‘The Carrie Diaries’ Premiere Recap: And You Thought You Knew Carrie Bradshaw

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After 94 Sex and the City episodes, we thought we knew Carrie Bradshaw.

We knew about her love of shoes. Her disdain of cooking. Her loyalty to her friends. And her complex love life.

But by the time the iconic Carrie Bradshaw, forever immortalized by Sarah Jessica Parker, appeared on our TV in 1998, she was already in her 30s. Except for a few brief mentions, viewers never really learned about where she came from, what her family was like or anything about her past.

That all changed with the premiere of The CW’s The Carrie Diaries.

Note: Spoilers if you haven’t watched Monday’s airing of the series pilot.

We learned:

1. Carrie’s mom died when she was a sophomore in high school and she is being raised by her loving and devoted dad. (This is a big adjustment since in the one brief mention of her family on Sex and the City, her dad had “quit” the family when Carrie was five.)

2. She has a bratty younger sister named Dorrit (Stefania Owen). When I watched Sex and the City, I always thought Carrie was an only child.

3. She’s from Castlebury, Connecticut.

4. Before Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, she was friends with Maggie (Katie Findlay), Jill aka Mouse (Ellen Wong) and Walt (Brendan Dooling).

5. At an early age, she had a penchant for accessories with her name on it. Did you catch the “C” necklace? (You can find one just like it at www.alexwoo.com).

I liked this premiere quite a bit, but really it served as a way to transition viewers from the adult Carrie we knew to the younger Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) of the show. There was a ton of exposition and character introduction. But, thankfully, we have a lot to look forward to. When will Carrie’s dad find out exactly what she’s up to in Manhattan? How long until Walt comes to terms with his sexual orientation? How much more difficult was that in 1984? When will Carrie discover that her friend Maggie is secretly dating an older guy? And seriously how long can Carrie Bradshaw work at a law firm?

I loved all the shout-outs to the 80s – the Danielle Steele novels, the Cabbage Patch dolls, and the Rubik’s cube. And let’s pause for a moment to give props to Rob Lowe who was a heartthrob in the 80s (Sodapop Forever!) and is still gorgeous today.

I liked that the show has a bit of a throwback feel. We live in a television world full of teenagers who, for the most part, act more like Real Housewives than high school students. How refreshing it is to harken back to a time when having sex was a big deal and what you were going to wear to the school dance constituted a crisis. I hope the show keeps this vibe and doesn’t go all Gossip Girl on us. (A valid concern considering that executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were also executive producers on Gossip Girl).

Robb is clearly poised to be a breakout star and, despite her on screen resemblance to a young Lindsay Lohan (I can’t be the only one who sees this), there’s something innately likable about her. As much fun as the series premiere was, (cue the voiceover narrative and a shot of me writing at my desk) I couldn’t help but wonder what next week’s episode has in store.

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Carrie ditches the school dance and meets Larissa (Freema Agyeman) and her friends at a club in New York City.

Thank you, TV gods: I loved watching Carrie get her first journal and sit down at her desk to write.

Awk-ward: Carrie passes out in front of Sebastian (Austin Butler) when her father comes to school.

Hotness: Um, that kiss in the pool.

Fab-u-lous: I was kind of in love with Carrie’s nail polish purse. The CW should totally try to sell those.

Can. Not. Wait.: Carrie so needs to have a throw down with Donna LaDonna (Chloe Bridges). Seriously who names their child Donna LeDonna?

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 7. A solid introduction to a younger version of a beloved TV character.

What did you think of the series premiere? Did you watch Sex and the City? Do/Did you have a Donna LaDonna at your high school? Talk about it below.

Amy Amatangelo

Also, now that you’ve watched the premiere, enter to win a “Flashback to the 80s” prize pack from The CW and Celebuzz.

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