The show people really love to hate

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The show returns with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie as a widow and Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda in Los Angeles. What is unlikely to change is its superpowered ability to get on viewers’ nerves, writes Caryn James.

But then there is most derided storyline of all, Miranda’s (Cynthia Nixon) romance with  the non-binary stand-up comic Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), sometimes called television’s worst or most hated character. Oh my, that is still a mess, a collision of abysmally-written people, who both now seem cobbled together in the writers’ room.

Miranda has followed Che to Los Angeles, where they are starring in a television pilot for a sitcom called Che Pasa, which even they know is cheesy. It still seems that Che is meant to be talented and edgy, but that was never convincing. And when someone in a focus group for the pilot calls the television Che a “phony, sanitized, performative” version of what it is to be non-binary, it’s a meta moment that nods at the real-life criticism without changing anything. Despite that, this season Ramirez shows some heart in Che, a self-acknowledged narcissist. But poor, withering Miranda. For all her blathering about being brave and finding her true self, she has turned into a dithering, besotted, insecure and boring person, in all seven of the episodes available for review (of the season’s 11).

Still, fans are hungry for more, even if it’s the same old more. Take a breath on Aiden, though, he doesn’t show up for quite a long time. After all her progress, if Carrie ended up in a back-to-the-future relationship with him that would be annoying, but getting on some viewers’ nerves may be this series’ superpower. Samantha Irby, a writer on both seasons, responded to criticism of the first in a recent New York Times interview, saying, “People will hate season two too, but they’ll watch it”. The most astute prediction just came from inside the house.


And Just Like That . . . premieres on 22 July on Max in the US and Sky Comedy and NOW in the UK

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