This article contains spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of “And Just Like That. . .”
When And Just Like That. . . premiered on Max in December 2021, many die-hard fans exclaimed, “Hello, lover.” Even though the revival of Sex and the City (SATC) received mixed reviews, it was renewed for a second season that premiered in June. And Just Like That. . . finally seems to have settled into a rhythm with Season 2, as it continues many of the once-taboo conversations it started in the original series.
After hearing whispers of a Sex and the City reboot for years, And Just Like That. . . picks up eleven years after the series’ most recent feature film, Sex and the City 2, with Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte in their mid-fifties. Samantha, however, is notably absent because Kim Cattrall declined to return, apart from an already-confirmed cameo in the second season finale.
In the first season, which focused on Big’s (Chris Noth) abrupt death and Miranda’s infidelity, the series seemed to struggle to find its footing. Many moments felt cringeworthy and rushed, and it was missing the SATC sparkle that won the series so many fans. Season 2 seems to have regained some of that momentum by exploring the relationships and friendships of these beloved characters as they age, while returning to its roots.
If SATC was known for one thing, it was talking about previously taboo topics. The original series explored sexuality, femininity, and, most famously, the intimate details of women’s sex lives. Even though And Just Like That. . . introduced new characters and plot lines and often felt unnecessary, Season 2 successfully continues the original’s legacy of diving into the realities of womanhood.
The main topics that ground Season 2 are sex positivity and the journey to finding individual happiness. Both of these conversations began in the original series and continued in Season 1 of And Just Like That. . ., but they already feel more prominent and authentic in Season 2. These two subjects are inextricably connected because, in many ways, the happiness of these women is, in part, dictated by their sexual freedom. Putting female sexuality at the forefront has traditionally been uncommon in television shows, and it’s a welcome reminder of why SATC is still so beloved. Below, we take a look at what Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte’s latest character arcs have to say about the wider conversation of female sexuality, liberation, and a woman’s right to happiness.
Carrie underwent the most life-altering change in And Just Like That. . . with the death of Big. While Season 1 focused on her attempt to move on and find closure, Season 2 sees her moving on from Big sexually, and Episode 1 opens with Carrie casually dating her podcast producer, Franklyn (Ivan Hernandez). She limits her relationship with Franklyn to weekly sleepovers on Thursdays, but eventually breaks it off after Franklyn expresses interest in a more serious relationship.
Episode 5 sees Carrie experience a brief episode-long fling that is very reminiscent of SATC. After running into George Campbell (Peter Hermann) in a bike lane, Carrie takes him to an urgent care and then pursues a relationship with him. She ends it days later after finding out that George is effectively married to his business partner, Paul Bennett (Armando Riesco). In both of these instances, And Just Like That. . . approaches a widow’s sex life as something positive and worthwhile, allowing Carrie to focus on herself, her happiness, and her sexual fulfillment. Unlike in many past SATC plotlines, Carrie is the priority here, not the man in question.
Like Carrie, Miranda underwent a big change in And Just Like That. . ., but this change was all her own doing. Season 1 Miranda saw Miranda cheat on her husband, Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), with Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), a non-binary comic, and eventually decide to end her marriage. Season 2 catches up with Miranda as she adjusts to living in LA with Che, who is busy working long hours on their television pilot.
If her constant grin is any indication, Miranda is undeniably happy with Che, and Season 2 does not shy away from their exciting sex life, which is very new to Miranda. She buys a strap-on and other sex toys, and the sexual chemistry between them is palpable. Miranda ends up leaving LA in Episode 3 to be with her son Brady (Niall Cunningham), and her relationship with Che is a bit up in the air after a focus group trashes Che’s pilot, but it’s clear that Miranda herself is significantly less repressed.
Miranda’s quest for happiness and sexual freedom is probably the series’ most upfront example because, by meeting Che, Miranda not only realizes that she might not be straight, but that she’s unhappy enough to make a change. Che represents a sexual awakening for Miranda, which in turn causes Miranda to reconsider how much happier and more exciting life can be. By exploring female sexuality in the form of Miranda’s midlife crisis, And Just Like That. . . adds a new dimension to the franchise’s exploration of sex and its relationship with happiness.
Even though much of Charlotte’s life is the same – she is still happily married to Harry (Evan Handler) with their two kids – her character has also evolved with age. Charlotte, who was always uncomfortable with her friends talking about sex and is often seen as the foil to Samantha, now exudes a new confidence and openness. In SATC, Charlotte was frequently viewed as the prude who was extremely traditional, but in the latest episodes of And Just Like That. . ., she comes into her own as a grown woman who is not only comfortable, but confident in her sexuality.
In Season 2, Charlotte participates in conversations about her friends’ sexuality and is decidedly enthusiastic about her sex life with Harry. After all their years of marriage, the spark between the couple has only grown hotter, which is refreshing after the many failed relationships we’ve watched these characters navigate. Charlotte also appears to be more open with herself, as seen by her commitment to talking to her daughter after she walks in on her parents in the bedroom. Charlotte and Harry discuss their intimacy more freely and are seen scampering off, ostensibly to the bedroom, the second their children go to summer camp. Somewhat like Miranda, it seems that Charlotte is now more secure in herself and her sexuality, and there is a noticeably lighter air about her because of it.
Initially, And Just Like That. . . seemed to struggle with its identity. This is not the same show as Sex and the City, nor should it be. And Just Like That. . . needed to grow with its characters, Season 2 seems to be figuring out how to do that in a way that finally feels like it’s doing these characters some justice.
There are plenty of new characters, like Seema Patel (Sarita Choudhury) and Lisa Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker), who blend seamlessly into the series’ group of girlfriends and help demonstrate how many of the issues from the original series are still relevant in the later stages of women’s lives. Overall, the choice to continue conversations about sex and happiness in Season 2 allows And Just Like That. . . to reiterate one of the key messages from the original series: we as women should be choosing how to define ourselves, and it is within our own power – not our sexual partners’ – to find happiness.
Article by Rowan Toke for The Untitled Magazine