TV

LTW's miscarriage storyline felt archaic.
Warner Media

And Just Like That... Dropped The Ball With That Miscarriage Storyline

A miscarriage and guilt? This is not it.

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Note: Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of And Just Like That...

Lisa Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker) did not want to be pregnant. She made it abundantly clear when she talked to her husband Herbert (Chris Jackson) in Season 2, Episode 9 of And Just Like That... Her career as a documentary filmmaker was heating up. Her kids were growing up. She simply did not want to be pregnant. And what did the writers of And Just Like That... do about her unwanted pregnancy? Not only did they have her miscarry, but they also gave her guilt about that miscarriage. And this storyline is simply not it. Not in 2023.

In “The Last Supper Part One: Appetizer,” LTW talks to Charlotte about not wanting to have another baby. She wakes up in the middle of the night to furiously ask Herbert why he didn’t have a vasectomy when she asked him to years earlier. At that point, he broaches the “other discussion” which is the way this reportedly progressive series brings up the possibility of abortion, without ever saying the word.

“It’s your decision,” he tells her. “Whatever is best for you, that’s what I want.” LTW dismisses the possibility of an abortion out of hand, telling her husband, “I thought about it, but I can’t. I mean, I’m really grateful that I have that option. I just need to wrap my head around this new reality.”

LTW doesn’t explain why she can’t, she just can’t. And a few scenes later, she’s back in the bedroom telling Herbert she’s had a miscarriage. Which felt like such a cop out to so many viewers who would have preferred to see LTW take charge of her own life by having an abortion instead of leaving it to chance.

The fact that And Just Like That... refused to follow through with LTW having an abortion felt absurdly backwards, particularly after the original Sex And The City series dealt so much better with abortion in the 2001 episode “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.” Back then, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) was considering an abortion while Samantha (Kim Cattrall) said she’d had two abortions and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) had one. They said the words back in 2001, why not now in 2023?

After LTW’s miscarriage in “The Last Supper: Part Two,” she joins Carrie and the rest of their friends in Carrie’s old apartment. And the writers chose to leave her feeling... wracked with guilt? To the point where she can barely look at Carrie’s new kitten and Herbert has to comfort her?

Certainly guilt is a common, if unfounded, feeling many people experience after a miscarriage. But exploring that level of emotional complexity in a storyline that leaves so much else out feels at best priggish and at worst moralistic.

For a progressive show, this storyline was not only embarrassingly old-fashioned, but out of touch. Particularly in light of the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade. We want to see a woman take control of her own life and her own reproductive choices. On television and in real life.

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