The Carrie Diaries (The CW) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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‘The Carrie Diaries’ is a new teen drama on The CW, based on a book series of the same name by Candace Bushnell. This book series is a prequel to the book series that popular HBO series ‘Sex and the City’ was based on. In ‘The Carrie Diaries’ the focus is on Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’) during her junior year of high school Carrie is doing an internship at a Manhattan law firm. The show is created by The CW’s regular duo, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, taking the timeslot of their previous teen drama ‘Gossip Girl’.

At the start of the series it has been three months since Carrie’s mother died of cancer. She, her father Tom (Matt Letscher, ‘Eli Stone’), and her younger sister Dorrit (Stefania Owen, ‘Running Wilde’), are having a hard time making it work at home, they all feel a bit lost without their mother / wife. Carrie’s father suggests she does an internship at a Manhattan law firm, where she would work one day a week for school credits. Carrie has always loved Manhattan and is thrilled her father pulls some strings to get her the internship.

At school Carries has to deal with the typical problems of a teenager. Problems range from what to wear at her first day of school to the fact her two best friends both lost their virginity and Carrie starts to feel the pressure to do the same. Carrie does have feelings for a guy but she’s not sure he feels the same way. The did hang out, and even made out once, last year in the summer, but hasn’t seen him since. This year he’s the new kid at her school and everyone seems to want a piece of him.

On her first day in Manhattan, in one of the many department stores of Manhattan, she meets Larissa (Freema Agyeman, ‘Law & Order: UK’), a woman who’s an editor of a magazine Carrie loves. Larissa persuades Carrie to help her steal a nice dress. When they both have to get back to work, Larissa asks Carrie to come to a restaurant after work to hang out. Carrie agrees to this even though she promised her father to go to her school dance right after work. Larissa doesn’t know Carrie is still in high school and Carrie tries desperately to keep up appearances.

Later that night Carrie has a blast with her newfound friend, but has to leave early because it’s already past her curfew. When she arrives home, an hour too late, she finds her younger sister is missing. Dorrit is in desperate need of attention since her mother died, and she will do anything to get this attention, including staying out all night. Next morning Dorrit turns up unharmed and pretends not to care her father and sister were worried about her. Carrie is sick of having to be the responsible one and yells at Dorrit for acting out while they’re all struggling.

‘The Carrie Diaries’ is a prequel to the series ‘Sex and the City’, this however doesn’t mean you need to know ‘SATC’ to be able to understand ‘The Carrie Diaries’. This is about the only positive thing I have to say about the show. Teen drama isn’t my cup of tea and I’m trying to look past that, but I was bored anyway. There wasn’t a lot going on in this pilot and the things that did happen were all very predictable.

Most of the show seems to revolve around boy trouble and growing up, but there’s also a part where the characters have to deal with the death of a loved one. This is certainly an interesting angle and really adds to the show over the tired old teenage problems. However, the execution could have been better. The rebelling little sister was too cliche and the father, who was always the fun parent and doesn’t know how to take over the role of the mother, has been done one to many times.

To make matters worse the acting of most actors was mediocre at best, Robb performed the worst acted fainting I have ever seen. Granted, she didn’t put her hand to her forehead, which would have made it even worse. However, she is still young and it might get better as she gets more experienced.

The Carrie Diaries airs on The CW on Mondays at 8/7c.

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Comments 9 comments

Lybrah 3 years ago

I just saw the first episode. I really liked it. It was cute.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

Sounds interesting, will have to check it out - I'm a Sex and the City fanatic. Thanks for sharing Robin!


Lybrah 3 years ago

You can see the first episode on the cw.com (FYI)


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 3 years ago Author

Hi MelChi and Lybrah,

Except for the name of the main character, there are not many parallels between The Carrie Diaries and Sex and the City. But that doesn't prevent you from liking it, of course.

The episode for most US TV series are available on the networks' web sites (and sites such as Hulu) these days, though generally the videos are only accessible from within the US. There are ways to circumvent this barrier, but I'm not sure to what extent that is legal or not.


NickysMom2003 profile image

NickysMom2003 3 years ago

I think it would be more interesting if it were based on Stephen King's Carrie.


amandajoyshapiro profile image

amandajoyshapiro 3 years ago

Saw the pilot to see what they did with the story. I am unfamiliar with the books both series are based upon, but knowing Carrie from Sex and the City, this new Carrie doesn't make sense as her younger self. SJP's Carrie never had a chip on her shoulder because she lost her mom at 16. But my biggest complaint is that the Dad pays way too much attention to Carrie, instead of Dorrit. Dorrit goes missing, Carrie reacts, and we don't see the Dad have a heart-to-heart with the one who ran away?


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 3 years ago Author

I must say, I didn't realize that the dad payed basically no attention to Dorrit, but now you mention it, I can totally see why Dorrit is acting out. No one really gives her any attention. I hope, for the show's sake, this is part of a bigger storyline, and that the writers didn't just forget that it's normal for a dad to give the daughter who just ran away some attention and not just the daughter who happens to be a main character in a TV show.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada

Robin, I have been following this show with great interest. I do like it quite a bit for a couple of reasons. First of all, I am a sucker for 80's references, when I grew up. And secondly, I like the writer aspect, and how she narrates the show, giving bits of wisdom that she discovers. I find that part quite interesting. I do think that the minor characters should be fleshed out more, though, and that the premise of her going to the city and living this double life is a bit unrealistic. I also think this shows a great deal of resemblance to the show about the girl who becomes a fashion designer while she is still in high school ... the name escapes me right now.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 3 years ago Author

Hi Praireprincess,

The show isn't my cup of tea but it had some aspects that I liked. That fact that Carrie narrates the show definitely makes the show more interesting to watch. I think the show is too predictable and unrealistic for me to really enjoy it, but then again, I have only seen the first episode.

By the way, I think you're talking about True Jackson, VP. This show is indeed very unrealistic. The Carrie Diaries is unrealistic as well as for mostly the same reasons. It just doesn't make much sense that Carrie is accepted at a big law firm as an intern, while she didn't have any training in that area.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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