warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Does "The Carrie Diaries" Have You Carried Away?

Elisabeth Roberts |
January 28, 2013 | 11:15 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw in "The Carrie Diaries". CW Mondays at 8. (CW)
AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw in "The Carrie Diaries". CW Mondays at 8. (CW)
For those of you still mourning the end of the "Gossip Girl" era, The CW is back at it again. This time - it's offering a sweeter, more innocent look at the prequel to the scandalous series "Sex and the City" ("SATC"). But don’t get too excited just yet.

"The Carrie Diaries", starring AnnaSophia Robb, tells the background story of one of TV’s most beloved icons, Carrie Bradshaw. This time, the NYC queen of fashion, shoes and let’s face it - singleness, is a little less fabulous than her grown-up self. 

Nonetheless, there are still some good old-fashioned, high school make-out scenes between Carrie and her love interest, the bad-boy Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler), who is sure to be the next teenage heartthrob.

It’s 1984...in suburban Connecticut. Not only is Carrie dealing with high school drama, closeted friends, boys and balancing a double life as a New York intern mistaken for a fashion guru (wait, isn’t this the same plot as ABC Family's "Jane By Design"?), but Carrie has also just lost her mother. Dealing with her moody younger sister Dorrit (Stefania Owen) and her mourning widowed father (Matt Letscher), Carrie definitely has more on her plate than any high-school teen should.

"SATC" fans, you might be slightly confused by this plot line. Those of you who dedicated yourselves to watching the series and two subsequent movies know that the Carrie Bradshaw most people have come to know and love didn’t have a sister. Carrie’s father also left her and her mother, which lead to her severe commitment issues that drove most of the series’ relationships. The truth is that "SATC" has changed a lot of the backstory to the fabulous character that is Carrie Bradshaw. "The Carrie Diaries" surprisingly gets the details right, but one has to wonder why they would alter such a beloved television icon to fit the original book. 

The new series is definitely not trying to imitate the old Carrie Bradshaw, but seems to try to be creating something completely new. Carrie is just starting to find her passion for fashion in the big city as well as reading through her mother’s old journals. 

The show has gotten some media hype already—both positive and hysterical. "SNL" has parodied CW’s creation with its own Soprano’s Diaries, which might actually be equally entertaining as it sounds, if only it were a real series. The Twitter and Facebook responses to "The Carrie Diaries" do seem positive though, so this could be a hidden gem.

A problem that the show will most likely face is the loss of the original "SATC" fan base. "The Carrie Diaries," a TV-14 rated version of "SATC's" TV-MA, has no appeal toward the middle-aged demographic that made up "SATC’s" following. The CW only saw a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic for the show’s premiere. This low turnout proves that creating a teen-appealing version of a character that modern audiences may be too young to appreciate might stunt the show’s popularity. One can only hope Sarah Jessica Parker makes a cameo in the near future. 

The clothes in this series are also a severe disappointment compared to the grown-up Carrie’s wardrobe. "The Carrie Diaries" fails to take advantage of the best of the 80’s fashion, aside from the character Larissa Loughton (Freema Agyeman) - Style Editor at Interview Magazine. Still, a=skating over period details still makes the show slightly more relatable to today’s modern teen (minus the fact that cell-phones were in their earliest years of production in the US).

"The Carrie Diaries" is much less satisfactory than both "SATC" and "Gossip Girl," but it might still have time to mature into something great. However, for those of you that aren’t sold on the idea just yet, it’s never too late to get into "SATC"!

Check out the series trailer below:


Reach Staff Reporter Elisabeth Roberts here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.