And Just Like That (2022)
Menopause, tampon-insertion instructions, 50-something dating, sexless marriage, and fully exposed penises! All that and much more awaits you in And Just like That, a 2020’s reboot of the beloved Sex and the City franchise.
While only three of the staple four NYC gal pals are reunited (Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones has had a spat with Carrie and sulked her way off to London), the always chicly dressed S.J.P., Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon are blessedly joined by three new and equally gorgeous women of colour friends. Plus, Miranda’s marriage melt-down (sex with Steve has been replaced by a nightly dessert ritual) kicks off her steamy sexual exploration with a queer, non-binary comedian and podcasting host Che Diaz played by Sara Ramirez, who just happens to be Carrie’s boss.
Not complicated at all! While the inclusion of these new cast members could seem like a cynical move to tamp down the criticism of the show’s original almost universal whiteness, the casting choices and storylines allow the new cast mates to shine.
Sarita Choudhury’s dry-witted and business savvy realtor, Seema Patel, helps to pull Carrie out of the deep mourning of unexpected loss, Karen Pittman’s committed, and eloquent Dr. Nya Wallace slowly befriends an initially socially-clumsy Miranda as she stumbles, foot-in-mouth, back into the identity politics of graduate school, and the ever-stunning Nicole Ari Parker’s well-connected character Lisa Todd Wexley – happily married mother of three, documentarian, and avid art collector – becomes good friends with Charlotte through their shared work on a school committee.
While there has been criticism of the short-shrift given to the male characters, it is great to see most of the gang reassembled, including Big, Steve, Harry, Anthony, and the recently departed Willie Garson who played Stanford Blatch.
While the focus is, of course on the sisterhood of Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda, And Just Like That takes the time to build the back stories of the other new characters. Carrie gets called out by Seema for a patronizing take on finding your someone special in your 50’s, a move that does not, fortunately, break the fledgling friendship, but catapults it from surface, realtor-client interactions, to true friend status.
Nya’s loving and tender marriage to LeRoy McClain’s musician hottie, Andre Rashad Wallace, gets put to the test as the couple endures cycles of failed IVF and emerge bruised and on opposite sides of the “should we try again” divide. As Nya poignantly confides to Miranda about the state of her marriage during a trial separation, “We need to feel what we might be throwing away for some baby we’ve never even met.”
Meanwhile, Charlotte and Lisa team up for a “hurray for art history moment” when at a dinner party at the Wexley’s stunning home, Charlotte (art historian and former art dealer) defends her friend’s astute, and financially-sound purchases of esteemed African American artists works while seamlessly deflecting the not-so-subtle attacks of Lisa’s acerbic mother-in-law.
Is And Just like That worth tuning in? Well, if you were a fan of the late 90’s hit, do you really have a choice?