'And Just Like That' Season 2 Episode 2: Charlotte Loves Chanel More Than Her Own Daughter
God forbid parents of means purchase their kids electric keyboards instead of Oscar de la Renta.
The only meaningful relationship the women on And Just Like That seem capable of having is with fashion and their own appearances. That’s the takeaway from the second episode of season two, for those of us still watching. (I’ve heard from friends who thought the first episode was so bad they turned it off partway through and won’t continue. I’m sticking with it til the bitter end.)
Part of the problem with this show is that being materialistic for the sake of it with no other interests or hobbies or guiding belief systems just seems so lame today — as lame as a show called Che Pasa. This means that And Just Like That’s fashion has to do way too much work. If we’re not tuning in for character development, screenwriting, or plot, we’re tuning in to see how these women turn themselves out. But the clothes can’t compensate for characters that have the depth of a splash pad.
Let’s review individually.
When Carrie podcasts she wears wireframe glasses and muddy colors, as if to remind us that, what, she’s some sort of grizzled, salt-of-the-earth newswoman? Instead of someone who does this ninety minutes a week to break up her shopping and lunch schedule? Her show falls apart over her refusal to read an ad for a vaginal suppository, but also an inability to rewrite it in her own voice despite being a professional writer.
We are supposed to believe that someone who has discussed blow jobs, erections, and penises at length with her friends, written a column called “Sex and the City” for a mass audience, and had her bestie remove a diaphragm, is too uncomfortable to say the words “vagina” and “suppository.” We are also supposed to believe that Carrie summoning the strength to do this is what will ensure the future of her show but also the entire podcast company. And we are supposed to believe that Carrie, who puts on airs of having become a more empathetic person in her grief, allowed the place to go bust, putting people who need their jobs out of work, all because it just wasn’t HER to say “promo code vag in the city.”
While the fate of the podcast is in limbo over Carrie’s inability to write better ad copy, she throws on a gray jumpsuit and grabs her J. W. Anderson pigeon purse to go around town with Charlotte to locate the Chanel dress her daughter sold. She wears, improbably, high-heeled sandals with socks. It’s not the sandals and socks that strike me as improbable styling-wise as much as the pitch of the sandals with the socks. It all looks horribly uncomfortable in a Prada runway carnage of spring 2009 kind of way. As for the jumpsuit, is she dressing utilitarian because she and Charlotte are going Big Chanel hunting? Did she choose a neutral backdrop to make her pigeon purse pop? Or did she need a lot of pockets because that bag doesn’t fit more than a credit card and box of Tic Tacs?
When Carrie leaves the office after the place collapses over Suppository Gate, she’s wearing a pretty fuchsia dress, as though the bright future ahead of her is one where she doesn’t have to do this much work and can just sort of Charlotte around, minus the childcare, cooking, and bows. When she exits the office building with the podcast man she was sleeping with (what is his name? has anyone retained it?), cringe dialogue ensues over how he wants more than Thursdays. “Thank you for the sex and the city, double entendre intended,” Carrie says. And rather than be mad or upset about anything happening — losing his job and his sexual partner in the same 15 minutes — he’s just like, “See, you are the writer!” How did this man go from seeming so dangerously sexy at the end of the first season to being this vacant in every possible way, like an AI rendering of a human being?
Speaking of Charlotte…