Hi! Today is a bonus post from me! I’m going to be talking about the spin off to Sex and The City, The Carrie Diaries.
Before Carrie was Carrie, the sex columnist, she was just your average teenager- or not. A spin off the the hit HBO series Sex and the City, comes Carrie Bradshaw as a teenager. It’s the year 1984, before Mr. Big, and her life in the city. She’s just a small town girl, with big city dreams, living in Connecticut, with her sister, Dorrit and her dad. Having recently lost her mother, the three of the them are trying to pick up the pieces.
The Carrie Diaries comes off as a bubble-gum version of the gritty Sex and the City. Everything is so polished and perfect for Carrie, unlike her character later on. The only way you can tell it’s the 1980’s is by the phones and sometimes computers or typewriters they use, but even those feel out of place in this world that looks very 21st century. I’m not a big fan of shows that are filmed today that take place in the past, unless they can really pull it off. This show didn’t do that. It was like at any moment they looked like they were about to pull out a cell phone, but then obviously they wouldn’t. But for the most part the issues were the same as you would find today.
Carrie Bradshaw is our main character where we see everything through her point of view. Her life and the people all around her. She’s a girl itching to live in the city and work to becoming a writer.
Maggie is one of Carrie’s best friends who wants to take charge of her life but since no one else believes in her, she looses the believe in herself. She can really feel sorry for herself and that makes her character fall flat at times but it also works out too, depending on the situation.
Mouse is Carrie’s typical Asian best friend, who is dead set on getting into Harvard. She’s all about school, grades and extracurricular activities. She also has a very competitive side that is a bit much to handle- making her character a tad on the annoying side.
Walt’s a guy born from a well bred family, where they are prim and proper. This leaves Walt stuck in the closet, and left trying to find his footing in the world.
Larissa is a sex maniac who works as the editor at Interview Magazine. She befriends Carrie and helps her along, soon becomes Carrie’s boss. She lives for all things sexual, bizarre and unusual, she’s definitely one eccentric character.
We get an appearance from the Samantha Jones, only before she was a big PR agent, she was just a club bouncer, living her life doing odd jobs that require or could require sex. She’s a character that creates conflict, and it gives season two more of an edge.
Dorrit Bradshaw is Carrie’s younger sister, who looks at life darkly, listening to punk music and dressing all in black. She Carrie’s complete opposite.
Bennet is one of Carrie’s co-workers at Interview Magazine, and Walt’s beau. He’s dead set on becoming the best writer.
We can’t forget about Carrie’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Sebastian Kydd. He’s the type of guy who is friendly to every girl, and will do anything to protect them. He’s a nice guy, but sometimes he just feels too nice to be real.
Going into Carrie’s teenage life, the show talks about school, boys, and figuring what the future holds.
We meet Carrie and her family just after the passing of her mother and they are still fragile. Her dad thinks it’s a good idea to give her an internship in Manhattan to help her cope. So she spends four days at school, and one day at her internship at a law firm her father’s friend works for. Not her dream job- but she does get to start her city life.
But things get out of hand when she meets Larissa. She starts to party, and do things for Larissa. All this time the viewer thinks she’s going to get caught, but she keeps slipping by. I find it very un-relatable when Carrie asks to borrow her dad’s car, he just says yes without question. I’m 22 and my dad still asks where I’m going if I have to borrow a car. No father is just sure whatever. (Unless they are a lazy parent, and her father Tom wasn’t set up to be that way.)
Larissa, not knowing Carrie is 16, gets a rude awakening when her father outs her at a club. That puts a halt towards her Manhattan fun. But not for long. It wasn’t the way the audience ever thought she would be found out. Her father ends up at the same club because he’s starting to go out again and starting to feel comfortable to date again, and that’s where they end up. Didn’t see that one coming.
This leaves Carrie back at school five days a week with her friends. Her friends have subplots around her life, but they still manage to entangle with her own.
Maggie has been her best friend since kindergarten, but she betrays Carrie, and they end up not speaking- for a bit. Maggie was dating Walt and things were going great, until things turned physical, and Walt was struggling with his issues. He breaks up with Maggie, but they get back together once he’s truly ready to go all the way.
Once the truth comes out to Walt that Maggie has been sleeping with a cop who’s older (Simon), Walt breaks it off heartbroken.
Maggie left to her own devices, tries to quit Simon, even when he has a fiancé, but she can’t seem to quit. The scum doesn’t make it easy either. Drunk one night Maggie ends up with a broken-hearted Sebastian and they kiss. That’s when Carrie has had enough with Maggie and they stop talking.
She tries to make things right between both Sebastian and Carrie. Sebastian is easier to melt than Carrie. Maggie finds out she’s pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. Simon wants nothing to do with her, and she can’t tell her parents so she falls so Sebastian, who vows to take care of her. When going to get an abortion she faints and this causes a trip to the hospital where her life is in the balance.
