Hey TV.com, Should I Watch The Carrie Diaries?

With Gossip Girl out to pasture, The CW needs to fill its respective “pretty white people in New York City” and “based on a book series” quotas. Thus, The Carrie Diaries its forthcoming Sex and the City prequel! I've seen the pilot and am here to let you know whether or not you should watch Carrie Bradshaw’s superhero origin story, or skip it in favor of catching up on Stars in Danger: High Dive.


What is The Carrie Diaries?

AnnaSophia Robb is Carrie Bradshaw. Yes, that Carrie Bradshaw. In 1984, Carrie is just 16 years old and starting her junior year of high school in Connecticut. She struggles with the first day of school because her mother passed away around Memorial Day, leaving Carrie, her younger sister Dorrit ,and her father Tom to figure it all out on the fly. To take the edge off these terrible circumstances, Carrie’s father sets her up with an internship in New York City, which immediately deepens her big city dreams and forces her to choose between NYC nightlife and her friends (and a possible love interest) at home.


When does The Carrie Diaries premiere?

This is The CW’s first big premiere of the midseason and the centerpiece to the network’s future, and as such, it takes over Gossip Girl’s Monday-at-9pm timeslot starting January 14, 2013.


Who created the show?

There are a lot of the cooks in the kitchen here. The Carrie Diaries is based on Candace Bushnell’s book series, which itself is a prequel to her Sex and the City series (and the show, obviously). The pilot script was written by Amy B. Harris, who worked on Sex and the City and on Gossip Girl with The Carrie Diaries’ executive producers—and ubiquitous CW auspices—Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.


Who’s the target audience?

Theoretically, Sex and the City diehards (and I guess those exist, considering the two film’s box office receipts). One would think that this one will appeal all those CW viewers who enjoy shows about relatively wealthy white people in high school. However, though The Carrie Diaries shares executive producers, a network and a timeslot with Gossip Girl, it is most certainly not Gossip Girl. This show’s lack of cynicism and load of heartfelt earnestness should be appealing to those viewers who remember some of The WB’s best offerings. And hey, if you just really love period pieces or the 1980s, this might also be for you.



What’s good about the show?

Quite a bit, actually. This is, somewhat surprisingly, one of the better pilots of the 2012-2013 season. The opening episode doesn’t require you to be familiar with the obviously impenetrable Sex and the City mythos, though it does feature a few subtle, nice nods to Carrie’s future. Most importantly, The Carrie Diaries feels like its own show, with its own characters and world. AnnaSophia Robb is wonderful, and not just because she manages to evoke Sarah Jessica Parker’s performance at times. The pilot is a straightforward, sincere look at this girl’s life; it takes her emotions seriously, it doesn’t feature any “LOL, the '80s” moments, and establishes each of the supporting characters in a brief moment or two.


What sucks about it?

The high school drama is formulaic, which could rub people the wrong way (though, as a big fan of the genre, it didn’t bother me). The pilot’s most egregious mistake is asking us to believe that a group of artists in their mid-to-late twenties actually think high school junior Carrie is older and more mature than she looks. Robb is perfect for this role, but she doesn’t look like she can pass for 23.


So should I watch it or not?

You might come to this show with a lot of baggage. Maybe you hated Sex and the City and maybe you think learning about Carrie’s high school origins is a silly conceit. Perhaps you don’t care for teen dramas, period pieces, The CW or Josh Schwartz’s monopolization of The CW’s real estate. It's possible you were an '80s kid yourself and will hate The Carrie Diaries' soundtrack of classic songs from the decade redone by new young bands you've never heard of. I can understand all of that. But really, The Carrie Diaries, at least in the pilot, might make you forget about all of it. This show could appeal to a wide swath of viewers, many of whom will likely be surprised at how well-constructed it is. Give it a chance, really.


Can I see a trailer?

You know it.


What beverage would best accompany The Carrie Diaries?

There are two obvious answers here: Wine coolers (because 1984) or a Cosmopolitan (because they are Future Carrie’s favorite).


The Carrie Diaries debuts Monday, January 14 at 9pm on The CW.

