‘And Just Like That…’ received a rough ride during its first season despite excitement being high about the continuation of the ‘Sex and the City’ franchise. The confirmation that Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones, would not be reprising her role was the first sign that the show may not live up to expectations but fans weren’t prepared for what a mess the series was going to be.
During the first season Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) tried to put her life back together following the death of her husband Big (Chris Noth), which gave the season an over-arching gloomy feel. Gone were the sexcapades and frivolous plots of the original series and in its place was a not very funny drama about three women getting to grips with life in their 50s. Add to that the complete assassination of Miranda’s (Cynthia Nixon) character, who unceremoniously dumped her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) to be with the show’s new non-binary character Che (Sara Ramírez) much to the anger of the majority of viewers.
The first season also tried, with varying degrees of success, to address the criticisms that ‘Sex and the City’ lacked diversity. Nicole Ari Parker, Sarita Choudhury and Karen Pittman were all added the cast, along with Ramírez, and essentially paired up with one of the original gang. That resulted in a batch of new characters that weren’t properly integrated into the show and took screen time away from the three originals that viewers were tuning in to see.
When Season 2 arrived I, like many fans, approached it with caution but I was pleased to see that, for the most part, the show corrected many of the things that didn’t work in the first season.
Where did ‘And Just Like That…’ season 2 go right?
In season 2, ‘And Just Like That…’ remembered what show it was continuing. The doom and gloom that dominated season one was replaced with a lighter feel and a return to the sex that was so central to the original show. All of the ladies, including the newer characters, got to have some fun and it was nice to see Carrie back out there after the loss of Big. Miranda and Che broke up (thankfully) and as a result, we started to see glimpses of the old Miranda who was bad ass at her job rather than the simpering buffoon she’d turned into during season one.
Bringing Aidan (John Corbett) back was a good move too, even if the season’s ending left fans a little furious (five years? Really?!). Corbett and Jessica Parker have an easy chemistry and they rekindled the magic that they brought during ‘Sex and the City’. With both characters in different places in their lives, we got to explore what a grown-up relationship between the two looked like (and spoiler alert, it was just as complicated!).
We also got to see Charlotte (Kristin Davis) re-enter the working world. Up until that point in ‘And Just Like That…’, Charlotte existed purely to parent her two daughters so seeing her get to thrive in the working world, and enjoy herself while doing it, was a real pleasure. It also allowed Davis to stretch her acting chops more than she’d been able to up until that point.
Finally, as short as it was, it was pretty fantastic to see Samantha Jones back on our screens. Yes, I know that Cattrall is unlikely to reprise the role full-time but remember she once said she’d never be any part of ‘And Just Like That…’. In season one, Samantha’s absence hung over show so seeing her, albeit in a phone call to Carrie, was truly a highlight of the second season.
Where does ‘And Just Like That…’ still have work to do?
While I’ve grown to like the new characters, they still don’t really feel integrated into the show. Mostly, we see them enjoying their own storylines but wouldn’t it be better to properly bring them into the worlds of Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte? Nya (Karen Pittman) was given pretty much nothing to do all season and had she not offered to let Miranda stay in her spare room, she would have had zero tie to the rest of the series.
Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker) felt a little more integrated thanks to her relationship with Charlotte but like Nya, much of her story was played out without the other characters. Couldn’t Lisa and Nya become friends too, and surely shouldn’t they all be brunching with Carrie and co. on the regular at this point?
Seema (Sarita Choudhury) fared the best of the newer characters being given her own romance and regularly interacting with Carrie and the wider group. The character was clearly written to replace Samantha so why not let her do that? Seema can exist with Miranda and Charlotte, and doesn’t always need Carrie to be there to justify her inclusion. She’s also a superb character with lots of potential to mine.
As for Che, the character remains as divisive as ever. Without Miranda, what’s left for the character to do really? Che works well as a friend of Carrie’s to an extent but has pretty much no contact with Charlotte, Seema, Nya or Lisa at all. If the character is to stay in the ‘And Just Like That…’ world, they need to be more active with the other characters.
What do we want from season 3?
Something I don’t want is Carrie waiting five years for Aidan to parent his kids before he can be with her. She deserves better than that. Get her back out into the dating world along with Miranda and let’s see the two of them having some real fun. There are plenty of guys and gals out there for them to meet and date, let’s see that happen.
As for Charlotte, let’s continue to see her excel at work and maybe, just maybe, she’ll have her own gallery. Keep her with Harry, spend a little less time focusing on her kids and let’s just see her thrive. As much as I love Charlotte when she’s neurotic, she’s been a little too neurotic in this continuation.
Lastly, truly integrate all of these characters into each other’s worlds. What would a hang look like between Miranda and Seema? Could Lisa and Carrie work together on a project in the future? Maybe Nya could prove to be a great source of help for Charlotte in the art world. The possibilities are endless so let’s mix things up a bit.
‘And Just Like That…’ is available to stream on NOW TV. The show has been recommissioned for a third season.