So I’ve been watching The Carrie Diaries, the CW’s prequel series to Sex and the City. I am, was, and always will be a die hard fan of Sex and the City. I’ve seen every episode a dozen times, I reference it on the reg, and I own the complete series DVD set, which means I shelled out $150 at once for my love of the four fabulous ladies. And now that I gave up my cable, those DVDs will be in constant rotation on my bedroom tv. Anyway, there have been three episodes of “The Carrie Diaries” and, if you like teen CW-y dramedies, like I actually do, you will like this show. AnnaSophia Robb, who stars as the young Carrie, is completely adorable, vibrant, and has what it takes to play Carrie in her youth. Her hair, her style, the girl nails it. Her friends are cute and sweet and the show has the same sitting at lunch talking with your girlfriends element, this time at the local suburban diner or school cafeteria. And the show also has the great esteem and respect for the city I live in and love, NYC. Except this time Carrie is seeing it through virgin eyes, in all senses of the word. Is it a great new television show? I don’t think so, no. But if you have 45 minutes to kill, you can tune in for the great 80s style and cool soundtrack, and the naivete and sweetness of innocent, cute teenage girls and their issues, mostly boy and family stuff.
But what made me decide to write this article was not because I was inspired by what I liked about the show, because I said I like it, I don’t love it. I don’t think I will enjoy it nearly as much as I did/do Gossip Girl, 90210, Secret Circle. What I wanted to state out loud was how ridiculous I think some of the changes are between the two shows. I find some to be so ridiculous that I am shocked Candace Bushnell, the creator of both shows, agreed to them. It’s shocking how she allowed writers of either one show or the other to create such discrepancies.
In SATC, we learned that Carrie’s father left her and her mom when she was a young child. It seemed to make sense with why Carrie was obsessed with men and dating, and loved Big, who lovingly referred to her as “Kid’ and was the older mature man that she lacked most of her life. In “Diaries,” Carrie’s father is not gone. In fact, Carrie’s mother dies right before the show begins and it is her father that raises her as a single parent. Huh?? Well, it turns out that that is actually how Bushnell wrote it in the “Diaries” book as well, and that the SATC writers changed it. Either way, it’s totally inconsistent and that bothers me.
The Huffington Post asked Amy B. Harris, “Diaries” showrunner, about the inconsistency. Harris says, “In the ‘Carrie Diaries’ book, Candace did something very interesting, which was she had the mother having passed away. We debated a lot about whether or not to include anything about Carrie’s family backstory in “Sex and the City” and we mentioned once on that show that the father had left. It didn’t feel like the right version to me, because the story felt more complicated than a parent leaving, and Candace’s version in the book really spoke to me, the idea that she has a good relationship with her father, which is why she’s looking for a certain type of man.” Yeah I get that. But this is a huge incongruence, one that fans really do not appreciate or understand how it could be made.
Also, wait, what is this news? Carrie has a younger sister. Say what? Yes, in “Diaries,” Carrie has a younger sister, named, of all things, Dorrit. Dorrit? What the heck kind of name is that? Add an “o” and it spells “Dorrito.” Not only do I not understand the addition of a sister, but one named Dorrit. Well, I guess Dorrit is in the “Diaries” book too. But anyone who ever watched even 5 minutes of a SATC episode knows that it is so ridiculous to suddenly give Carrie a sister. This would change everything. Seriously people.
The Huffington Post states “the CW has adapted “The Carrie Diaries” into a prequel series, combining what we know of Carrie from the beloved HBO dramedy and Bushnell’s books and blending it into a heady cocktail of ’80s nostalgia, coming-of-age drama and a surprising amount of heart.” I agree. Except Carrie’s familial life as we know it is completely different. I’m not sure the shows combine anything that we know of Carrie, except that she is bright, beautiful, straight, and has great big curly blonde hair. Oh, and she likes to write and walk down the street in NYC.
But watch and decide for yourself. Or, if I was being honest, if you are a huge SATC fan and want to keep what you think you know of Carrie to be true, you probably shouldn’t.