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Why And Just Like That Season 3 Should Move The Spotlight From Carrie To Charlotte

Contains Spoilers for "And Just Like That..." Season 2

The world is still wild about Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). But with the third season of "And Just Like That..." officially guaranteed by Max, the next spate of episodes ought to focus on one of her best gal pals: Charlotte Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis). 

Why Charlotte and not Carrie, Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), or even the show's spate of newbies? Truthfully, the spotlight ought to shine more often on Seema (Sarita Choudhury) and Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker), too. But Charlotte is the only one of the show's high-class fashionistas who has managed to do the impossible — go through a struggle that's relatable to an economically depressed and heavily stressed-out audience. While Carrie's trip through widowhood has had its flickers of familiarity for some viewers, and Miranda's late-at-life discovery of her bisexuality has struck a chord (in spite of the controversial presence of Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) with older queer audiences, Charlotte is different. Her wants are many: She's a layered woman yearning to be more than a mother. She wants a thriving career in the art world, a sex-filled marriage with her husband Harry (Evan Handler), and successful relationships with her kids Lily (Cathy Ang) and Rock (Alexa Swinton). That's more development than any of the other returning characters have seen who have played — more or less — as a supporting player to Carrie's woes and desires.

Charlotte's story arc is the most relatable of the show's characters

When we first met Charlotte in "Sex and the City," she could be judgmental about her friend's sexual choices. She reacted in horror to Samantha's (Kim Cattrall) girlfriend. She could be image-obsessed, a problem that haunts her through the show and into the second "Sex and the City" movie: It's what kept her for months in a high-profile yet unhappy marriage to her first husband, Trey (Kyle McLaughlin). But in "And Just Like That...," she shows positive character growth. She accepts Rock's coming out as a nonbinary person, rejecting others' dismissive reactions. She's accepting of Che in spite of their role in Miranda's lifestyle changes and their part in Miranda's divorce from Steve Brady (David Eigenberg). She's leagues away from the person she once was. 

Can Rock and Lily be annoying? Oh, definitely, but that's what makes them absolutely credible adolescents. Charlotte has aided and abetted her kids' self-centered attitudes and she pays the price for it. Her status as a mom skewers her need for order, cleanliness, and control. Which other type-A-gal would run around New York in a blizzard looking for condoms so Lily can lose her virginity safely? Charlotte and Harry's frantic worries about their children's safety and well-being are so relatable. From Rock's modeling career to the revelation that Lily and Brady (Nail Cunningham) might be dating, somehow Charlotte has become the down-to-earth character in a show full of rich consumerist fantasies.

Her story has also given Charlotte more growth than the other characters

Season 2 of "And Just Like That.." has also renewed Charlotte's passion for art. She finally goes back to work after years of being a homemaker for her (sometimes ungrateful) family — and thus faces ageism, sexism, and the art world's ever-shifting sense of taste. This all has provided her with the best storyline she's had since the reboot began and gave her character a fresh direction.

In Season 2's "The Last Supper Part One: Appetizer," Charlotte finally explodes at her family — expressing that she's allowed to reclaim her identity and sense of self. She shouts that she was herself before she was a wife and a mother. Who can't relate? Who hasn't wanted to remind the world that they are themselves = not a significant other or an attaché to another human? 

Season 3 should have more of this notion at the forefront and then some. Overall, the career portion of the girls' lives remains the least-fumbled aspect of the show's legacy characters. But while Carrie has struggled to figure out where she fits into the literary world as podcasts overtake the popularity of blogging, and Miranda switches professional gears into the nonprofit space, Charlotte's midlife return to the workforce is the most powerful statement about the harsh realities of having a family and a professional life in "And Just Like That..." so far.

Charlotte and Harry's marriage points up why regressing Carrie and Miranda's lives was a bad move

Let's not forget Charlotte and Harry's marriage, which is arguably the strongest and most functional union in "And Just Like That..." history. Carrie grapples with the reality of her legendary yet perhaps ultimately less-than-perfect marriage to Big (Christopher Noth) and spends Season 2 trying to figure out if a new relationship with ex-fiancé Aiden Shaw (John Corbett) is negotiable. Miranda tries to settle the terms of her divorce with Steve while handling her tumultuous breakup with Che. But Charlotte's marriage is an oasis of harmony among the show's carryover main cast. She and Harry still like being around each other, enjoy having sex with each other and get along well — even if they sometimes face occasional communication breakdowns. They're also pleasant for audiences to watch, as they're settled but never a boring couple. To their kids, these socialites are uncool and dorky, which makes them easier to like.

In a series that's made Carrie and Miranda cartoonishly selfish and plunged Miranda into an extremely unpopular romance that has continued to feature more of Che, the supporting characters have carried Season 2. Seema's attempt at fighting a growing attachment to Ravi (Armin Amiri), Lisa's family life, and Nya's (Karen Pittman) romantic fumbles have all been more compelling. But none of them have been able to keep the show afloat as well as Harry and Charlotte's love story.

It'd be great to see these Charlotte-based storylines on And Just Like That...

Likely, "And Just Like That..." Season 3 will explore more of Charlotte's professional life, Rock's modeling career, Lily's possible romance with Brady, and her romantic life with Harry. There are several fruitful Charlotte-focused storylines to invest in further. If they tie her more strongly to Nya, Lisa, or Seema — all the better! And it would be fascinating to see her try to make waves in the art world, perhaps intermarrying her love of vintage fashion into a gallery showing or having to fight to have her opinions about a themed show heard.

As for the other main characters, all hope isn't lost that Miranda and Carrie will regain their better selves and become more reasonable and interesting women who feel like their best "Sex and the City" selves. They don't have to have lives exactly like Charlotte's, but it couldn't hurt for the show's writers to remember exactly what makes each of them so special.  Hopefully, Season 3 of "And Just Like That..." won't take Charlotte back to square one along with the rest of her "Sex and the City" compatriots.