Parents' Guide to

And Just Like That

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Frank sexuality, strong female friendship in series reboot.

TV Max Comedy 2021
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There are two shows fighting for dominance in this reboot: a restart of the frothy series fans remember (with service to said memories), and one that grasps for the sexy relevance of the original. Only one of the two is good, and whether And Just Like That is painful or pleasurable at any given moment mostly depends on where we're landing. First, the good: Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte still have chemistry and the actresses haven't lost their comic chops. Watching them quipping around a brunch table once more is like a delightful, if slightly disorienting, dip into pop culture history, and it feels both right and enjoyable to watch these venerable friends going through life's up and downs together again. Moments of fan service range from amusing to ridiculous (the soundtrack actually emits an angelic chord when Carrie first opens the doors to her shoe closet), but TV shows about glamorous, successful women in their 50s are rare on TV and it's interesting to watch this ultimate '90s moneyed gaggle of privileged women struggling a bit in an era when their type of conspicuous consumption has faded from fashion. Their lives, along with those of their fans, are less about sex and romance and more about family and career and their own inner peace or lack thereof, all anchored by a longtime group friendship that's still vital and heartfelt, which And Just Like That reflects in a way that feels genuine and compelling.

On the other hand, beware the scenes that attempt to regain Sex and the City's former status as an agenda-setting show on the leading edge of culture. Whether it's Miranda learning her college classmates' preferred pronouns or Carrie holding down a spot on a podcast that revolves around sexual and gender identity, such scenes feel forced and unnatural, with characters who are types rather than people. At these moments, And Just Like That is a slog. It's true that SATC was rightfully criticized as blithely white/het/privileged, which came off as particularly tone-deaf given the diversity of its writ-out-loud NYC setting. But cramming in complications and characters merely for diversity's sake doesn't work, at least not here. It all adds up to a show that's muddled, but not without its strong points. Fans won't be able to stop themselves from watching, nor should they.

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