On June 6, 1998, Darren Starr’s creation Sex and the City debuted on HBO.
Carrie Bradshaw was 32.
Fast forward to 2023 and the second season, the next chapter of Sex and the City, And Just Like That finds Carrie Bradshaw a widow and beginning a new chapter of her own at age 57. And those two details of one character – her age and beginning a new chapter, played by Sarah Jessica Park for 25 years, is a significant part of the reason I appreciate the new reiteration of the award-winning comedy series that introduced viewers to a new perspective of women living their lives, enjoying them, and figuring out what really mattered without taking it all too seriously.
After all, one of the shows head writers when the original series began and now And Just Like That‘s creator Michael Patrick King repeatedly shared in interviews that while yes, the fashion and décor in SATC is nearly a character in and of themselves, and most definitely a primary reason viewers kept and keep tuning in, the premise of the series then and now isn’t actually about the clothes. It isn’t about the men (in SATC), or the ‘it’ bag. “It’s about, choose yourself”. In a post I wrote way back in 2010 sharing this interview he gave to Elle magazine as the series concluded, understanding the larger driving theme of the series, of the characters’ storylines, a theme that continues in season 2 in And Just Like That as shared by Michael Patrick King in the accompanying podcast to the series The Writers’ Room, is why this show continues to be relevant.
As I share in the audio version of today’s episode (#362), And Just Like That definitely had to make some significant corrections and additions from the original series if it was going to connect in any real way with the audience that awaited its return. And while some critics have shared it is trying too hard to be too perfectly diverse, the fact that the writers and creators acknowledged this need for change is something that gives the new chapter of the show life and validity. First of all, there will always be a touch of “unreality” to this series because that is why we tune in – the haute couture, the gorgeous professionally decorating interiors, the too many shoes and Carrie’s constant parade of new outfits, but again, that is the eye candy. That is what keeps us tuning in and being curious about the lives of these characters that in the second season of And Just Like That (and the first season as well) are stepping into their new chapters with the newfound knowledge they have about themselves, the world and realities of life. Why? Because when we tune in, we witness a diverse example of lives lived, enjoyed, explored and full of vibrancy of women in their fifties and beyond. THAT is needed and that is why I selected And Just Like That, the second season specifically, for this week’s Petit Plaisir.
Dovetailing with the topic of the focus for episode #362, finding our life force and honoring that, regardless of what society applauds, celebrates or deems ‘best’ is often dismissed for women throughout their entire lives, but especially as they enter into a new decade, and that is why I hope this series continues.
No, And Just Like That is not likely to win any awards as it did with its first series (it won best comedy and for best lead actress), although for its wardrobes it just might as they continue to outdo themselves and demonstrate how powerful sartorial choices can be to tell a story, but because it shows grown women who we began to get to know more than two decades ago growing, maturing, learning and evolving, making mistakes, but also living with more thoughtfulness and intentionality with each season, it is a refreshing series that is void of unnecessary sensationalized drama and full of delight, friendship, and a whole lot of fun and discovery. Life really can get even better even though it may not be as frequently portrayed in the broader culture, and for that, along with the fashion, interior décor and locations throughout the city, I tune in.
Have a look at the trailer below for this latest season of And Just Like That, and be sure to tune in to my more in-depth review of the series on the podcast, the concluding 10 minutes of episode #362.
Watch the series each Thursday now on Max. There are four more new episodes before this season concludes.
And Just Like That, season 2 is the Petit Plaisir of episode #362 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast, The Fundamental Ingredient in a Well-Lived (and Long) Life: The Fundamental Ingredient in a Well-Lived (and long) Life: Honor What Makes Your Heart Sing, 13 life lessons from Dr. Gladys McGarey