Sebastian takes the heat for being the boy who impregnated her, even when he doesn’t have to, but he wants to honour Maggie’s wishes not to tell her parents. That’s what gets Carrie to forgive both Maggie and Sebastian.
Maggie does start to get her life together, and decides to join the army on a whim. It isn’t until she goes to extreme lengths to get her file and resign the army, that she finds her true love, Pete.
Walt spends a lot of time with Carrie throughout the series. He confides in Carrie a lot. He even moves to the city with her for the summer, and once he’s been outed by his parents and has no where to turn he goes to Carrie’s and she lets him stay there. It’s awful how his parents just turn their backs on him because he’s gay. It ruins his parents reputation. It’s Bennett who opens Walt up to being okay with being gay. In the beginning he still thought it was wrong, when Bennett kisses him, he freaks and that’s why he goes back to Maggie the first time.
It isn’t until he lives in Manhattan for the summer, and starts to hang around Interview Magazine that he gets more comfortable with himself. Too comfortable that in public he’s snuggling Bennett and he’s caught in a photo- that his parents eventually see and that’s how he gets outed.
It isn’t until things go sour with Bennet with a stint with AIDS that freaks everybody out that Walt just wants his life back. They break up, but for until things work out with his parents and they finally accept him, that Walt truly goes back to Bennet.
They are so cute together!
Mouse may be the only one who doesn’t mix too much because she is all wrapped up in getting into a good school, even when she’s a junior. Gaining a boyfriend sent her into second in her class and she can’t stand to be second to anyone, especially to a jock. West becomes her competition, until he becomes her boyfriend. They become the power couple always looking out for their grades, and joining clubs- they seem perfect for each other.
It’s then that Mouse gets into Harvard early, and West doesn’t, that’s when things go downhill. West doesn’t care, but Mouse cares too much- that’s when the truth comes out. He never applied early because he knew they would only pick one student from each school- and he knew it would have been him if he’d applied so he gave it to Mouse.
As much as that is a sweet thing to do, Mouse makes a good point, he didn’t think she could get in on her own. It really shows how much faith he had in her. What a guy, he was so cocky.
Then there is Sebastian, and he is constantly part of Carrie’s life as he is her boyfriend, half the time. Those two are constantly fighting and getting back together. They are cute together, but maybe not right for each other.
Sebastian starts off as the new kid at school, after being kicked out of his old private school. As the season continues, we learn that he is a smart, and selfless kid, with a bad wrap.
It doesn’t help that his parents are not there for him at all. They constantly rely on him as if he were one of their friends, not their kid. He doesn’t even get to finish high school, because he get kicked out for fighting. But this just fuels his fire to start a company around skaters clothing.
It makes sense why this show was only 2 seasons long just because of how it all ended. The series ended on their graduation and all the characters moving on it their lives. This would then lead to Sex and the City. It felt like the creators really planned for it to be that way, and it was a good ending. It felt very final, Carrie broke it off with Sebastian after loosing her job at Interview Magazine, and loosing her spot at NYU. Deciding to stay in the city and fight to find her way, with Samantha at her side as her roommate. Mouse is off to Harvard, Walt is off to college as well with Bennet by his side, and Maggie is engaged to Pete! Thinking Pete was cheating on her with ‘Jess’, turns out it was to buy a ring, and he proposes in a laundromat ha! Different, yet cute.
Larissa gets married to Harlan, in a terminal at the airport- extremely crazy, yet so Larissa.
The series ended so well, but there were a few things about the series that conflicted with Sex and The City that I wanted to point out.
Sebastian Kydd, her on again off again boyfriend. In Sex and the City Carrie actually goes back and dates her high school sweetheart, Jeremy (NOT Sebastian, in season 6). They describe her as being head over heals for him, and they were always kissing all of senior year. But when we see them in this show- they are so all over the place, and clearly not locking lips. She’s dating other people as well, so they clearly aren’t always together, as Sex and the City lead the viewer to believe.
My last issue is with Samantha. I believe it’s in the second movie when Carrie explains when and where she met all her friends, she said she met Sam in 1987 and she was a waitress. Only we meet Sam in 1986, and she’s a bouncer who is a little bit of a floozy. It also leads to questions as to why she lost her old high school friends and gained new ones in Manhattan. And why did Carrie only meet Samantha in the The Carrie Diaries? Why not all her friends? There are a few other inconsistent plotlines that the show messes up.
But what I do have to give create to AnnaSophia Robb, she played Carrie very well, and at times you could see Sarah Jessica Parker’s quirk that she brought to Carrie. The same goes with Lindsey Gort who played Samantha. By the end you could see that she had gotten Samantha’s body language down pat. It looks as if the girls both studied the characters to get them just right.
Overall, it was an engaging teen drama, that audiences from Sex and the City would probably not watch, as the original show was geared towards adults, and this one was geared towards teens, but it made it so that new audiences can find the show and fall in love with Carrie’s story.