Comments (49)
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Yeah, Gossip Girl burned me so I am steering clear of anything even minimally touched by Savage and Schwartz. They always start good and then before you know it Big just pimped Carrie out for his business ambition or she is sleeping with guys to support her shoe habit. These two have NO business writing or dealing with female characters/issues. So, thanks but no thanks, I will let the show play completely out before I watch it on netflix or something. Lol

I do like Amy Harris though, her GG episodes were some of the best written in those last seasons, let's see how much control they let her have as well. If Savage is poking in the storyline directions it will go to hell fast. :/
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I don't know why, because a lot of the things said here I do find appealing, and would at least try out the pilot, but when I look at the trailer I'm thinking it's a copy of a hundred things I've seen before and I'm over it. I don't know exactly what attracted me so to Sex and the City, but "Carrie before Carrie" just doesn't make me want to watch this.
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I'm giving this one a chance but it has a lot on it's plate, I think the settings itself recreating the 80's is a tough challenge for once and SATC has set the bar. I did not live yet to see the glory and gory fashion/hair of the 80's but I like to see more of that since it's set in '84 and aside from some leggings I'm not feeling the vibe there but at least I get a break from lying/vengeful/cynic/gossip girls. Carrie is a breather at least seeing the pilot... Awww... now I wanna kanow if she'll meet Samantha during the course of this show.
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LET'S SEE.....gossip just ended. let's fill the void.,.
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We were told in Sex and the City that Carrie's father abandoned her and her mother when Carrie was 4.And I don't remember C having a sister.Not to mention that what contributed to SatC 's success was fashion.Who would wanna watch a show about 80's fashion,let alone copy it?The whole concept sounds ridiculous,maybe I'll check it out for some laughs!
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Well, this pilot follows Bushnell's book series in that regard, so whatever changes were made, she helped make them.
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I understand.I knew of the book,but I didn't know any details.
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C'mon guys have a little faith. Just try out the pilot and see how it goes.
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maybe it's because I'm a guy and I didn't really GET S&TC, but I won't be watching.

also, why would a S&TC diehard be watching The CW? those two don't mix.
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I'm a guy.

But, yeah, that's the big question: Will any Sex and the City viewers come to The CW? Probably not, but that doesn't change the quality of the show.
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I just meant because I'm a guy I didn't get the appeal of S&TC as much as female audience did.
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Might give it a shot. I was a little boy when Sex & The City was around, but now that this is here and on top of your positive comments...
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In the picture, AnnaSophia Robb looks a bit like a young Lindsay Lohan.
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NO! It's a do not watch, it is based on The Carrie Diaries book, not Sex and the City the tv show. So her having a dad is throwing me off, because she did not have one in the show (she says he ran off). The book itself threw me off because it didn't follow the tv show, and come on, that is what we are all looking for; parallels between this show and SATC
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i agree with you coutterhill - it should be called a reimagining instead of a prequel. i prefer consistency or what's the point in being a fan.
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Oh no! We can't possibly enjoy the show now!
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I wouldn't be able to. Glad you will?
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Thanks. I'm glad I'm flexible enough to enjoy a show despite a minor perceived inconsistency. Sad for you though?
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I guess it is sad I expect consistency with my television characters. Maybe I should get a life?
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It's unfortunate that Ms. Robb is way too pretty to possibly be a young Sarah Jessica Parker. Maybe the series finale will have a Marcia Brady-esque football incident.
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none of the "girls" of sex and the city were meant to be "hot" or "pretty", just normal looking ladies that are a bit too crazy about fashion and those supposedly NY things - plus, I think it was a part of the success among women. In this sense, yes, this girl is too pretty. But well, we can probably accept that most of us were "prettier" when we were younger, right? LOL
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I survived gossip girl so why would I willingly put my self in danger again by watching what seems to look like a carbon copy of it
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It's nothing like Gossip Girl, really.
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I did not watch sex in the city so therefore it will be a big pass on the carrie diaries
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i believe that the target audience for sex and the city isnt the same for the carrie diaries. unless they're like me who watched pretty much anything that's comedy or drama or teen drama or whatever...
i really want to see this show and i think i'll like it...
the only thing tho is that it seems a bit like jane by design which i did watch but thought was a little silly... hopefully i'm wrong.
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All I really want to know is who they cast to play 16-year-old Mr. Big.

