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And Just Like That Season 2 Review: It's... Just Okay!

  • The cast is still fabulous, including the newcomers
  • They've toned down some of the worst offenses from last season
  • There are several dull storylines
  • The show seems disjointed
  • There's not much insight to be gleaned from these women

In its first season, the "Sex and the City" follow-up "And Just Like That..." ended up sparking a lot of controversy. The rare show that follows women in their 50s, it set out to be a continuation of "Sex and the City" while also being more in tune with the times, so it upped the diversity by recruiting some people of color and one nonbinary individual, and set them loose with the white women we came to know and love decades prior. Unfortunately, though "And Just Like That..." was acknowledging the problem with "Sex and the City," this led to less than flattering moments in which, for instance, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) decided she needed a Black friend or Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) decided she must have Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), even if it blew up her marriage.

But the most important storyline of Season 1 was Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) getting over Mr. Big's (Chris Noth) death, which happened in the first episode. That tied the show together when little else did. In the second season there's even less connecting the various elements of the show together, outside of the fact that we know our characters are all friends. Carrie only has one line of voiceover at the end of each episode, just like she did last season, but this season it feels even more perfunctory. All in all, it's a disjointed affair that makes little improvement over the debut run.

That's made it, by turns, both more and less interesting. There are far fewer storylines to hate-watch, yet there are more that are just plain dull. For example, Carrie being the reader for her audiobook about her husband is obviously a sad story, but watching her try to read the chapter about his death multiple times is boring. This is a problem at several points during the seven episodes I saw for review, although the show is also better for toning down some of its worst offenses from last season.

Toning it down

To some degree, the writers and producers listened to audience criticism, making this season more palatable than the last. Charlotte's main concern is her children — she's supportive, but she still has moments when she goes overboard and has to be pulled back. Miranda is shown as a caring mother to her heartbroken son, which is more than could be said last season. And Carrie continues to slowly heal from Mr. Big's death. It comes up less this season, and she may even start seeing someone new more seriously.

Meanwhile, although Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has a cameo in the final episode (which wasn't provided for review), Carrie doesn't text her constantly this season and no one talks about her ... at least so far. Instead, there's even more focus on the newcomers. Seema (Sarita Choudhury), Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker), Che, and Nya (Karen Pittman) all get their individual storylines this season that are more or less equal to the three holdovers from "Sex and the City," establishing themselves firmly as part of the cast.

When it comes to Che, in particular, there's been a change. They spend less time in comedy clubs and far more time with Miranda. That said, the TV show pilot we see them shooting here could be seen as a commentary on the audience response to them in the first season. With the TV pilot comes a lot of discussion on what it means to be nonbinary from both them and others, and eventually the criticisms end up putting them in a funk. The writers may have felt the same in response to the audience's eviscerating comments on Che last season, although in the end, it seems Che rises above it and so have the writers.

The problems aren't the same

The biggest trouble with this show is that I don't know that people can get any fresh insights from these women. Their struggles are simply less relatable than ever with the level of money and privilege they've achieved. Carrie never has to work again due to the inheritance from her husband, Charlotte's a stay-at-home mom, and Miranda has quit her law firm to go to school for something more altruistic than corporate law. They all seem to have ample time on their hands with minimal struggles.

Even how to find a man is of minimal interest to this group. The one who's most concerned about this is Seema, but most of the other ladies are married or still mourning divorces (or in Carrie's case, a death). That makes finding far less of a priority than when they were in their 30s and 40s during the show's original run. While there is sex in this show, the problems aren't the same.

Still, the performances are top notch. The fantastic Sarah Jessica Parker has a bit less to do this year, which leaves the others to pick up the slack. They're all great, especially newcomers Nicole Ari Parker and Sarita Choudhury. For those wondering about the return of Aidan, I can only say in the one episode I saw him in that he's still interesting as a beau for Carrie, and I hope he sticks around.

That's the thing with "And Just Like That..." — it has a stellar cast of women of a certain age but they don't exactly capture the magic of the original show. That doesn't mean the show isn't fun to watch. It's nice to catch up with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and the others even if they aren't quite the women we knew, especially Miranda. But the show isn't as fizzy as "Sex and the City." These ladies have kids and responsibilities their younger selves never had. They're still fun to hang out with, but the revival is more of a drama than a comedy, and the difference shows.

"And Just Like That..." premieres with two episodes on Thursday, June 22, with one new episode premiering every Thursday thereafter.