is a very Carrie thing to do, to “get over” anything is to focus on herself. She’s an unapologetic narcissist in the original and they aren’t leaning into in the sequel it which is odd. You might love or hate Carrie, but she was always compelling, now she’d just whiney and self-centered without pushing the envelope as far as they used to into her narcissim.

And Just Like That… was more thematically cohesive during its inaugural season as it explored the dissolution of friendships as people age, at least the first season shines when it embraces its predecessor’s routes: The characters coming together over brunch to discuss the merits/drawbacks of things like dry orgasms and penis pumps. But that was sparing as we drew into the second season and the storylines felt tired. It wasn’t original or compelling. It gave us Rory Gilmore failure all over again. People love The Gilmore Girls (hear us out), but its sequel was sad with a protagonist who failed at all her dreams. No one wants to learn that their favorite characters got it all wrong. Do we want to tune into the struggles? Relatability? Of course, but abject failure? Nah. Struggles of aging, and keeping friendships and relationships alive could’ve been so creative but in this series it just feels performative. We’re not loving the ups and downs of living and learning while living in NYC. We’re getting instead a lukewarm spoonfed idealized politically correct 50somethings living in NYC. We hate it. Let them be messy without pretending that Sex and the City ever set out to be politically correct. The show broke all the norms when it debut, it gave us women in a different light on our tv. Now, it’s like a battle of CNN vs Fox news headlings: exhausting with no real winner.

Let us know what you think of the second season. We don’t see ourselves finishing this run of the show.