1 “The Carrie Diaries”
Before feeding her couture shopping fetish, before living in a peanut-sized apartment in the city, before being one of the most admired New York newspaper columnists to ever walk the streets of Manhattan in a pair of bright blue Manolos, Carrie Bradshaw was just another 16-year-old living in the suburbs. A cross between the family-oriented classic “Full House” and the modern spice and sass of today’s “Suburgatory,” while throwing in a little “Gossip Girl” action, “The Carrie Diaries” is a drama the whole family can watch together. High school: a bustling environment where some of the best, worst, and not to mention most embarrassing moments occur. There’s the typical “mean girl” you find strolling through the halls, the dreamy boy or girl who’s off limits, and those few good friends who stick by your side. High school has its flaws and perks, but it’s a time of selfdiscovery, and we see this take place every Monday night in “The Carrie Diaries” on the CW network. Baby Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) thrusts us into her life growing up as a teen in 1984, back when Ronald Reagan was president and shoulder pads were all the rage, molding into the grown-up Carrie whom women aspire to be in “Sex and the City.” Who would have thought grown-up Carrie would ever be caught wearing shoulder pads? “Before there was sex, before there was the city, there was just me: Carrie, Carrie Bradshaw. And lots of things are changing, for all of us.” Young Bradshaw introduces us with those words at the start of each episode, and like “Sex and the City,” she narrates her many journeys. Carrie, starting her junior year of high school without a mother, is having trouble adapting to her new life. Tom Bradshaw (Matt Letscher), Carrie’s father, is also having a difficult time adjusting to his wife’s lost battle with cancer and his role as both father and now mother. Carrie’s rebellious younger sister, Dorrit (Stefania Owen), is trying to find her place in the family by dressing in all black, wearing thick gooey eyeliner and acting older than her 14-year-old self by sneaking out and causing ruckus. Although Carrie has a lot going on at home, she also has tons going on outside the walls of her Connecticut cookie cutter house, but there are those few good friends to keep her grounded. “Sex and the City” usually starts out with Carrie and her best friends Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte gossiping over a decent cup of coffee at a local Manhattan diner, but this young Carrie has a different set of pals. Courageous Maggie (Katie Findlay), one of Carrie’s bests, is struggling with her relationship with Walt (Brendan Dooling), another one of Carrie’s closest buds. Walt’s character is sassy, and he knows a thing or two about cashmere sweaters and Nordstrom sales, but struggles with his own identity. He think’s he might be gay, but he’s not
entirely sure. He doesn’t want to believe it, showcasing the struggles of coming out for teenagers. Sweet innocent Mouse (Ellen Wong) on the other hand, is always worrying about keeping her spot as number one in the class. Recently losing her virginity to a college guy, Mouse finds comfort in their close-knit group. Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler) is not the only guy Carrie has her eye on at school. Does this sound familiar? The much older carefree Carrie in “Sex and the City” had her eye on a few Manhattan men while out sipping cosmos in lavish New York City nightclubs. Baby Bradshaw’s love for New York ignites when her father snags her an internship at one of his friends law firms. With new beginnings ahead and nothing holding her back, Carrie discovers a world she never imagined. Missing curfews, skipping school, and sneaking out to see forbidden boys leads Carrie into a mess of trouble with her father. At the end of each episode, it recaps with a fatherdaughter scene, where Carrie and her dad always come to an agreement and understanding. There are some tears, hugs and even screams from time to time. Since Carrie’s mother passed away, she feels the need to take care of Dorrit. With any set of sisters, arguments occur, leading to each one just wanting the other to be happy. “Full House” anyone? That’s not Stephanie and D.J. Tanner, but your mind may be reminiscing back on some “Full House” episodes while tuning into the endings of “The Carrie Diaries.” These specific ending scenes depicted in the episodes will pull at your heartstrings, reminding us of the importance of family. Although Carrie wants the best for her family, she’s going to stop at nothing until she gets want she wants. Not even mean girl Donna LaDonna (Chloe Bridges) can take away this curly haired teens dreams and desires. Carrie has her eye on Sebastian, and no one is going to get in her way, except for one thing she seems to obsess over a bit more, Manhattan. With lavish parties, couture outfits and glasses of champagne, she’s having trouble listening to her father over her heart. “The Carrie Diaries” unfolds the bubbly, fun, charismatic life of “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw. Lying in bed at night, young Carrie showcases the start of her extravagant writing career by jotting in her journal. Carrie’s mother also kept one. Her love of fashion must have rubbed off on Carrie, because all she has on her mind is interning at the renowned fashion magazine known as Interview in bustling Manhattan. Centered on family, “The Carrie Diaries” produces laughs, love and learning, in which everyone can take something from by tuning in. This is the work of the CW network, not HBO. There are no raunchy mannerisms, half naked bottoms or swear words to be seen or heard, just cute charming Carrie.