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‘And Just Like That…’ has improved in its second season, but it will never compare to ‘Sex and the City’

When a series is so iconic, it can be difficult for a revival to live up to the original. In fact, in these situations, many people question if a revival was necessary in the first place. These are the thoughts people have had with “And Just Like That…,” the revival of the famous “Sex and the City.” The first season had mixed reviews, as many people felt it was trying too hard and would never hold a candle to the original, which is certainly true, and I even said the same thing myself. However, the revival is still going, and recently wrapped up its second season on Aug. 25 on Max. While it is still not on “Sex and the City” levels, there are many improvements seen compared to its first season. There is more energy, better humor and more compelling stories. The second season of “And Just Like That…,” available on Max, shows that once a revival finds its footing, it becomes a better experience for everyone.

Once again, we join everyone’s favorite messy fashionista Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), her fiery best friend Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and her polished best friend Charlotte York-Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis). Carrie is going through the dating struggles of her life while still grieving the death of her husband. Then a character from her past appears, her ex-fiance Aidan Shaw (John Corbett). The blast from the past is a new adventure of love for her, but can it be too good to be true? Meanwhile, Miranda is head over heels for Che (Sara Ramirez) and she feels like she is living in a rom-com. However, when she is brought back to the reality of her soon to be ex-husband Steve (David Eigenberg), her son Brady (Niall Cunningham), and her professional life, will she manage to juggle everything at once? Then there is Charlotte, who is always trying to be the perfect wife to her husband Harry (Evan Handler), and the perfect mother to her children Lily (Cathy Ang) and Rock (Alexa Swinton), even though they ask for a lot. However, when she gets the chance to go back to work, how will everyone react to the new Charlotte? Then there are the new friends and their problems. There’s the confident Seema (Sarita Choudhury), who may be a little less confident when it comes to her finding love when it seems like everyone around her already has it. The professional Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker) has a skyrocketing career, but with her husband Herbert (Chris Jackson) running for comptroller and her three children growing up, who will be the one to handle everything? Then there is the sarcastic Nya (Karen Pittman), who is single for the first time in decades, and is exploring modern dating while getting over her ex-husband. There is also the women’s old friend Anthony (Mario Cantone) who is focusing on his Hot Fellas bread company, and maybe his first serious relationship after his husband Stanford (the late Willie Garson) moved away. These characters are going through a lot, but at the end of the day, everything becomes easier with great friends.

It is fun seeing all of these actresses in action. These characters are all unique, which leads to a different type of performance from every actress. The role of Carrie has belonged to Sarah Jessica Parker for decades, and she still nails. While she does not have the bouncy energy that she used to, that is just called growing up, the spirit is still there. The stand out this season has been Davis as Charlotte. Her stories have been the most entertaining, and her character is always guaranteed to bring some laughs. I found myself looking forward to her plots every episode, as she always had fun with them. On the other hand, Nixon’s Miranda has seen better days. The Miranda of “Sex and the City” does not feel like the one on “And Just Like That,” and that is partially because of Nixon’s all over the place acting. There is still some passion there, but it could use more fire and Nixon should have helped make Miranda a more grounded character. While a lot of the new characters blend in, the stand out of them is Choudhury as Seema. She can easily command a scene and the actress has terrific comedic timing. In addition, we saw more emotional sides of Seema this season when it came to wanting love, which made the character and acting a lot more fleshed out. It is nice to see a show with a lot of unique female characters, and that is what makes “And Just Like That” special.

I will say that I liked a majority of the stories this season, and they had a lot of creativity. Even though I am nowhere near the age of the women in this series, and I have never been married, their experiences were still interesting, and I could understand some of the emotions they were going through. Dating for me is different from dating for them, but I still liked seeing what they were going through. People like Nya were just discovering the online world of dating, while Seema has the dating scene fully understood, while Charlotte has love figured out. There were also the non-dating plots, like shopping, climbing the corporate ladder, and parenting. While all of the children on this show are pretty bratty and selfish, which I do not like to say about characters that are not supposed to be much younger than me, the different parenting techniques are interesting to watch. From Charlotte’s hands-on technique, to Miranda’s leniency to Lisa’ strictness, the stories in the series show raising children and their behaviors differently. The overarching plots were the best, as opposed to the smaller one episode plots. Carrie’s little relationship with Aidan was pretty cute to see, as was Seema and Anthony each finding a new love interest. While there were some one episode plots that were interesting, the season-long plots kept me interested and tuning in every week. 

Some episodes of this show feel like they are too jam packed with stories. There are some episodes that contain six or seven separate stories. Some of the action could have been a bit more spread out so that viewers do not get whiplash from all of the stories. This could partially be a directing problem, as it seems that the director does not know how to order and properly fit everything. There is only so much that can fit in 40 minutes, and only some of the stories stood out. I liked seeing Charlotte go back to work and Carrie navigating the waters of casual sex with a coworker. I did not need to see Lisa’s suspicions about her son’s girlfriend’s intentions or Che’s weird sitcom. In fact, it has become a popular opinion amongst the fans that Che and their comedy is never needed, and that it distracts from the better plots. There should have been a balance that made more sense. The original three women’s stories should have had more of a spotlight with the other stories in more of the background. That way, we could see more of the people that the audience cares about, while also showing some other unique stories of side characters every now and then. I would say it was mostly the new characters being added that clogged up the episodes, despite the talent of the actresses and uniqueness of the characters. It is hard to get invested in so many stories at once. The original series had more of an ability to figure out when each story should be told. If each episode was tighter, the season would have been even better.

Right before the final episode of the season, the series got a renewal for a third season. While it may be a while before the third season sees the light of day, fans are already intrigued. At this rate, the series has the potential to get better. A lot of problems in the first season have been solved with the second season. In the first season, it felt like the revival was still figuring out what it was, which led to less cohesiveness. However, this season, everyone’s roles were a bit more established. At the end of the day, the show still has some of its charm and fun. In addition, there will always be an audience. Die-hard fans of “Sex and The City” will watch this show for the beloved characters, or at least they will hate-watch it. They could also watch it for the fashion, which still looked excellent. While I would not make a lot of the style choices, every episode featured some spectacular pieces of clothing. Not to mention, the character of the city of New York is still thriving. It is always fun seeing the women out and about at elegant city events, dining at hip restaurants, or walking through the big Apple. It would not be a story about Carrie Bradshaw and her friends without the picturesque views of New York City and its sights. Overall, this series serves as a fashionable escape from reality with some interesting tales to tell. While this series could still use quite a bit of work due to some story problems, it is still fun to watch. So if you are a Sex and the City” fan who wants to see these glamorous women more, or you want to know about what it is like to find love later in life in a big city, watch the second (and first) season of “And Just Like That…” today.

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