The most recent episode of And Simply Like That… begins simply because the earlier one did: Carrie Bradshaw is sitting in mattress speaking to a shirtless Aidan Shaw. This time, he’s again from Virginia at their makeshift Airbnb residence in New York. It’s Carrie and Aidan, so catastrophe appears more likely to be on the horizon, however for now their in all probability too-good-to-be-true renaissance is steaming forward. Aidan continues to be too emotionally scarred to enter Carrie’s previous house—which looks as if an important foundation for a wholesome relationship, doesn’t it?—so she offers with this the a method she is aware of how: by throwing cash on the drawback and shopping for a a lot larger house.
For the primary half of season two, I discovered myself sitting in shocked silence on the finish of every episode of AJLT, questioning what the hell I’d simply watched. I began asking myself how lengthy I may soldier on with it. (The reply? Till the tip of time, clearly.) However for the reason that Valentine’s Day episode, “February 14th”—when Aidan reappeared in Carrie’s world—the episodes have been noticeably higher. Promising, even.
The present appears to have solved what I name its Carrie drawback: Within the Intercourse and the Metropolis–verse, it’s the regulation of the land that every one will be nicely solely when Ms. Bradshaw is the focus. This season, she’s spent an excessive amount of time as a spectator to her associates’ lives. However now, Carrie is again to her scene-stealing finest—and the present is reaping the advantages.
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As an individual who regards SATC as a formative affect—one I can quote endlessly—I let loose a shriek of anguish when AJLT’s social accounts posted pictures of Carrie and Aidan strolling by NYC earlier this 12 months. Actually? It felt just a little bit lazy. And even extra truthfully? I by no means preferred Aidan. I do know we’re purported to really feel sorry for the suspiciously wealthy and annoyingly corny furnishings designer as a result of Carrie broke his coronary heart, however I choose even Berger—the insecure and barely misogynistic author who broke up with Carrie by way of Publish-it Word. I had horrified visions of him dragging Carrie again to that cabin within the woods or attempting to knock by one among her partitions once more. However even I have to admit it’s no coincidence the standard of season two shifted up a gear when Aidan reappeared in that bizarrely cinch-waisted Barbour jacket. I may not like him, however proper now he’s good for the present.
Within the first season of AJLT, Carrie coping with Massive’s sudden demise was the general focus. However in season two, she had solely a handful of her personal storylines at first. There was a short-lived “associates with advantages” association along with her podcast producer, after which she kissed a bike owner she virtually killed when she walked in entrance of his bike. She spoke at Widow Con and reconnected with folks from her previous, like her former editor Enid. However these plots felt very low-stakes and transient. Dare I say it, their distinct vibe was “This’ll do”—notably when, at the back of our minds, we knew a reunion with Aidan was within the playing cards. Carrie gave the impression to be giving her associates area to inform their tales, which felt unusual, given how self-indulgent she was. (Keep in mind when she despatched Aidan to select up an injured and motionless Miranda off the lavatory ground, as a result of she had a gathering along with her editor? Then introduced Miranda “cheer me up” bagels afterward, however solely so she may speak about herself?)
Now, it looks as if the true Carrie is again. We love her essentially the most when she is alternating between happiness and teetering on the sting of potential catastrophe, led purely by her feelings, with out a lot concern for what’s going on in her associates’ lives. As she makes an attempt to attract a line underneath her troubled previous with Aidan and forge a brand new future, that’s precisely what we’re getting. She fully forgot she rented a home within the Hamptons with Seema. And he or she didn’t even supply Miranda—who’s camped out on a single mattress in a field room—a spot to remain in her palatial new house. That’s our (egocentric) lady!
Now that Carrie is formally the principle character of the present once more, I’m discovering it a lot simpler to attach with the others. Carrie’s circumstances abruptly altering was the right method right into a deeper reference to Seema. Exterior the hair salon within the pouring rain, when Seema smoked and instructed Carrie she wanted area, it was the perfect scene of the season to this point. This was the second that Seema turned a correct character in my eyes, with a narrative I really feel genuinely invested in. (It’s a disgrace that Lisa Todd Wexley and Nya Wallace—whom the writers appear to have forgotten about—haven’t reached that time but.) Even Che Diaz is turning into a lot simpler to observe, now that they’re the place they need to be: on the periphery!
Carrie’s life has modified quite a bit since we first met her. So has the TV trade. However one factor that is still the identical is that, generally, it’s the extra primary and relatable dilemmas which can be most attention-grabbing to observe. Right here, we have now a traditional: What if the one which obtained away … shouldn’t have gotten away? Lots of viewers should have contemplated this sometimes, however have by no means had the chance to discover, as a result of—nicely, life isn’t a TV present the place folks really reenter one another’s lives that usually. Additionally, not everybody can afford to lease a complete house and spend 1000’s on new kitchenware simply to play home with an ex. The privilege of all of it may not be relatable, however the core dilemma is: Can two folks get it proper the second time? Or are they doomed to repeat the errors of the previous?
With the return of Aidan, we’ve discovered a number of issues: First, the characters of AJLT, like us, are pretending that the second SATC film doesn’t exist. (Critically, they’ve not talked about that Abu Dhabi kiss as soon as—and thank goodness for that). Second, AJLT can simply about maintain it collectively when Carrie is the principle character. For the viewers to totally spend money on the brand new world of AJLT, she must be the central prism by which we view the opposite characters. And similar to that … now that the present has solved its Carrie drawback, I’m (tentatively) having fun with it.