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‘And Just Like That…’ serves up a half-baked finale with ‘The Last Supper’


Review by Brian Lowry, CNN

(CNN) — “And Just Like That…” managed to go from irritating to merely boring in its second season, which feels like modest progress. Yet the central relationship that finally took over – as Carrie renewed her romance with Aidan, the one that she let get away – came as too little, too late to completely salvage a series whose secondary plots have remained underwhelming, and at times half-baked.

For those focused on the “Sex and the City” elements revived within this sequel, watching Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) reconnect with Aidan (John Corbett), and even second-guess the decisions that broke them apart, provided an interesting wrinkle to that history.

That said, the challenge suddenly thrown into the mix to test their bond, with an accident involving Aidan’s son, felt a little too daytime soap-opera-ish for its own good, creating an impediment to significantly postpone, if not rule out, their happily ever after.

That payoff bookended a season finale that opened with the most eagerly anticipated tease of the season: An encore appearance by Kim Cattrall, who had very publicly opted not to return. Yet even that long-distance exchange felt perhaps appropriately anticlimactic, allowing the London-bound Samantha to join in the goodbyes to Carrie’s apartment without having to share space with any of her old chums.

Throughout its run, the Max series has devoted ample time not just to Carrie, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) but an assortment of new and more diverse players, who have been more adroitly incorporated into the show this season but whose roles have for the most part remained relatively thin.

Of those, Che (Sara Ramirez) continues to be a particularly frustrating addition, especially as they hung around in the wake of breaking up with Miranda, after the ginned-up conflict built around the process of taping a TV pilot based on Che’s life.

One of the more promising subplots in these later episodes involved Lisa (Nicole Ari Parker) and an unexpected later-in-life pregnancy. Yet that, too, felt as if it was given short shrift, steering away from the question of whether she would choose to have another baby and toward the guilt that she felt over those thoughts after losing it.

Despite occasional highlights, the second season subplots were too often tedious, from Charlotte trying to figure out who she is now that her kids are getting older to the angst-ridden Anthony (Mario Cantone), who, presented an unexpected new romance with a younger man, kept concocting excuses to avoid taking “Yes” for an answer.

Max has already renewed “And Just Like That…” for a third season, reflecting the value of a streaming series that gets people talking, even if there’s griping sprinkled across that chatter.

After Miranda shared a sentimental fence-mending moment with one ex, Steve (David Eigenberg), she and Che referred to their relationship as “a train wreck,” before debating whether it was possible to have a good train wreck, or at least a helpful one.

The terminology would be too harsh in describing season two, but think of this latest chapter as a somewhat more satisfying journey that still didn’t successfully reach its destination.

Max, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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