And just like that... season two is on the way. That's right, HBO Max has announced the "Sex and the City" spin-off series, "And Just Like That," has been renewed for a second season. This comes after the poorly-received but highly-watched first season premiered its finale last month.
The fact that the series has been renewed despite critical and fan backlash shouldn't be surprising. The bottom line is, people are watching. The viewership is a guaranteed money-maker for HBO Max and this almost always ensures renewals with streaming services. If this wasn't the case, there wouldn't be a trilogy of "Kissing Booth" movies and the dreaded fourth "After" film wouldn't be happening.
The fan response (and the writers' subsequent reaction) has been interesting to say the least. For starters, "And Just Like That" has turned into a show people love to hate. They watched the show every week only to happily-yet-angrily rant about it afterwards. In fact, entire podcasts and YouTube channels were banking on this during the show's run.
This is understandable. If you're a longtime fan of the original series, you're going to be heavily critical of the characters' direction. However, you feel the need to keep watching, because these characters have become a part of your life. You still need to see how their lives change and what happens to them.
What didn't make sense was when the writers of the series put down legitimate criticism from fans in a condescending manner. When you create something and release it to the world, the public will have their own opinions. If you didn't want fans to voice their opinions, it may have been better not to do this series at all. It seemed like a blow to their egos and they definitely needed to learn some humility.
However, while the concept of "hate watching" is what seems to have secured this show's success, it doesn't have to stay that way. There are plenty of ways in which "And Just Like That" can be saved. For starters, write the character of Che Diaz out of the show completely.
One of the greatest things about the season finale was how things wrapped up. Che leaves for Los Angeles and asks Miranda to go with them, which she accepts. Carrie starts her own dating advice podcast as a result of her former podcast disbanding. This means that it would be so easy for the writers to get rid of Che Diaz for good.
The season premiere can begin with a scene of the girls having lunch in the city where Miranda comments on her breakup with Che. It can just be one sentence. We don't even need Sara Ramirez to appear in an episode for context. Che Diaz is such a loathed character and was the source of much of the first season's cringe factor.
Another exciting development was Carrie kissing Franklin, her podcast producer, at the end of the finale. This seems to be the move needed to kickstart Carrie's post-Big dating life. It would be nice for Carrie to find love again and it seems like this could be a serious relationship. After all, they both knew each other and worked together long before Big died.
While I'm hopeful for a better season two, I don't want a season three. I think season two of "And Just Like That" should be the end of the entire franchise. As previously stated, these characters are so beloved, they shouldn't be messed with any more than they already have been. I think Carrie should enter into a healthy relationship with Franklin and wrap her story up that way. She doesn't have to get married, but it will let the audience know she's found love again.
Charlotte needs to stay married to Harry. Their relationship was always a source of comfort in the first season. This is because it was the only relationship that wasn't destroyed by the writers. They need to maintain that stability for Charlotte and keep her as the source of familiarity in the show. After all she went through in the original series, she deserves it.
Miranda was definitely the most talked about character in the original series. Not only did she have an affair with Che Diaz, but she gave new meaning to the phrase, "love is blind." She showed no concerns for how she may be hurting Steve, even though she gave him Hell for cheating in the first movie. Steve apologized and showed severe remorse for his behavior, which only happened once.
Miranda, on the other hand, repeatedly slept with Che. This continued until Che broke things off when they discovered Miranda wasn't in an open marriage. It was oddly naïve of Che to assume this, but what was more annoying was Miranda's reaction. She came clean to Steve and showed no remorse in the process. What made longtime fans even angrier, is the fact that telling Steve wouldn't have even crossed Miranda's mind if Che didn't break things off.
This is not the Miranda we are familiar with. Sexuality aside, her personality is not a progression, but a regression. She's acting like the giddy, naïve, unintelligent teenager we were sure she already grew out of. Carrie, on the other hand, seems to have become more level-headed like Miranda used to be. This was painfully evident in the finale, when Carrie talks to Miranda about her moving to Los Angeles. It was obviously reminiscent of when Miranda tells Carrie how she feels about her moving to Paris in the original series.
I would like for Carrie to remain this level-headed. It's a welcome growth for her character. However, Miranda needs to come to her senses. As I said, writing Che out of the show would make this so easy. I would love to see her and Steve reconcile and get back together. However, after the way she treated him in the first season, I would be equally happy with Steve starting a new relationship with someone else.
Miranda does need to find love, though. Even with her faults, she's still a beloved character. This can be with a person of any gender, it just needs to be real and feel authentic. Another tip for the writers of season two would be to stop mentioning Samantha. Kim Cattrall is clearly not interested in returning. And there's no actress who can replace her in that role. The last we should've heard from her was when she sent Carrie flowers at Big's funeral.
All the other mentions of her, whether it was via texts or word of mouth, wasn't necessary. It was just teasing fans in a very cruel way. It's nice that Carrie and Samantha appear to have patched things up. Now it's time to really leave Samantha alone. She was a fantastic character, but if Cattrall isn't coming back, there's no point.
As for the new characters introduced, it would be nice for L.T.W. and Seema to stick around. They both compliment their respective friendships with Charlotte and Carrie so well. The chemistry is there and it's enjoyable to watch them interact. However, Miranda's professor never felt like a natural fit. The writers tried to hook viewers with her problems getting pregnant. However, it was never clear to the viewers why we were supposed to care about this character. It didn't develop naturally. It felt rushed. It might be best to leave her behind along with Che.
Those are my hopes for the second (and hopefully last) season of "And Just Like That." It would be nice for Michael Patrick King and the writers to listen to what the audience is telling them. Creativity does need to happen naturally, but a television series is meant to entertain. It's a balancing act they must perfect in order for things to work out. However, since they've delivered six successful seasons (and at least one great film) of the original series, I'm hopeful season two will be a welcome improvement.