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AndJustLikeThatS02E03c.jpeg

One More Thing 'And Just Like That...' Failed to Do in Season 2

By Alberto Cox Délano | TV | September 26, 2023 |

By Alberto Cox Délano | TV | September 26, 2023 |


AndJustLikeThatS02E03c.jpeg

Back in 2022, I took a brave stance that cost me … mainly my reputation as a person of taste and culture: I liked And Just Like That…. OK, not liked-liked; I thought it clumsy, the dialogue was often atrocious, it was as confused about the new cultural environment as all white liberals of a particular generation are, and there was no in-between in the arcs of the characters: Either they were subjected to a blatant assassination (Miranda, Charlotte) or it was touching and nuanced (Carrie and Nya).

What I did like was that it took a lot of risks to address, on the text and at a meta-level, the shortcomings and frivolity of the original series. They addressed them head-on, and the result was a complete mess, but you know what? In an environment where it seems like every actor, writer, and director over the age of 45 is whining about cancel culture talking points, the fact that this show and this team are trying to do the work, well, that’s a win of sorts.

My colleagues have already done a pretty great job recapping the roller coaster of cringe that AJLT can be. Overall, it was a … duller season. Again, it still has its moments, and I still prefer it to the original series in some ways. I didn’t find it as infuriating as others did, and it’s something I am actively not trying to hate watch. The best decisions are the inclusion of Nya (Karen Pittman) and Seema (Sarita Choudhury) as counterparts to Miranda and Samantha, respectively; they are grounded, fun, and complex characters. I also like how they expand on the marriage of Lisa Todd (Nicole Ari Parker) and Herbert Wexley (Christopher Jackson) as a functional “have-it-all” power couple. However, and I know full well it is not my place to delve into it, the series will have to address the Black Excellence to Black Bourgeoisie issues about this family. Having Herbert run for city comptroller while doing campaign funding runs exclusively on the Upper East Side is … something the series should interrogate, considering the problems in NYC right now regarding race, class, and gentrification.

Charlotte and Harry are great taking on the comedic relief duties with heartwarming modern family plots, but to quote something Kayleigh once said: “It’s a problem if Charlotte is the best-developed character.” Enough has been written about the Miranda and Che situation; as someone who actually liked Che’s character the first time around… boy, what a disappointment. I guess the only silver lining is that, for once, the audience disliked a non-binary character based only on their character alone. Che ended up sucking just because they were poorly developed, and the writers had no idea what to do with them once they and Miranda broke up. But we didn’t have things like the fans turning against Sara Ramírez or resorting to NB-phobia. But then again, this is the Sex and the City fandom; questionable politics aside, the only time they’ve ever voted for a Republican was when they voted for Eric Adams. Also, they need to make up their minds: Is Steve going to be a divorcee asshole or a child? As for the return of Aidan, there’s only one thing that can be said:

But where I actually think AJLT’s second season missed the mark is in a relationship that was shaping up to become a true highlight: The friendship between Carrie and Lisette (Katerina Tannenbaum), her ultra-chic, Millennial/Gen-Z neighbor. OK, I’m not beating these accusations, so let me get this out of the way: Yes, of course, it’s also because I think Katerina Tannenbaum is freaking gorgeous. But I also love even more stories about intergenerational friendships. They sowed the seeds in season one; Carrie clearly saw a lot of herself in Lisette, pretty much a mirror image for our times. There was so much potential, but we got almost nothing but a tender scene (we could’ve replaced so many pointless Che scenes with these two interacting). With Carrie moving out of the apartment, I’m unsure if this plotline will go anywhere. But we need that; we need more stories about friendships between women of different generations in our current times because there is so much Millennials and Gen Z women can exchange their Gen X counterparts and … well, some of the Boomers, I guess, instead of the antagonistic narrative that bad actors have pushed in the overall culture. There was also a lot of potential to explore the relationship between the children of Miranda and Charlotte and their chosen family aunties, other than a gag about Lily and Brady hooking up.

This might sound like Bumble-bio virtue signaling, but I freaking love shows and movies about women in their late forties and fifties. It’s the main reason why I still gobble up that madhouse that is The Morning Show on repeat. We need more and better shows by and for this group, and AJLT is not living up to its potential of fully exploring what it is to be a woman and/or a queer person in a time period when being in your fifties is literally the half-point of your life, the actual new-thirties. I want to see better stories and better characters. And this is a cishet guy saying this, one that is really considering getting into Gunpla.

Do better next season.

Alberto Cox still recommends On the Verge as an alternative on Netflix; set your VPN to a Latin American country.