‘And Just Like That...’ stars break down Season 2, Kim Cattrall’s ‘sentimental’ return as Samantha

The Max series returns for Season 2, streaming Thursday.

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Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett are shown in a scene from Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...,” streaming on Max.

Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett are shown in a scene from Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...,” streaming on Max beginning June 21.

Max

Carrie Bradshaw is putting sex back in the city.

Everyone’s favorite style maven returns for Season 2 of Max’s “And Just Like That…” (streaming Thursday), a sequel to HBO’s landmark comedy “Sex and the City,” which premiered 25 years ago in 1998.

The 2021 return polarized critics with its underwritten new characters, and the downer decision to have Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) wallow in misery over the sudden death of her husband, Mr. Big (Chris Noth). But the new episodes are brighter and bawdier, featuring the returns of fan favorites Aidan (John Corbett) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall).

Parker and her co-stars break down what to expect from Season 2:

Carrie is casually dating again as she moves on from Mr. Big

If last season was winter for Carrie, Season 2 is spring. The sex columnist-turned-podcaster learns that grief is a hole that will never be filled, but new life can still grow around it.

“Grief is a unique relationship, and I know that from friends who have lost their husbands as well as my own father who passed, and watching my mother experience grief,” Parker says. “What was really real to play was Carrie’s attempt at sort of a noble grief – she didn’t want to be a burden. But it’s very hard to force yourself to be joyous when there’s this piano on your back filled with memory and regret and loss.”

Charlotte (Kristin Davis, left) and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker in Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...”

Charlotte (Kristin Davis, left) and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker in Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...”

Max

This season, we see Carrie diving back into the dating pool, starting with silver-fox podcast producer Franklyn (Ivan Hernandez). “She’s as interested in the idea of romance as ever, both in analysis and in pursuit,” Parker says. “Carrie’s lesson is that you can be familiar to yourself again; that there can be a place for the grief and you’re not betraying somebody by moving on.”

John Corbett’s return as Aidan was ‘an absolute no-brainer’

At one point in Season 2, Carrie reaches out to ex-fiancé Aidan (Corbett), who offers to take her to dinner. The couple first got together in Season 3 of “Sex and the City,” but later called off their engagement when Carrie couldn’t commit. Their complicated history was immediately compelling to the writers of “And Just Like That…”

“Carrie has two great loves: Mr. Big and Aidan,” says executive producer Michael Patrick King. “So when one dies, I found it hard to believe that the other love wouldn’t pop into her mind. Also, there was a gigantic split in the fan base: Half the audience was (Team) Mr. Big and half was Aidan. So I knew there was a story there for the audience. It was an absolute no-brainer that Aidan came back.”

Season 2 explores the ‘messy’ fallout of Miranda’s and Steve’s split

One of last season’s most divisive characters was Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), who cheated on her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) with nonbinary comedian Che Diaz (Sara Ramírez). Season 2 finds Miranda living in Los Angeles with Che while trying to negotiate an amicable divorce.

“Miranda really needed to get out of her marriage, but she certainly did it in a very messy, painful way,” Nixon says. This season, “there is so much elation to finally be free and not feel dead inside. We see a lot of her exploring new possibilities, but we also see her circling back and trying to repair all the damage that her breakout caused.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) searches for fulfillment outside of her family, which has “some interesting outcomes,” Davis says. “The thing about Charlotte is that she’s always full of surprises, and you’re definitely going to see a little different side of (her).”

Sara Ramirez (left) and Cynthia Nixon in Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...”

Sara Ramirez (left) and Cynthia Nixon in Season 2 of “And Just Like That ...”

Max

New characters are given more to do, including Che Diaz

“And Just Like That...” adds new friends for Carrie and Co., all of whom are given more screen time in Season 2.

“Last season was a challenge. You knew Miranda for 20 years and Nya (Karen Pittman) for 20 minutes,” King says. “The fact that we got to open the book on these new characters and see more in-depth versions of them was important.”

Che, who was dubbed “the worst character on TV” by The Daily Beast, is particularly fleshed out this season, as they struggle to launch a sitcom in Los Angeles.

“Having them confront the Hollywood machine (seemed like) an excellent way to peel back more layers and see their vulnerability,” Ramírez says.

Everyone is ‘bummed’ the secret’s out about Kim Cattrall’s cameo

Earlier this month, “Sex and the City” fans were shocked to learn that Cattrall would appear in the new season of “And Just Like That...”

Cattrall has publicly slammed Parker over the years, although Parker has called the feud one-sided. Parker, Nixon and Davis had a conversation about the cameo, and weren’t around when it was filmed.

“We’re all so bummed that word got out,” Nixon says. “Now it’s going to be like, ‘That’s what all the fuss was about?’”

In the scene, Carrie receives a video call from Samantha.

“My goal was for everybody’s heads to blow off at home, out of surprise,” King says. “But I guess the fact that we were able to keep Big’s death a secret — maybe you only get one ‘universe protecting you from a leak’ in your career, and I had it.”

Sarah Jessica Parker teases ‘sentimental moment’ with Samantha

Samantha, who now lives in London, texted with Carrie throughout Season 1, leading to an offscreen Paris reunion in the finale. Parker thought actually seeing the character, however briefly, would be “really nice” for the show’s 25th anniversary.

“Michael knew what the phone call was,” Parker says. ““It’s placed in this really opportune, sentimental moment in the script. It’s really nice to have her presence. It’s just a little thing, but it’s nice.”

And despite reports, Cattrall did not film her scene in a garage.

“We are a high-quality production,” King says with a laugh. “Why would we ever bring Kim back as Samantha and shoot her in a garage? Does it really seem like the same show would put Carrie in a 14-foot puffer coat and Samantha in a garage? That’s not our brand.”

Read more at usatoday.com.

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