I watched and liked the original Sex and the City series and have seen both movies but flat out ignored the Netflix suggestion to watch The Carrie Diaries. However, after finding myself watching the first SATC movie on basic cable earlier this month, I decided I would give the defunct CW teen series a go.
But only after I cried my eyes out during the scene where Charlotte protects Carrie from Big after he leaves her at the alter. It kills me every single time.
Based on the YA novels written by Candace Bushnell, The Carrie Diaries is considered a prequel to her 1996 smash Sex and the City. As we all know, her book was turned into the long running HBO series. I think the CW hoped they would have captured the same success with The Carrie Diaries but sadly the show was canceled after two seasons.
I liked The Carrie Diaries more than I thought I would. The series begins with Carrie as a high school student living in Connecticut in 1984. She has been scarred by the recent death of her mother and lives with her hostile sister and widowed father. We are led to believe that Carrie Bradshaw is on the outskirts of the popular crowd at her high school. She has a gang of stereotypical high school girlfriends and a nemesis in the girl who gets all the boys. She is obsessed with “the city” and convinces her dad that she take an internship at a law firm after school in New York. This is where she eventually meets the editor of Interview Magazine and thus finds her voice as a writer. And of course there is a love interest named Sebastian Kydd.
This pretty much sums up the two seasons.
What I loved about The Carrie Diaries:
The soundtrack. It made me want to only listen to the 80s station on my satellite radio. Deeper cuts from the Cure, Devo, ‘Til Tuesday, Bryan Ferry and more were featured which made the show less pop and more underground.
The costuming for Carrie was gorgeous. I’m really not sure most 16 year olds in 1984 would have had the means to wear what we saw Carrie in but it sure was fashion eye candy for the viewer. I love this Tumblr page dedicated to the wardrobe.
AnnaSophia Robb was really charming as Carrie. I was left wondering why we don’t see more of her on TV or movies.
What I didn’t like:
The wig they put on AnnaSophia Robb during the first season. It was a hot mess of blonde ringlet curls. I’m pretty sure she wore her natural hair in the pilot episode but she definitely had a wig on in the episodes that followed. She was back to natural curls during season 2 and it was so obvious that they even mentioned how she had changed her hair after her summer in the city.
Her high school friends and their irrelevant story lines. Of course, a teen soap needs a cast and I think having a core group of gal pals foreshadows the importance of friendships to Carrie for later but blah. The story lines were painful, with the exception of Donna Ladonna who redeems herself as bad girl to empathetic friend.
What Surprised Me:
Maybe I’m getting too old for a teen series but I was shocked at the references to cocaine use. I get that was a thing in the 80s but it just surprised about how often it came up.
You can stream The Carrie Diaries on Netflix now. Have you seen what’s new on Netflix for February? You bet I’ll be watching Fuller House later in the month.
I am part of the Netflix StreamTeam and gladly share all my binge worthy finds. All opinions are my own.