AND JUST LIKE THAT... (2023)
Season Two (Episodes 1 + 2)
Aired On: Max
Release Date: 06/22/23
Comedy. Drama. Romance.
"While Carrie questions whether she's ready for more than a casual fling, Miranda starts to worry her relationship with Che is only about sex."
After a divisive first season that felt as if it was overcompensating for a lack of diversity in the original Sex and the City series with a heft of colored characters, did a complete 180 on one of their core members and her relatable cynicism, and, tried as they might, were unable to replace the sexual dominance of Kim Cattrall’s groundbreaking Samantha Jones, And Just Like That... hopes to correct its course for a telling second season.
Now, I should stress that the introduction of such players as Seema (Sarita Choudhury), Nya (Karen Pittman) and Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker) is a good thing in terms of racial representation. There’s still a bit of a novelty sense about them as they all play as a “plus one” to their respective City gals – Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) - and the show designating them their own story arcs doesn’t feel as important as what it hopes to project, but given the evident lack of investing material afforded to the original trio, we certainly need to take all the drama we can.
That’s perhaps And Just Like That...’s biggest problem – that it never feels as if it’s giving us a clear throughline with its multiple narratives. The original Sex and the City indulged in individual arcs for its characters, but there was always a brunch or meeting place of some sort that seemed to allow each woman to come together and sort out their shit. Here, with Miranda in LA exploring her new found sexuality with non-binary partner Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), who it has to be said is far more tolerable in the two previewed episodes than they were in the entire first season, and Samantha still out of the picture – though, as we all know, will make a cameo of sorts in a final episode – it leaves a multitude of phone calls between them to talk each other through the epitome of privileged white people problems; even Carrie and Charlotte who are in the same city don’t come together as strongly.
Whilst on rewatch there’s definitely more than a few issues with how sexuality in all its forms was treated on Sex and the City, it still remains a groundbreaking look at women of a certain age and owning their sexual liberties. And Just Like That..., despite wanting to feel progressive, can’t help but appear as if it’s taken a few too many steps back; especially with how it’s transformed Miranda from a hardened mother to an uncertain girlfriend-type, constantly feeling as if she’s got to tip-toe around her relationship with Che. The old Miranda would never.
It isn’t all bad though, as there’s still glimmers of the show’s sassy wit and penchant for fashion – the first episode is all about attending The Met Ball – and, as out of place they feel, the new trio of Seema, Nya and Lisa are, rather ironically, earning more relatable, topical narratives surrounding relationship boundaries, fertility and racial status. Not goinna lie, a story with these three and Samantha would feel far more organic.
If you managed to survive the first season there’s no reason this second won’t tickle your fancy – at least Che is wholly digestible now – and with promises of both Samantha and Carrie’s Aidan (John Corbett) returning, it would be doing a disservice to Sex to not at least see it through. With modest expectations, And Just Like That... should prove serviceable weekly viewing.