And Just Like That... season two review: Strictly for Sex and the City fans

While digging deeper into the lives of its main characters, the revival offers nothing new... but that's not necessarily a bad thing

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We need to face the truth. And Just Like That… is no Sex and the City.

When the revival was announced in 2020, loyal fans of the acclaimed show were under the illusion that the story would pick up where we left Sex and the City's main characters Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis).

And that’s not what happened. Season 1 of And Just Like That… delivered more imperfections than substance when it was released in 2021. It was received with mixed reviews, with many complaining about the inauthentic storytelling and shift in tone.

The second season does little to change that.

The story begins three weeks after the end of season one. Carrie is moving on in some respect from the grief of losing Mr Big, and is trying to figure out her next step – in work, in life, in romance.

And Just Like That...

Director: Various

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis

Rating: 3/5

Meanwhile, Miranda is having a midlife crisis. She is spending the summer in Los Angeles with the immature and narcissistic Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), a character who has become epic for all the wrong reasons. And Charlotte is coming to terms with her teenage children becoming their own people.

A welcome change from the emotional rollercoaster of season one, this season has finally found its rhythm.

While Carrie is still Carrie, finding herself in the only way she knows how – through her experiences – her story is still wonderfully frivolous. From choosing a replacement dress to wear to the Met Gala, to deciding how much of her past she’s willing to revive – including her ex, Aidan Shaw – her conundrums and internal monologues are the bridge from Sex and the City that fans loved.

And Parker is the saving grace of the show. She is always a delight to watch. Charismatic and intuitive, she proves that she understands Carrie right to her bones.

Meanwhile, the writing in And Just Like That… is funny but sometimes redundant.

Charlotte's challenges as a mother to teenagers, as well as Miranda dealing with her growing son Brady, are dealt with in the most cliche ways. The children are also written with the same exact traits, a paint by numbers caricature of sullen, wisecracking teenagers.

The storylines don’t always make sense, either. And sometimes the series is more Desperate Housewives than Sex and the City.

But as all Sex and the City fans – including this writer – will attest, it's hard to switch off from the show.

I had to find out what happens next. Sure, the performances are brilliant and cringeworthy in equal measure, but the story of Carrie Bradshaw and her life in New York has gone beyond good or bad. It’s entertaining, addictive, and is too integrated into the fabric of pop culture to miss.

Season two of And Just Like That… is all about seeing the main characters in the next phase of their lives with the overridding theme: Who do we become when our identity has been so defined by our past?

It's ironic that this is the very question the show itself is grappling with.

Updated: June 21, 2023, 3:01 PM
And Just Like That...

Director: Various

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis

Rating: 3/5