The fourth episode of the second season felt pretty dead inside for something called ‘Alive!’ The focus this week being on the question of aging, geriatric magazines, dating and Miranda attempts her first threesome. Attempt being the optimal word.
In just 45 minutes, we saw Harry and Charlotte negotiate Harry’s malfunctioning testicles, Lisa tries to throw herself an wedding anniversary party with feuding in-laws, Miranda, Steve and Brady go to family therapy, Che returns and Miranda dabbles in the idea of a threesome with them and their ex husband and Carrie joins a group of ‘older’ ladies while trying to bat away the advances of her own well hung elderly gentleman. This is an issue, there are so many strands and so many narratives that not one is given the time it deserves. And Just Like That…continues to be very surface level, so rarely delving deep into the emotions and relationships of these women beyond lunches, brunches and fancy parties.
The episode’s most interesting moments came from Carrie and Miranda. The former finds herself invited to her former boss at Vogue, Enid’s, start up for her new magazine ‘Vivante’ a lifestyle magazine for older women. Carrie doesn’t want to be tarred with the ‘old’ brush just yet so is reluctant to engage with Enid (Candice Bergen) but is convinced by Seema to use it as a business transaction to get Carrie’s new book a bit of selfless promo. Carrie is focussing mostly on her new book and its promotion and since the podcast died down she may have some time to spare. She still doesn’t see herself as being suitably qualified to be writing for a magazine aimed at older women and while at the start up event, she finds herself wading through a sea of hunched over, arthritic women held together with Chanel suits, but a rousing speech from Gloria Steinman herself, the founder of Ms magazine (who astonishingly is approaching the ripe old age of 89!!), Carrie feels convinced to lend her penmanship to Enid’s new magazine, only to find out that Enid actually only wanted a donation from her, nothing more. This season is taking Carrie in a fun direction and natural charisma of Sarah Jessica Parker means that even the slightly more drab storylines have a suitable amount of whimsy injected into them to make them entertaining, its very Carrie.
Meanwhile, Miranda is back at home with the punching ball pummelling Steve and The Walking Hormone, Brady. They attend therapy together where Brady admits that the thing he wants to address more than anything is his parents separation and within about 90 seconds on screen they have fixed the whole thing by having Miranda move out. This felt like such a measly way of writing in Miranda living alone again when actually exploring their unusual family dynamic would have made for much more interesting viewing, but with that we wouldn’t have been able to spend any time on Harry’s dusty balls or LTW’s boring party. Shame. However, this family therapy was just the beginning for Miranda this week as she welcomes Che home to to East Coast in their new apartment and who helped them move? None other than ex-husband turned BFF Lyle (Oliver Hudson) who affectionately recalls the very strange circumstances which saw him to become the ex of Che. After he passes out in their bed, Miranda and Che attempt to get a little frisky without waking him, but of course he wakes and Che invites him in. Before this happened, during the drinking and chatting phase of the evening, Lyle recalled a time when Che pushed him into sharing a girlfriend while they were married and Lyle mentions that he either had to suck it up or lose his wife, quoting the horrible outdated phrase ‘happy wife, happy life’. This is another big ol’ red flag for Che as this story clearly struck a chord with Miranda and she finds herself in a similar predicament later that night. She gives it a go but admits that its just not her, encouraging them to continue as she takes herself off to the couch. Che, however, rather sweetly does the opposite of what you expect and joins Miranda on the couch for a cute little cuddle. Miranda is having her mid-life renaissance and she is certainly pushing her own boundaries but at the end of the day, Miranda is Miranda and only she knows her true limits.
Despite these two interesting storylines this week, the episode had some equally uninteresting storylines. Charlotte ‘I do 90 kaegals a day’ York Goldenblatt is enjoying sexy time with Harry now that the kids are at summer camp. However, Charlotte and Harry sex is just total ick. It’s SO ick in fact. Sorry guys. I couldn’t really do without watching her jerk him off while repeating ‘I love you’ until he comes. She is as much a mother in the bedroom as she is everywhere else in her life and its icky. Then there’s Lisa and Herbert who have an underwhelming anniversary party when they realise Herbert forgot to hit send on the email with the invitations. Stupid Herbert.
Roll on Aidan and Samantha, lets inject some life back into this old corpse.
And Just Like That…continues on Max on Thursday nights.