“And Just Like That” has recently returned with a flurry of buzz surrounding its revival season. Fans of the original series “Sex and the City” have been eagerly waiting to see what is next for the main characters, including fan-favorite, Charlotte York. However, this time the story focuses on Charlotte’s friend, Lisa Todd Wexley, and her struggles with motherhood. While the plot touches on an important issue, the show fails to address the realistic choices and struggles that come with motherhood, leaving viewers to question if the show was truly brave enough to tackle the issue.
1. Lisa Todd Wexley’s abrupt change after her husband dies
After Lisa Todd Wexley’s husband dies, her character undergoes a complete transformation. She goes from being a busy CEO with nanny’s and a child that doesn’t make much of an appearance to a full-time mother of two. This sudden change in her character robs the audience of a vital piece of information: why did she choose to not have a more active role in parenting before now? Why did she not have a say in what kind of mother she wanted to be before tragedy struck?
2. Lisa Todd Wexley’s “perfect” motherhood
Lisa’s story arc portrays a picture-perfect motherhood, where everything goes right and nothing is ever out of place. This doesn’t do justice to the difficulties, struggles, and constant self-doubt that come with raising children. It’s a disservice to mothers everywhere to present the idea that motherhood is an endeavor that can be completely managed and organized with no hiccups. This isn’t fair to those who struggle with parenting or feel as though they cannot live up to the impossible standard showcased in the show.
3. Lisa Todd Wexley’s lack of agency in her decisions about motherhood
Throughout the season, the show doesn’t account for Lisa’s choice to become a mother and her role in making decisions about how she wants to raise her children. It feels as though motherhood is being used to advance the plot, but the character has no agency in real decisions about her family’s life. It feels as if her choices are being made for her instead of being her own.
4. The choice of having children should be a personal one
One of the most significant issues with how motherhood is portrayed in “And Just Like That” is the failure to allow Lisa to make personal decisions about her family. The show makes it seem as though motherhood is a requirement for a woman to be fulfilled and happy, which is far from the truth. The pressures and expectations in society surrounding motherhood are monolithic, and it is essential to be aware of these issues while narrating stories related to parenting.
5. Authentic storytelling needed
The lack of authentic representation of motherhood in “And Just Like That” does a disservice to the viewers. The show should have had real conversations about struggles, postpartum depression, anxiety, and navigating the balance of work and motherhood. It should have shown Lisa as a strong, independent woman making her way in life and making choices about her family.
It is important to acknowledge the impact media has in informing societal attitudes towards children, parenting, and women’s choices around family. It is clear that this story arc required more deliberation, research, and insightful writing. There is a need for authentic representation around this topic going forward; “And Just Like That” missed a chance to continue the conversation about motherhood in a meaningful way. It is our duty as writers and consumers of media to demand better from our stories and be vocal about what we expect from modern portrayals of motherhood on TV.