Oh, like you weren't thinking about this.
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Probably a 28-year-old Canadian.
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I hate to expose myself as a Sex and the City fan, but they mentioned in the series (in the episode when she starts working for Vogue) that her father left when she was little. Not that I would watch this even if it kept continuity - how could an HBO show focused on a core group of friends and their sexual & life escapades compare to a CW high school show? I'd be surprised if lots of SATC fans flocked to this show, but then again, Carrie was always my least favorite of the girls.
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In the show they did mention that her father left when she was young. However, in the two prequel books Carrie is being raised by her father and has 2 younger sisters. Before I read the books this summer, I thought the same thing and was super annoyed!
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I wish Cory had hated it. All I needed for this show was a clear message that it was bad so I didn't have to consider the possibility of watching. Now what am I supposed to do. I'm still fatigued from the way Sex and the City deteriorated from it's good quality 1st season. In a list of television shows that are crying out for an interesting prequel SatC is nowhere near the top. And just from photos I've seen it appears that this glossed-up Carrie will have very little in common with her SatC Season 1 self.
So all I needed was a simple renunciation. Now I'm forced to consider the possibility that I might watch the pilot shudder.
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I liked sex and the city, but not a diehard fan either. Initially I didn´t even consider this show. I don´t particularly like the idea of exploiting a show's success with a prequel. But sometimes they are ok, and after Cory's good review, I might even check it out.
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I like the 80's and I loved Sex and the City. I'll watch the pilot out of curiosity, but I doubt The Carrie Diaries is a show for me.
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Why do I see a hot chick as the portrayed "young" Sarah Jessica Parker?....I thought they gave the part to a pony...WHERES THE PONY!?
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Sorry, no ponies or "chick"ens here. Maybe you were brought up in a barn?
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sense of humor...do you have one?
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This is weird. Like, I'm actually considering, maybe, possibly, potentially, like watching it or something?! I didn't expect that. Darn it. Like I don't hate on the CW because I do loves my TVD for better or for worst but they're actually trying to up their game with their shows apparently. I don't know what to think of that.
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I hate:
Sex and the City
Period dramas (Exceptions like Freaks and Geeks exist)
Teen dramas (Exceptions like Freaks and Geeks exist)
Series about rich people problems
Josh Schwartz (The only exception is Chuck season 1-2.. And hopefully Cult)

I will actually give it a (small) chance, but if I don't like it, I won't complain, because this isn't a show for me.
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...We're so far along that the 1980s qualify for "period drama" status now? ...Really?
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Sure, I'd even qualify the 00's as a period drama. Because it's set in a time that isn't the same as ours.
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Just to put things in perspective here, the 80's were about 30 years ago. The 80's are the new 70's. Just because you remember it doesn't mean it's not a period piece.
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Well, they're not OBNOXIOUSLY rich, so there's that.
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I've always thought Annasophia Robb was a pretty good actress, so I might watch this for her, and Freema Ageyman because I miss Martha, dammit. The trailer didn't make me feel like I was drinking bin juice, which is always a good thing when it comes to shows aimed at people...well, people my age. I'm going to brave the murky waters of the CW's mixed bag of good shows that ain't treated right and bad shows that ain't treated wrong and hope this becomes a small puddle nearby with the right amount of each. (Sorry for nonsensicals.)
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I was gonna give it a go anyways so thanks for the help Cory.
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I'll also say that I'm surprised at the number of positive comments you made about this show. It almost sounds like the CW is starting to offer up better shows. First "Arrow", a TVD spin-off, and now you're telling me that this might be worth watching? Crazy stuff. Still not sure I'll watch it, but it's at least now on my radar where initially I had planned on giving it a wide berth.
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NO, u should stick a fork in an apple...damn cory, first girls then this, whats going on dude?
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I don't know what any of this means, but I love it.
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Can I just say "no" and be done with it? I have no feelings towards or against Sex and the City, but this just looks dreadful for me.
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I promise that it's good. Promise!
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Dang, someone is heavily invested in this show! ;-) I must say I was surprised at the amount of "good" you listed in the article, but it's not enough to sway me.
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